ERIC WILLIAMS TURNED AWAY 39 SHOTS IN THE WIN.Thursday, Oct 11, 2012
Mike Aviani's goal midway through the third period snapped a 3-3 tie and lifted the Spokane Chiefs to a 6-4 win over the Kelowna Rockets Wednesday night in Kelowna, B.C. The victory pushed the Chiefs record to 5-1 as Spokane stayed within a point of first place Portland in the U.S. Division.
Mitch Holmberg scored on Spokane's only power play of the first period with his 8th goal of the year at 14:45 of the first from Dylan Walchuk and Brenden Kichton to give the Chiefs a 1-0 lead. Liam Stewart then scored shorthanded just over a minute later from Kichton and Blake Gal to put Spokane up 2-0 after one, despite Kelowna outshooting Spokane 20-9 in the first.
Walchuk would tip a Collin Valcourt shot at 4:51 of the second period to stake the Chiefs to a 3-0 lead. Kelowna's Ryan Olsen scored on the power play, and then Colton Sissions tallied less than 4 minutes later to bring the Rockets within 3-2 after two periods. Dylan McKinley would tie the game for Kelowna at 8:46 of the third, but Aviani would score on a rebound of a Gal shot at 9:53 to give Spokane the lead for good. Todd Fiddler also assisted on Aviani's 5th goal in 6 games.
Holmberg would notch his 2nd of the night and league leading 9th goal of the season off a face off win by Stewart at 15:04 to put the Chiefs ahead 5-3. Olsen would score his second of the night with the Rockets having the extra attacker at 18:11 to bring Kelowna within 5-4, but Reid Gow hit an open Valcourt for an empty net tally at 19:17 to seal the win. It was the third straight game Valcourt scored a goal, while Holmberg has scored a goal in 6 straight for Spokane, the longest current streak in the WHL. With his 2 assists, Brenden Kichton is now just one assist back of Frank Evans for the most helpers in Chiefs history by a defenseman. Kichton has already scored the most goals and points by a defenseman in club history.
Eric Williams turned away 39 Kelowna shots as Spokane went 1-4 on the power play and 3-4 on the penalty kill. Spokane will travel to Kamloops to face the B.C. Division leading Blazers Friday night at 7pm. Mike Boyle will have the call on 1510 KGA, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:30pm.