PORTLAND, Ore. – Keanu Yamamoto ended his Spokane Chiefs career with two goals and an assist as he helped lead the Spokane Chiefs to a 7-2 win at Portland on Sunday evening. The win snapped a season long nine-game losing streak for Spokane as the Chiefs finished the season with a record of 27-33-8-4 and 66 points. The victory also knocked Portland into the wild card in the Western Conference as they will now face B.C. Division winner Prince George in the first round of the playoffs.
Spokane’s Alex Mowbray got the Chiefs on the board in his final game for Spokane with a tip of a Matt Leduc shot 5:57 into the game to give the Chiefs a 1-0 lead. The Chiefs’ Riley Woods then scored his 12th of the season on the power play at 8:04 to extend the margin to 2-0. Portland came back with a power play goal midway through the first to cut the lead to 2-1, but Yamamoto answered, scoring his first of the night on a feed from his younger brother Kailer at 14:39 to make it 3-1 Spokane. Eli Zummack capped a four-goal period with his ninth of the year from Woods with 1:06 remaining to take a 4-1 advantage to the second.
The Chiefs earned four power play opportunities from the Winterhawks in the second and converted on two of them. Yamamoto scored his second of the game and 26th of the season from his brother Kailer and Carolina Hurricanes prospect Hudson Elynuik at 14:08 to make it 5-1. Elynuik then finished off a tic-tac-toe passing sequence from the Yamamoto brothers at 16:33 for his 29th of the year to give the Chiefs a 6-1 lead after two.
Portland scored on a 5-on-3 power play chance early in the third to cut the Chiefs lead to 6-2, but Riley McKay responded, scoring his first goal since New Year’s Eve at 12:49 to finish off a 7-2 win.
Keanu Yamamoto completed with the “Gordie Howe hat trick” with two goals, one assist and a fighting major in the third period. Brother Kailer Yamamoto, in his final game alongside his older sibling, notched three assists to finish the year with 99 points as he prepares for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Goalie Jayden Sittler, in his final WHL game, picked up his 16th win with 30 saves in net. The Chiefs outshot Portland 34-32 while going 3-for-6 on the power play and 2-for-4 on the penalty kill.