SPOKANE - The Spokane Chiefs ran their pre-season record to 4-1-0-0 with their fourth straight win, a 4-3 decision over the Kelowna Rockets, on Thursday night at Eagles Ice-A-Rena. 751 fans saw the Chiefs only home game of the pre-season.
"At the end of the night we won, so I'm happy," Chiefs Head Coach Don Nachbaur said. "We were on the right side of the scoreboard but it was quick and scrambly."
Spokane's line-up featured all eight rookie skaters remaining on their 28 man roster as Spokane continues the evaluation phase of the pre-season.
"I think they have a lot of pressure on each of them just trying to make the hockey team. They're doing the best they can and we recognize that," Nachbaur said.
Chiefs players have been in town for the past four weeks, one week of training camp and three of pre-season games.
"It's been a long process, I'm just excited it is going to end so we can make some decisions and get working on our game plan for the regular season."
The Chiefs will finish the pre-season the same spot they begin the regular season, in Tri-City's Toyota Center. Spokane will skate against their U.S. Division rival on Saturday night at 7:00 one week before they return to open the 2012-13 season.
Todd Fiddler had two goals on Thursday and Mac Engel made 37 saves in his first appearance in net during the pre-season for the Chiefs.
"He had some real good moments, especially late in the game in the last minute he made a couple of huge saves for us," Nachbaur said. "Pretty solid for his first outing."
Twenty-year-old Davis Vandane started the scoring at 1:50 of the first with a shot from the point just eight seconds into the Chiefs first power play of the night. Spokane's start kept the puck in the Kelowna zone for a better part of the first five minutes forcing Kelowna netminder Jackson Whistle to come up with several saves, including a pad save on Riley Whittingham attempt to finish a two-on-one a little less than three and a half minutes in.
Kelowna's got on the board with the third of three power play chances in the first period as Tyson Baillie pushed a rebound of a Cole Linaker shot through Engel's pads at 15:06 to tie the game.
The Chiefs scored the next two with Carter Proft tallying his first of the pre-season at 17:34 from the left wing. The 18-year-old placed it stick-side with Tyson Predinchuk assisting on the goal.
Spokane scored on the front end of a two-man advantage late in the first as the Rockets took a pair of high sticking penalties 22-seconds apart. Connor Chartier's initial backhand from the left post was stopped but Tyler Fiddler waited on the doorstep to punch home his third of the pre-season at 18:33.
Just 10-seconds into the middle frame, and five after the carry over penalty expired, Fiddler made it 4-1 on an unassisted goal.
Kelowna was back on the board at 2:06 of the second as Austin Ferguson followed up a Tyson Baillie shot to make it a 4-2 game and they pulled within one with the only goal of the third, a Tyrell Goulbourne shot from the left wing boards at 13:42.
Whistle was 38 for 42 in save opportunities for the Rockets
The home portion of the Chiefs' schedule will begin on Saturday, September 29th at the Spokane Arena.