SPOKANE, Wash. – Mitch Holmberg knows how tough it can be to collect a hat trick in one hockey game, but on Saturday night at the Spokane Arena the right wing achieved the sport's most recognizable single-game achievement in the first period alone. The Chiefs topped the Kootenay Ice 6-3 on Breast Cancer Awareness Night.
Holmberg's natural hat trick pushed him up to fourth all-time in Chiefs goal-scoring history and seventh all-time in points. He is now just seven goals from tying Pat Falloon as Spokane's all-time goal scorer and eight away from taking the top spot for his own.
Just 11 seconds after Holmberg's third goal, Marcus Messier scored his ninth goal of the season to give Spokane a 4-0 lead at the end of the first period. Keanu Yamamoto earned the assist and extended his point streak to five games. The Chiefs outshot Kootenay 15-4 in the period, keeping the Ice off the puck for the majority of the 20 minutes.
The Chiefs would never look back as goalie Eric Williams kept the Ice at bay by saving 33 of 36 shots. The Ice pulled starting goalie Mackenzie Skapski and replaced him with Wyatt Hoflin at the beginning of the second period.
Carter Proft scored Spokane's fifth and sixth goals, both in the final period. They were his ninth and tenth goals of the season.
Spokane's penalty kill held strong on the evening as Kootenay was only able to score once on the one-man advantage despite its four opportunities; the power play goal came at the 18:36 mark in the third period. The Chiefs went 1-for-2 on the power play, as Holmberg’s second goal of the night was on a one-timer with the advantage. Spokane outshot the Ice 36-33.
The win officially guarantees the Chiefs a 2014 WHL Playoffs berth.