PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – The Spokane Chiefs battled back from a 3-1 first period deficit to beat the Western Conference-leading Prince George Cougars on Monday afternoon in B.C., 4-3. Keanu Yamamoto led the way with the game-tying goal and two assists, including a helper on Jaret Anderson-Dolan’s game-winner midway through the third period.
The Cougars came out buzzing in the first period, outshooting the Chiefs 24-7 in the opening 20 minutes. Tate Olson got the scoring underway early, giving Prince George a 1-0 lead with his seventh goal of the season at 6:30.
Kailer Yamamoto tied the game at one all with his team-leading 32nd of the season, forcing a turnover in the Cougar defensive zone and snapping a shot under the crossbar to beat starting goalie Ty Edmonds.
Former Vancouver Giant Radovan Bondra scored his 27th of the season to regain the lead for Prince George at 14:27, tapping a goal into a wide open net after a patient play around the crease by Jansen Harkins put the Chiefs out of position.
Harkins scored one of his own only 2:29 later, using his speed around the right wing to get behind the Chiefs’ defense before chipping a shot to the far post to beat Spokane goalie Dawson Weatherill, off assists from Bondra and Colby McAuley.
The Chiefs found their legs in the second period, bouncing back to out-shoot the home team 10-3 and cut the deficit to one goal. After a hooking call against Shane Collins, Kailer Yamamoto received a cross-ice feed on the right wing from older brother Keanu, pivoted and found Hudson Elynuik netfront with a perfect pass – for his 200th career point – at the 5:59 mark. Elynuik’s deflection goal was his 20th of the season, marking a new career high.
Keanu Yamamoto found the net on a power play 92 seconds into the third period, chopping his 22nd of the season into the net off a nice centering feed from Elynuik to match his career high in goals scored.
Anderson-Dolan, who has been on fire over the past two months with his NHL Entry Draft stock trending upward, squeeked a shot just under Edmonds’ left arm and in to give the Chiefs a 4-3 lead at 11:20 of the third period. The score proved to be the difference, giving Anderson-Dolan a team-best sixth game-winning goal.
Prince George outshot Spokane 42-32 overall but the Chiefs earned a 25-18 advantage over the final 40 minutes. Spokane utilized the power play to earn the win, scoring on 3-of-10 chances while going a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill.
The Chiefs and Cougars will play a quick rematch of Monday’s game on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in Prince George. Mike Boyle will have the radio call on 1510 KGA NW Sports Talk beginning with the pre-game show at 6:30.
Spokane returns home on February 25 for Mike’s Hard Pink Lemonade Breast Cancer Awareness Night & Helmet Giveaway at the Arena as they host the Tri-City Americans. The Chiefs will wear special pink-accented jerseys to be auctioned off for charity. Tickets for the 25th and all Chiefs home games are available in-person at the Chiefs’ Ticket Office, over-the-phone at 509-535-PUCK and online at ticketswest.com or spokanechiefs.com.