Spokane, Wash. — The Spokane Chiefs scored twice in the first period and held strong defensively down the stretch, earning their first home win of the 2021-22 regular season, 2-1 over the Kelowna Rockets on Wednesday night.
Playing a B.C. Division team for the first time since March of 2020 due to COVID border restrictions, the Chiefs got on the board just over seven minutes into the first as Post Falls, Idaho native Bear Hughes sped past the Rocket defense to score on a breakaway. Belarusian defenseman Timafey Kovgoreniya earned the lone assist on the play.
Spokane extended the lead to two early in the second when veteran forward Cordel Larson found the twine on a power play chance, capitalizing on a perfect crossing pass from Hughes.
The Rockets responded late in the second as Pavel Novak scored on a shot that deflected off a defender in front to beat goaltender Mason Beaupit and make it a 2-1 game.
It would be the only goal Beaupit would allow as he turned aside all six shots faced in the third to secure the Chiefs’ first victory on home ice this season.
Spokane outshot Kelowna 26-24 on the night, going 1-for-4 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill. They hit the road on Friday to face the same Kelowna Rockets before returning to Spokane Arena on Saturday to host the Vancouver Giants.
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’ next home game is Saturday, November 27 versus Vancouver. It’s 90’s Night and Toys For Tots Toy Drive as fans are encouraged to wear 90’s gear and bring new, unwrapped toy to donate for a family in need. Tickets for November 27 and all regular season games are available online at spokanechiefs.com/tickets.