Chiefs rally in third period, but fall to Thunderbirds 5-3

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Kent, Wash. – The Spokane Chiefs dropped Tuesday night’s game to the Seattle Thunderbirds by the same score they lost to them in their first match-up: 5-3. The Chiefs have gone 2-2 so far on their first road trip of the season, with one game in Tri-City remaining.

The Thunderbirds got off to a hot start when veteran forward Sam Popowich scored within the first five minutes of play. Gig Harbor native Mekai Sanders followed that up at 11:31 with a goal off of a penalty shot after Logan Cunningham was penalized for slashing.

Things continued to go Seattle’s way in the second period when Italian right wing Alessandro Segafredo found the back of the net at 11:11, but the Chiefs answered quickly as rookie forward Michael Cicek and Copeland Fricker connected with Grady Lane to make it 3-1. The goal marked Lane’s first of the 2021-22 campaign.

Spokane kept the Thunderbirds at bay for the rest of the second period, but a Seattle power play at 18:59 carried over to the final frame and Henrik Rybinski capitalized just 47 seconds into the third.

The Chiefs responded at 2:42 when Erik Atchison snuck the puck into the net off a rebound (assist, Luke Toporowski), making it 4-2 Seattle. Later, center Blake Swetlikoff made it a one-goal game when he fired a shot in from the slot (assist, Copeland Fricker and Jack Finley).

Despite the battle, Gabe Ludwig called game when he scored with less than three minutes left in play, locking in the 5-3 Thunderbird victory.

Up next, the Chiefs will travel back to Kennewick to face the Tri-City Americans on Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. to wrap up their five-game road trip.

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 Friday, October 29 versus Seattle. It’s Garage Sale Night as the team is cleaning out the storage rooms to make room for new promotional items. Bid on old signage, promotional giveaways, souvenirs and more! Tickets for October 29 and all regular season games are available online at

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