Spokane used a third period goal from Dylan Walchuk to open up a one-goal game as the Chiefs skated past the Kootenay Ice 4-2 in front of 6,047 fans at the Spokane Arena on Saturday night. Mitch Holmberg finished with two goals and an assist and Brenden Kichton had three points as the Chiefs improved to 15-5-0-0 at home and 28-14-1-0 overall.
Spokane and Kootenay traded shots for the game's first 10 minutes before the Chiefs appeared to take the lead at 7:32 as Holmberg rebounded a shot and sent it past Mackenzie Skapski. The goal was waved off however as Spokane was called for goaltender interference and the game remained scoreless.
Holmberg was able to exact revenge at the 14:27 mark, scoring a power play goal with assists from Blake Gal and Kichton. The Chiefs' captain followed with a goal of his own at 18:34 on assists from Adam Heleweka and Holmberg to give Spokane a 2-0 advantage. The Chiefs outshot the Ice 18-7 in the period.
Kootenay closed the gap to one goal early in the second with Jaedon Descheneau beating Eric Williams from just outside the crease at 4:24. Holmberg answered with his second goal of the night at 13:13 on an incredible move that froze the Ice goalie in his tracks and left the net wide open for a shot. Mike Aviani notched his 25th assist of the season on the play.
Kootenay scored the second period's final goal at 16:31 as Luke Philp fired a shot through Williams' legs to cut Spokane's lead to 3-2. The Chiefs and Ice each registered 11 shots in the period.
Walchuk put the game out of reach for good at the 9:04 mark of the third with a sniper shot from the left circle on assists from Kichton and Tyler King. Williams stopped all nine shots he faced in the period to keep Kootenay at bay.
Williams finished with 25 saves on 27 opportunities while Skapski was 31 of 35. Spokane went 1 for 1 on the power play and didn't have to kill a penalty.
Tonight’s three stars: Mitch Holmberg (1st), Brenden Kichton (2nd), and Luke Philp (3rd).
The Chiefs have a home-and-home with Kelowna starting on the road Wednesday before returning to the Spokane Arena on Friday for a 7:05 PM matchup with the Rockets.