SPOKANE, Wash. – The Spokane Chiefs struck early and often on Friday night, never trailing in a dominant 9-3 victory over the second-place Portland Winterhawks. Carolina Hurricanes prospect Hudson Elynuik lead the way with two goals and an assist, pushing his season point total to 55, and Spokane native Luke Gallagher notched his first career WHL goal.
Ethan McIndoe found a Ty Smith rebound shot attempt in a netfront scrum and put it home at 5:55 of the first period to open the scoring floodgates. Team captain Tyson Helgesen and Los Angeles Kings prospects Jaret Anderson-Dolan each added a goal of their own before the period wrapped up as Spokane went into the first intermission up 3-0.
Portland scored their first goal of the night to make it 3-1 but the Chiefs responded in kind as Calgary Flames prospect Zach Fischer completed a highlight reel goal for his 18th of the season to re-extend the lead to three goals.
After Portland’s second of the night, Chiefs forwards Jake McGrew and Elynuik each got in on the action to close out the second period with a 6-2 lead.
At the 53-second mark of the third period, Elynuik picked up what will likely be the strangest goal of his career. With a delayed penalty against the Chiefs, Portland’s goalie Cole Kehler left the ice for the extra attacker. Vegas Golden Knights prospect Cody Glass picked up the puck in the Chiefs’ zone and attempted a pass back to the point that went wide, ricocheting off the boards near the red line and all the way down the ice, into the vacant Portland net to make it 7-2 Spokane.
After goals by Portland’s Skyler McKenzie and Spokane’s Anderson-Dolan, team captain Tyson Helgesen found rookie Luke Gallager with a perfect cross-ice pass to the right circle. From there, the local product snapped the puck top shelf for his first career Western Hockey League goal.
The Chiefs outshot the Winterhawks 50-19 on the evening, including 23-5 in the first period. The Chiefs were 3-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
The Chiefs hit the road for a three game road trip before returning home Friday, January 12 when they take on the Prince George Cougars. It will be Washington’s Lottery Night when contestants will get the chance to shoot for various gifts and prizes on the Arena ice.
Tickets for next Friday and all Chiefs home games are available in-person at the Chiefs’ Ticket Office, over the phone at 509-535-PUCK and online at spokanechiefs.com.