What a week for the Chiefs!! Spokane picking up 4 wins and thus moving within just 2 points of first place Tri-City in the U.S. Division.
The week capped by a tremendous comeback win against Prince George at the Arena Sunday night. I know the fans who stuck around for that third period were sooo glad they did!
The boys started the week with a 5-2 win in Everett. Drayson Bowman led the way with 2 goals, and defenseman Michael Reddington had a career high 3 point night. It looked like a rout for the Chiefs as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead, only to have the referee Tyler Johnson decide the game was getting out of hand and whistle 6 straight minor penalties on Spokane.
The Chiefs killed off 5 of the 6 Everett power plays though, and the Chiefs went on to their 3rd straight win in Everett this season, the best winning streak they've ever had in the Everett Events Center.
Spokane kept it rolling with a 4-1 win over Portland in the Rose City on Friday night. Goalie Dustin Tokarski making Chiefs history with his 69th career win on a 29 save night, including 3 stellar stops in the third period.
Tokarski breaking the previous record of 68 wins set by Aren Miller from 1996-98. Ondrej Roman had a goal and an assist, and Bowman had 2 helpers as the Chiefs scored two late third period goals to break open a 2-1 game.
On Saturday, the Edmonton Oil Kings came to town for the first time in their 2 year history. The Oil Kings are led by former Chiefs assistant coach Steve Pleau, and it was great to see Pleausy back in Spokane. I really enjoyed his insight and company during his year here with the Chiefs. Unfortunately for Pleausy, the Chiefs didn't welcome his team very well, as Spokane scored 11 times in an 11-2 rout of Edmonton.
Bowman scored another two goals, as did Tyler Johnson and Dustin Donaghy. Jared Spurgeon matched his career high with a 5 point night on a goal and 4 assists, as all but 3 Chiefs who skated, scored on the night. It was a great effort by the boys throughout and hopes were for a similar outing the next night against Prince George.
Unfortunately, the first period against the Cougars was anything but outstanding from a Chiefs perspective. Spokane fell behind 2-0 after one, and didn't show nearrrly the energy they had the night before. In the second, the Chiefs really picked it up, outshooting PG 17-5, but former Chiefs goalie Kevin Armstrong was outstanding in the period, blanking Spokane while the Cougars added a power play goal to extend the lead to 3-0 PG after two.
Just when it seemed all was lost, and an opportunity to move within 2 points of Tri was going bye-bye, the boys came out jumpin' in the third. Justin McCrae led like captain with his 3rd goal in 4 games just over a minute in to make it 3-1.
Bowman would then send a rocket from the right circle past Armstrong to cut the lead to 1 8 minutes into the period. Still down 1 with 3 minutes to go, the Cougars took what turned out to be a costly too many men on the ice penalty, and Bowman made them pay with his 2nd of the night to tie the game with just over 2 minutes left.
Just when it looked like overtime was coming, Ondrej Roman sniped a shot past Armstrong with just 38.9 seconds to go to cap the amazing comeback, and send a certain play by play announcer into a shouting frenzy (click here to listen to the call). I actually came out of my chair on that goal, one of a handful of times I've ever done that.
It was such a great comeback for the boys and I'm sure it's going to launch the Chiefs into the playoffs next month on a roll. Of course, there's still 15 games to go and a month left in the season, but Spokane is hitting the stride it needs to defend its' Memorial Cup championship.
After getting in 4 games in 5 nights, and winning all of them, the Chiefs will get 3 in 4 nights this week, beginning by hosting Seattle at the Arena Wednesday at 7pm. Spokane will then head over to Seattle Friday at 7:30, before heading to Tri-City and a huge game on Saturday at 7.
The Tri game will be televised on Comcast Channel 78...and I'll have the call on AM790 at 6:30, due to the Gonzaga game. The Seattle games will be on the Chiefs regular home on AM1510, with Wednesday's game coverage beginning at 6:30 and Friday's at 7pm.
Let's hope the boys come away with another exciting week, and a first place standing after Saturday night's game!