Victoria took a 4-1 lead midway through the second and turned away a late rally from Spokane as the Royals dropped the Chiefs 5-3 in front of 5,045 fans at the Spokane Arena Sunday night. Adam Power scored his first career WHL goal as Spokane fell to 18-10-0-0 at home and 32-22-2-0 overall.
The Royals raced out to an early 2-0 lead with goals from Jamie Crooks at 2:09 and Jack Walker at 7:08. Victoria seemed to be on the verge of breaking the game wide open with a four minute power play starting at 15:19, but Spokane turned the tables as Dylan Walchuk scored a short-handed goal at 18:01 with assists from Todd Fiddler and Jeremy McIntosh. Victoria outshot Spokane 9-4 for the period.
The second period played out much like the first with the Royals outshooting the Chiefs 9-5. Victoria scored at 5:15 on a short-handed goal from Crooks and again at 13:50 with Ben Walker beating Eric Williams on the power play to give the Royals a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Mitch Holmberg pulled Spokane within a pair of goals at 3:21 in the third as he fired home a rebound with assists from Blake Gal and Mike Aviani. Victoria regained a three score advantage with goal from Austin Carroll at 7:40 against new Chiefs' goalie Garret Hughson who replaced Williams to start the period.
Power’s goal at 9:59 was assisted by Jackson Playfair and Stewart Coyle and gave Spokane a surge of momentum. The Chiefs couldn’t find the back of the net again though as Patrik Polivka turned away nine other shots in the period.
Williams finished 14 of 18 on save opportunities while Hughson was 9 of 10 and Polivka was 17 of 20. Spokane went 5 for 5 on the penalty kill and 0 of 2 on the power play.