Spokane, Wash. — The Spokane Chiefs couldn’t keep up with the conference-leading Seattle Thunderbirds Friday night, losing at home 7-2.
The Thunderbirds struck first with back-to-back goals in the opening period — first from Kyle Crnkovic and then from Jared Davidson to go up 2-0.
The Chiefs went on a power play later in the period and Chase Bertholet slid a cross-ice pass to Berkly Catton at the left circle, who fed it to Raegan Wiles at the blue line. Wiles pushed it back to Bertholet who fired a one-timer to the back of the net to get Spokane on the board at 15:19.
But Seattle was quick to respond, as Gracyn Sawchyn padded their lead to 3-1 at 16:20 to cap the first period scoring.
The Thunderbirds again opened the scoring in the middle frame as Nolan Allan notched his seventh of the year at 7:26 to put Seattle up 4-1.
With just under five minutes left in the period, defenseman Saige Weinstein beat a Thunderbird to the puck along the boards and got it to a waiting Catton, who connected with Bertholet in the slot. Bertholet chipped in a backhanded snipe top shelf to put the Chiefs within two — his 22nd goal of the season.
Berty with the backhand SNIPE 🎯
That makes it 4-2 at 14:51 with an apple for Catton!#GoChiefsGo pic.twitter.com/uPhGPUe8iV
— Spokane Chiefs (@spokanechiefs) January 28, 2023
But that’s as close as the Chiefs would get, as the Thunderbirds went on to score three unanswered goals throughout the rest of the game: Davidson at 15:59 in the second, Lucas Ciona just six seconds into the third and Ashton McNelly at 2:26 — his first of the season.
Spokane went 1-for-6 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill. They were outshot 36-27. Cooper Michaluk played all 60 minutes in net, turning away 29 shots.
Up next, the Chiefs hit the road to play the rival Tri-City Americans Saturday at 6:00 p.m. and the Portland Winterhawks Sunday at 5:00 p.m.
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 spokanechiefs.com/tickets.
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.