Chiefs top Thunderbirds in pre-season shootout victory, 4-3

Larry Brunt

Everett, Wash. – The Spokane Chiefs beat the Seattle Thunderbirds in a shootout Saturday afternoon, skating away with a 4-3 win in the second game of the 2021 WHL Pre-Season.

After a scoreless first period, Seattle forward Sam Oremba found the back of the net early in the second frame to give the T-birds a 1-0 lead. Spokane forward Kooper Gizowski then tied things up with the help of assists from Michael Cicek (F) and Jordan Chudley (D). Cordel Larson (F) snuck in another goal with just 23 seconds left in the period to give Spokane a 2-1 lead heading into the third.

The lead didn’t last long, though, with Seattle forward Mekai Sanders scoring within the first two minutes of the final period. Copeland Fricker answered with his own goal about six minutes in.

Then, a goal from Oremba late in the third period tied things up at 3-3 and pushed the game into overtime. Neither team scored in the extra frame, but all three Chiefs skaters in the shootout put the puck in the net, including Blake Swetlikoff’s game-winner.

The Chiefs outshot the Thunderbirds in each period (32-23 total), and Manny Panghli turned aside 20 of 23 shots faced to bolster Spokane’s offensive efforts.

Next up, the Chiefs will travel to Kennewick to take on the Portland Winterhawks Friday, September 17 at 3 p.m. PT. 

The Spokane Chiefs are a member of the U.S. Division of the Western Hockey League, the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players. Since 1985 the Chiefs have been a pillar in the Spokane community, offering family-friendly entertainment and a winning tradition which includes: two Memorial Cup Championships in 1991 & 2008, two WHL Championships in 1991 & 2008 and four Western Conference Championships in 1991, 1996, 2000 & 2008. Over 60 alumni have gone on to play in the National Hockey League.

The Chiefs’ 2021-22 regular season will begin on Saturday, October 2 as they host the Tri-City Americans at Spokane Arena. Ticket packages for the 2021-22 season are available now! With options starting at just $80, there’s an option to fit every budget and schedule. For more information, visit

Single game tickets for the Chiefs’ 2021-22 regular season will go on sale via on Wednesday, September 15 at 10 a.m.


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