SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Chiefs made it back-to-back wins on Saturday night, besting the Kootenay ICE 5-3 in front of 8,352 fans at Spokane Arena. Kailer Yamamoto led the way offensively with a goal and two assists as the Chiefs inched closer to a playoff berth.
Spokane picked up right where they left off on Friday, scoring three goals in the first period to take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission.
Milos Fafrak got things started at 4:55 when Riley Woods dished one across ice to Jake McGrew, who then redirected it to Fafrak on the right side of the net to put Spokane up 1-0.
Kootenay’s Gilian Kohler responded with a goal at 9:10 before Ethan McIndoe became the beneficiary of a costly Kootenay turnover to retake the lead. Yamamoto picked a pocket and kept the puck in the Kootenay zone before finding McIndoe the right circle, from which McIndoe fired in his 20th of the season.
Yamamoto then came through with a highlight reel goal of his own, scoring shorthanded to make it 3-1. He and linemate Jaret Anderson-Dolan created a 2-on-1 rush. Yamamoto chipped the puck to the net for a quick shot by Anderson-Dolan, then jumped over a sprawling defenseman to punch in the rebound.
Kootenay pulled back within one at 2:10 of the second period when Colton Veloso notched his first of two goals.
Spokane got that goal back at 8:25 when Jake McGrew fired a shot from the left circle for his 16th goal of the season, sending the Chiefs into the second intermission up 4-2.
Ty Smith followed up his franchise record 7-point night from Friday with another goal in the third period pushing the lead to 5-2. Veloso’s second capped the scoring to reach the final 5-3 tally.
Spokane outshot Kootenay 35-25, finishing 0-for-2 on the power play and 1-for-2 on the penalty kill. Dawson Weatherill started for the Chiefs and made 13 saves while Matt Berlin started for Kootenay, turning aside 32 of 37. The win combined with a Kamloops loss pushed the Chiefs’ magic number to three points heading into their Sunday afternoon matchup against Everett.
The Chiefs are on the road for their next six games and return home Saturday, March 10 when they take on the Vancouver Giants. It will be Coca-Cola Kailer Yamamoto Bobblehead Giveaway Night, with the first 2,000 fans in attendance receiving a bobblehead of the Edmonton Oilers first round pick.
On Sunday, they’ll take on the Everett Silvertips on the road with an early 4:05 p.m. start. Mike Boyle will have the radio call on 1510 KGA NW Sports Talk beginning at 3:30 p.m.
The Chiefs will also have a pre-game ceremony recognizing all of the team’s 20-year-old players.
Tickets to all Chiefs home games can be purchased online, in-person at the Chiefs Ticket Office or over the phone at 509-535-PUCK.