PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — The Spokane Chiefs stepped on the gas from the opening whistle, cruising to a 7-1 win over the Prince George Cougars on Wednesday night. The win guarantees the Chiefs a spot in the 2019 WHL Playoffs.
Forward Luke Toporowski picked up a rebound to give Spokane a 1-0 lead just 18 seconds into regulation, with assists to Jaret Anderson-Dolan and Nolan Reid.
Defenseman Bobby Russell teed up a one-timer just under nine minutes later, firing the puck from the blueline past Prince George goaltender Taylor Gauthier to make it 2-0 at 9:04.
Rookie Connor Gabruch got in on the action with an odd goal with 3:01 left in the opening frame, bouncing a puck off the end boards then off Gauthier’s skate to sneak in for his third of the season.
Nolan Reid scored his first career shorthanded goal with under a minute left in the period, capitalizing on a perfect feed from Riley Woods to chip the puck in on a backhand and make it 4-0 into the first intermission.
After Prince George’s Josh Maser scored his team-leading 26th of the season on a 5-on-3 power play early in the second, the Chiefs regained the lead with a power play goal of their own as Jaret Anderson-Dolan snapped it home from the left circle to make it 5-1.
Anderson-Dolan added on his second of the night and 11th of the season early in the third, again on the power play, to reach his second career five-point night (Feb. 10, 2018 at Tri-City).
Overage forward Luc Smith tacked on the final goal of the game with just 29 seconds left in regulation.
Bailey Brkin started in goal for the Chiefs and made 27 saves while Gauthier started for the Cougars and turned aside 10 of 15 shots faced in 22:14. Isaiah DiLaura came on in relief and made 15 saves on 17 shots in 37:46.
The Chiefs finished 2-for-6 on the power play and 7-for-8 on the penalty kill.
Spokane now leads Tri-City by four points for third place in the U.S. Division.
The Chiefs continue their four-game road trip at Portland on Friday night at 7 p.m. Mike Boyle will have the radio call on 103.5 The Game beginning at 6:30.
The team returns to Spokane Arena on Tuesday, March 5 to take on the Everett Silvertips for another TicketsWest Player Magnet Giveaway Night. The first 1000 fans through the gates and all full season ticket holders will receive a refrigerator magnet featuring a Chiefs player.
Tickets for March 5 and all Spokane Chiefs home games are available online at spokanechiefs.com, over the phone at 509-535-PUCK and in-person at the Chiefs’ Ticket Office at Spokane Arena.