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Spokane Slips In Tough Defensive Battle

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SPOKANE, Wash. – The Spokane Chiefs gave the CHL’s third-ranked Prince George Cougars all they could handle on Saturday night at Spokane Arena, but the Cougars prevailed for a narrow 2-1 victory led by a stellar performance by goaltender Ty Edmonds. Forward Keanu Yamamoto scored the Chiefs’ lone goal late in the third period.

Prince George came out of the gates buzzing and got on the board first with a power play goal from 19-year-old defenseman Tate Olson at the 5:07 mark of the opening period. Off assists from Yan Khomenko and Brad Morrison, Olson fired a shot from the point past the screened Dawson Weatherill, who made his second-straight start for Spokane.

From there, the game turned into a defensive battle with chances coming rarely and those that came being snuffed out by strong goaltending on each side. It looked like the Cougars wrapped it up for good when veteran winger Aaron Boyd snuck a quick backhand shot past Weatherill at 14:11 of the third period to give the visitors a 2-0 lead. 

Spokane refused to quit as Keanu Yamamoto extended his WHL-leading point streak to 14 games with his 14th goal of the season, assisted by younger brother Kailer and 17-year-old NHL draft prospect Jaret Anderson-Dolan with just over three minutes left in regulation.

A few more key Edmonds saves late sealed the win for Prince George, who remained in first place in the Western Conference.

Spokane outshot the Cougars 31-28 on the night. They went 0-for-3 on the power play and 1-for-2 on the penalty kill.

The Chiefs now take a week break, along with the rest of the Western Hockey League, for the holidays before returning to action at Seattle on December 27.

Spokane’s next home game is Wednesday, December 28 against the same Seattle Thunderbirds. Tickets for that game 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.

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