Kent, Wash. — San Jose Sharks prospect Jake McGrew scored his second career hat trick and first career four-point night to lead the Spokane Chiefs to a 5-3 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday night. Spokane has now won four of their last five games and will complete the first half of their regular season schedule on Sunday at Spokane Arena against the same Thunderbirds.
Seattle’s Nolan Volcan opened the game’s scoring, capitalizing on a bouncing puck at the blueline to force a turnover and pot his 11th goal of the season shorthanded just past the midway mark of the first period.
McGrew chipped in his first of the night to tie it up with 60 seconds left in the first, redirecting the puck past starting goalie Liam Hughes off a perfect centering feed from Luke Toporowski. The goal came with the man advantage as Spokane retained their top-ranked power play unit at a league-leading 28.5% success rate.
McGrew provided the Chiefs their first lead of the night just 1:35 into the second period finding a rebound on an Eli Zummack deflection of an Adam Beckman point shot to make it 2-1.
Volcan responded for the Thunderbirds, scoring another unassisted goal on a breakaway as he blocked a shot in the Seattle zone and went the length of the ice to tie it at 2-2.
Beckman punched in his WHL rookie-leading 15th of the year on a McGrew-created rebound chance midway through the second to retake the lead at 3-2.
The Thunderbirds took advantage of another Chiefs turnover to score their third goal of the night — all unassisted — as Payton Mount picked a corner to make it 3-3 with 2:28 left in the middle frame.
It looked as though the game would be tied 3-3 headed into the second intermission before Hughes mishandled the puck behind his own net, allowing Zummack to intercept an errant pass and score his 10th of the year with 15 seconds left, earning a 4-3 lead that Spokane would not relinquish.
Spokane controlled much of the third period before McGrew completed his hat trick and four-point night with an empty netter to close the scoring.
Spokane’s Bailey Brkin started in goal and made 24 saves on 27 shots faced. Hughes finished 27-for-31. The Chiefs went 1-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill; they are now 12-for-12 on the penalty kill against Seattle this season.
The win pushes Spokane’s record to 18-11-2-2, tied with Portland for second place in the U.S. Division.
The Chiefs return to Spokane Arena on Sunday, December 16th to host Seattle for Toys For Tots & Ugly Holiday Sweater Night. Bring a new toy to donate to Toys For Tots and be entered to win prizes from the Chiefs throughout the game. The game will start at 5:05 p.m.
Tickets for Sunday’s game and all Chiefs home games are available online, in-person at the Chiefs’ Ticket Office and over the phone at 509-535-PUCK.