SPOKANE, Wash. — Behind impressive performances from rookies Adam Beckman and Bear Hughes, the Spokane Chiefs cruised to a 10-1 win over the Tri-City Americans in front of a sold out crowd at Spokane Arena on Saturday night. The win wrapped up the Chiefs’ regular season schedule at a record of 40-21-3-3, pushing them into second place in the U.S. Division.
Post Falls, Idaho native Bear Hughes, playing his second career WHL game with the Chiefs, sent the capacity crowd of 10,373 to their feet just 1:55 into the game, chipping his first career goal over Tri-City goalie Talyn Boyko to make it 1-0.
Goals from Tri-City’s Nolan Yaremko as well as Spokane’s Nolan Reid and Ethan McIndoe pushed the score to 3-1 headed into the first intermission.
Beckman potted his first of the night and 30th of the season 2:18 into the second period, sparking a wild stretch during which the Chiefs scored five goals in 4:42 of play.
Overage forward Luc Smith punched in a power play score at 3:51, Beckman put in his second at 5:29, Hughes got another at 6:01 and Cordel Larson capped the flurry at 7:00. Suddenly the Chiefs found themselves up 8-1 before the media timeout of the middle frame.
San Jose Sharks prospect Jake McGrew, who picked up a hat trick at Tri-City on Friday night, scored his 31st of the season at 17:02 of the period to make it 9-1 into the second intermission.
Beckman capped his capped his hat trick with a beautiful backhand flip at 12:00 of the third – the only goal of the final 20 minutes – to take over as the Chiefs’ top goal-scorer for the season. He is the first rookie to lead Spokane in goals scored since Daniel Bohac in 1998-99 (26).
Bailey Brkin started in goal for Spokane and finished with 19 saves on 20 shots faced. Boyko turned aside 37 of 47 shots faced. Spokane finished 3-for-3 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill.
The Chiefs now sit at second place in the U.S. Division with 87 points. Portland trails by one point with one game remaining (vs. Seattle on Sunday).
Spokane announced their 2018-19 team award winners in a pre-game ceremony.
The Chiefs will face the Portland Winterhawks in the first round of the 2019 WHL Playoffs. The game schedule is yet to be determined. Single game tickets will go on sale on Monday morning at 9 a.m. via the Chiefs’ Ticket Office and online via TicketsWest outlets.