Michaluk posts 41 saves in Chiefs’ 4-3 OT loss to Winterhawks

Keith Dwiggins

Portland, Ore. – Despite a strong 41-save performance from Cooper Michaluk, the Spokane Chiefs were unable to hold on against the Portland Winterhawks, falling 4-3 in overtime Sunday night.

It was a goalie battle until 14 and a half minutes into the game when defenseman Jaren Brinson drove home his first goal as a Chief with help from Cade Hayes and Brayden Crampton to put Spokane up 1-0. They carried the lead into the first break, as Michaluk stopped all 16 Portland shots that came his way in the opening frame.

The Winterhawks didn’t find the net until nearly halfway through the second period, when James Stefan capitalized on the man advantage to even the score at one apiece.

But Michaluk was again a wall throughout the period, turning aside all but Stefan’s goal for 14 saves. The Chiefs even regained the lead at 18:12 as overage forward Cade Hayes notched his tenth of the season off a beautiful backhander after a centering feed from rookie Tommaso De Luca.

Spokane added on at 1:27 in the third as Berkly Catton found the twine for the 14th time this season – a power play goal of his own to pad the Chiefs’ lead to 3-1. De Luca and Raegan Wiles earned assists on the play.

The tide shifted into Portland’s favor in the second half of the period, though, when Ryan McCleary brought the Winterhawks within one at 14:31. Chaz Lucius added on five minutes later to send the game into overtime with just 17 seconds left in regulation.

After a few spectacular saves by Michaluk and a 3-on-0 Chiefs breakaway opportunity, Marek Alscher called game at 3:09 in the bonus period to capture the 4-3 Portland win.

Spokane went 1-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill. They were outshot by the Winterhawks 45-28. It was Michaluk’s third 40-plus save game this year.

Up next, the Chiefs will head home to host the Swift Current Broncos this Friday and the Red Deer Rebels on Saturday.

The Chiefs’ next home game is Friday, February 3 versus the Swift Current Broncos. It’s an Avista “Way to Save” poster series giveaway! Tickets for February 3 and all regular season games are available online at

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.

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