SPOKANE - Brenden Kichton and Mitch Holmberg both scored twice and Eric Williams stopped 24 shots as Spokane edged Victoria 5-3 in front of 4,617 fans at the Spokane Arena on Friday night. Kichton finished the game with five points on two goals and three assists as the Chiefs improved to 3-1-0-0.
The first period was a defensive showdown as both teams found quality scoring opportunities few and far between. Spokane went on the power play at 4:46 but failed to record a shot as the Royals defense held stout.
The Chiefs finally broke through at the 9:21 mark on a Holmberg power play goal with assists from Dylan Walchuk and Kichton. The lead proved to be short lived though, as Victoria answered less than a minute later on a redirect from Jamie Crooks.
The Chiefs wasted no time lighting the lamp in the second as Holmberg's power play goal, on assists from Kichton and Jason Fram, gave the Chiefs a 2-1 lead just 22-seconds into the period. The goal was Holmberg's fifth in two home games and seventh of the young season.
Kichton extended the lead to 3-1 with a wrister past Victoria goalie Patrik Polivka at the 3:18 mark on an assist from Mikulas Rimmel. Neither team scored in the remaining 16 minutes with Spokane outshooting Victoria 10-7 for the period.
It took Victoria just 21-seconds to find the back of the net in the third. Royals winger Austin Carroll found a seam in the Chiefs defense and flipped a backhand past Williams to cut Spokane's lead to one.
Kichton rifled a shot into the back of the net off a pass from Todd Fiddler at 11:07 to push the lead to 4-2, but Victoria's Brandon Magee cut the deficit to one with a goal at the 16:57 mark. The Royals never got any closer though, as Williams fended off Victoria's remaining shots, and Mike Aviani capped the Chiefs scoring with an empty netter at 19:57.
Williams finished the night 24 of 27 in net while Polivka was 24 of 28 for Victoria. Spokane was three of six on the power play and six of seven on penalty kills.
The Chiefs are home again tomorrow night for a 7:05 pm game against the Lethbridge Hurricanes before traveling to Kelowna on Wednesday for a matchup with the Rockets.