Led by Mike Aviani’s career high 4 goals, the Spokane Chiefs finished off a 2 game sweep of the Victoria Royals with a 6-1 victory Wednesday night in Victoria, B.C. Aviani also notched an assist for a career high 5 point night as the Chiefs are off to a 3-0 start and in first place in the U.S. Division of the Western Hockey League.
Aviani started the scoring as he banged home a rebound off a Jason Fram shot on the power play at 1l6:20 of the first period. Reid Gow picked up his first of 3 straight assists on Aviani’s first of the night as the Chiefs led 1-0 after one. Goalie Garret Hughson turned aside 10 Victoria shots in the first period. Aviani would add to the lead with his second power play goal at 11:56 of the second period. Mitch Holmberg would make it 3-0 Spokane with the Chiefs third power play tally of the night with his league leading 6th goal of the season at 15:15 to give the Chiefs a 3-0 lead after two.
Connor Chartier would notch his 2nd goal of the year from Markson Bechtold and Liam Stewart 7:39 into the third period to put Spokane up 4-0. Aviani would secure the Chiefs second hat trick of the season with a shorthanded goal from Holmberg at 11:59 to extend the lead to 5-0. Victoria would spoil Hughson’s bid for his 3rd career shutout with a power play goal at 13:17 of the period. Aviani would cap the scoring with a rebound of a Bechtold shot at 16:42 as Holmberg picked up his 3rd assist of the night to secure a 4 point night.
After being outshot 10-2 to start the game, Spokane outshot the Royals 32-29 in the contest. The Chiefs were 3-5 on the power play and have started the season 7-14 with the man advantage through 3 games. Spokane is now 6-0 in Victoria in the Royals three seasons since re-locating from Chilliwack, and are 9-1 all time against the Royals.
Spokane will return home to the Spokane Arena for their home opener Saturday night against the Tri City Americans. Mike Boyle will have the call at 6:30pm on 1510 KGA, with the puck drop at approximately 7:15pm for the opening night ceremonies, including the naming of the Chiefs team captain.