SPOKANE, Wash. — The Chiefs were just glad to get back on the ice this week as their home and home series with rival Tri City was canceled last weekend due to a positive COVID-19 test on the Americans club. It spoiled a promising week for Spokane as the Chiefs were coming off dramatic back to back wins over Everett and Portland on the road earlier in the week. The canceled games also meant the Chiefs had gone a week without a game right at a time the club was playing its best hockey of the abbreviated season. Spokane now looked to keep the momentum of the back to back road wins from the week before as they hosted division leading Everett on back to back nights Thursday and Friday at the Spokane Arena.
The team welcomed back forward Cordel Larson off the injured list as he joined leading scorers Adam Beckman and Eli Zummack on the top line. Campbell Arnold was back in net for Spokane as he saw his first action in nearly two weeks. Everett had played their last game the previous Sunday as they knocked off Portland at home. The Silvertips looked like the sharper team early as Hunter Campbell scored just 2:27 into the game to put Everett ahead 1-0 in the early going. Spokane seemed to bounce back though as they ended up outshooting Everett 12-11 in the first period, but still trailed by one heading into the second period.
The second period ended up being the decisive stanza in this contest as Everett dominated the middle 20 minutes. The Silvertips scored just 2:01 into the frame to take a 2-0 lead and they never looked back. Everett would outshoot Spokane 15-7 in the second and would tack on two more goals. The first came on the Tips second power play of the period at 14:11 that made it 3-0. Everett then scored on an odd man rush with just 35 seconds left in the second to take a commanding 4-0 lead after two. Any chance of Spokane working their way back into the game in the third disappeared 53 seconds into the period when a Chiefs turnover in front of their net turned into Everett's fifth goal of the night as the Tips went up 5-0. Spokane would get 4 power play chances in the third, but Everett's #1 ranked penalty kill shut down the Chiefs. Goalie Dustin Wolf turned away all 13 Chiefs shots in the third and for the second time in 3 meetings, Everett blanked Spokane as the Silvertips came away with a 5-0 victory.
Both of the Chiefs losses to Everett this year have been by a shutout, so Spokane's main goal the following night was to get on the scoreboard. Spokane went with Mason Beaupit in goal, hoping he could equal his performance from the previous Tuesday when he helped the Chiefs to a 4-3 win in Everett. Much like the previous night though, the Silvertips struck first as Cole Fonstad fired home a power play goal midway through the period to give Everett a 1-0 lead after one. Unlike the previous night though, instead of finishing the first period strong offensively, the Chiefs saw Everett dominate the latter half of the frame as they outshot the Chiefs 17-7 in the opening 20 minutes. What the Chiefs wanted to do on Friday was prevent the Silvertips from doing the same thing they did the previous night; namely dominating the second period.
Unfortunately for Spokane, Everett came out in the second and did the exact same thing they did the night before. The Silvertips scored midway through the period on a shot from the right blue line that deflected off a Chiefs defender and in the net to make it 2-0 Tips. Everett then scored just under 3 minutes later off the rush to go ahead 3-0 and then scored their second power play goal of the game with less than 2 minutes remaining in the period to cap a 3 goal stanza and take a commanding 4-0 lead into the third. Everett had done the exact same thing the night before and were once again 20 minutes away from shutting out the Chiefs. The Silvertips would end any hopes of a Spokane comeback early in the third when Austin Roest scored his second goal of the year against the Chiefs just over 5 minutes into the third to make it 5-0 Everett. The Tips kept it going with another goal with just over 3 minutes left to go ahead 6-0, leaving the only suspense whether Everett goalie Dustin Wolf would pick up his second straight shutout and third overall against Spokane this season.
The Chiefs saw to it they would not be blanked for a second straight night as Cordel Larson took an Owen MacNeil pass and snapped home his third goal of the season with just 1:58 remaining to spoil Wolf's shutout and get Spokane on the scoreboard. It would be the only offense the Chiefs managed in the two game series though as Everett took another step closer to the U.S. Division title with a convincing 6-1 victory. Spokane was outshot 39-22 in the game and would go 0-2 on the power play and just 3-5 on the penalty kill. There's no doubt the Chiefs suffered a setback due to their inactivity over the previous week due to Tri City having to miss two games over the previous weekend due to a positive Covid test on the Americans squad. Everett came with their 'A" game and showed why they're the top team in the division.
Spokane's final game of the week down at Tri City was cancelled due to the Americans being on Covid shutdown, so the Chiefs are down to their final 7 games of the regular season. The Americans are due to play in Spokane this Wednesday night at 6:10pm and as of now, that game is scheduled to be played. I'll have the call on 103.5 FM the Game and 1510 AM KGA starting with the pregame show at 5:30 p.m. Spokane will then finish their final home stand of the season with games on Saturday vs. Seattle at 5:10 p.m, Everett on Sunday at 5:10 p.m., and then concluding against Tri City on Tuesday, May 4th at 6:10 p.m. The Chiefs are 4-7-2-1 with 7 games left and are hoping to get to at least .500 in regulation over the next two weeks. The biggest hope over the next two weeks is to not lose any more games due to coronavirus and get back on same type of play they showed before the week long shutdown. Let's hope Spokane gets back on their game and enjoy some wins in these last 7 games. We hope to see you on the radio!