SPOKANE, Wash., -- In a battle for first place, the Portland Winterhawks edged out the Spokane Chiefs, 4-3, in a hard-fought battle in front of 5,502 fans at the Spokane Arena on Saturday night.
Portland struck first just 51 seconds into the contest when Brendan Leipsic was passed the puck in the crease for an early goal.
But the Chiefs fought back on multiple occasions, twice tying the score. First, in the first period, Liam Stewart scored his second goal in as many nights after he recovered the puck on a quick rebound in the crease off assists from Carter Chartier and Cole Wedman. The second time the Chiefs knotted up the score was after the Winterhawks held a 3-1 lead in the second period. After a Mike Aviani goal, Jason Fram showed off his slapshot, scoring his second goal of the season.
The Chiefs had opportunities to tie the game once more, including two power plays in the final period. Spokane was 2-of-7 with a one-man advantage while Portland went 2-for-4.
Mitch Holmberg collected two more assists on the night to push his season total up to 20. His 20 assists and 17 goals give Holmberg a WHL-leading 39 points on the season, right above both Portland’s Oliver Bjorkstrand (32) and Nicolas Petan (31).
The Spokane Chiefs will head to Kamloops to face the Blazers next Wednesday, October 30th. The Chiefs will return home the following Saturday, November 2nd, in a rematch against the Winterhawks. Puck drops at 7:05 PM.