SPOKANE, Wash. — The Chiefs couldn’t hold on to a late lead Thursday night as the visiting Portland Winterhawks posted three third period goals on their way to a 4-3 comeback victory in game four of the first round of the 2018 WHL playoffs. Spokane trails 3-1 in the best-of-seven series with game five scheduled for Saturday night in Portland.
Hudson Elynuik became the first Chiefs player to pick up his second goal of the playoffs, capitalizing on a power play opportunity at 9:01 of the first period when he came up with a rebound from a Ty Smith shot and put it home. Spokane struck again at 10:28 when Eli Zummack deflected a point shot from Tyson Helgesen past goaltender Cole Kehler to put the Chiefs up 2-0.
Alex Overhardt answered for the Winterhawks at 17:39 to send the Chiefs into the first intermission ahead 2-1.
After a scoreless third period, Portland tied things up at 2-2 just 2:30 into the third when Skyler McKenzie deflected a shot past Spokane netminder Dawson Weatherill.
Jaret Anderson-Dolan reclaimed the lead for Spokane at the 9:50 mark of the third, backhanding his second goal of the postseason in to put Spokane up 3-2.
Spokane held that lead until 13:38, when Joachim Blichfeld scored his first goal of the night directly off a faceoff won by Overhardt. Blichfeld won the ensuing faceoff at center ice and spun ahead to beat the Chiefs’ defense and score on a breakaway, just seven seconds after his first goal.
Portland withstood a flurry from Spokane late to take a commanding 3-1 lead into the weekend.
Kehler saved 25 of 28 shots on the night while Weatherill turned aside 20 of 24 for Spokane. The Chiefs finished 2-for-4 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill.
The Chiefs travel back to Portland for a Saturday night contest. Spokane will need a victory to force game six of the series, which would come Monday, April 2 in Spokane.
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