SPOKANE, Wash. – Everett should have seen it coming.
Mitch Holmberg used a perfect centering pass to find Mike Aviani for the game-winning goal 54 seconds into overtime as the Spokane Chiefs beat the Everett Silvertips for 17th-straight time at the Spokane Arena, 3-2 on Saturday night.
After Liam Stewart nearly ended the game after stealing the puck from overtime’s initial face-off, Holmberg flew down the right side of the ice all alone as he found his favorite linemate, Aviani, ready to score his second goal of the game.
The first two periods, however, were a much different story. Goalie Eric Williams stopped all 21 shots fired in his direction, including an uncomfortable amount of chances from point-blank range. Spokane miscommunications led to the wide-open shots, but Williams was there with his glove, pads and stick each time to keep the Chiefs in the game. Overall, Williams stopped 29 of 31 shots.
At the start of the third period, it was Mike Aviani – taking advantage of Spokane’s fourth power play attempt – who scored the game’s first goal. Both captain Reid Gow and Jason Fram were credited with the assists. Just 59 seconds after that first goal, Fram pushed Spokane’s lead to 2-0, with Aviani returning the favor collecting the assist on another power play.
Spokane’s league-leading power play finished 2-of-6 while holding Everett’s to just one goal in five opportunities. The Chiefs outshot the Silvertips 40-31, and will move into a Western Conference 4th-place tie with Everett as both teams now have 52 points.
The Chiefs will have six days until their next game on Friday, January 10, at the Spokane Arena against the Kamloops Blazers. It will be the Viva Las Vegas Miller Brewing Company Trip Giveaway. Puck drops at 7:05 PM. Tickets for all Chiefs home games are available in-person at the Chiefs' Ticket Office, over the phone at (509) 535-PUCK, via TicketsWest outlets and online at www.ticketswest.com.