SPOKANE, Wash. - Liam Stewart scored a short-handed goal with less than two minutes remaining in the third to help turn the tide for good as Spokane defeated Edmonton 6-4 in front of 10,125 fans at the Spokane Arena Friday night. Mike Aviani scored a pair of goals and Brenden Kichton chipped in three assists as the Chiefs improved to 20-10-0-0 at home and 35-24-2-0 overall.
The Chiefs struck early in the first with Aviani stealing an errant pass and then streaking down the ice for a breakaway short-handed goal at 3:21 on an assist from Dylan Walchuk. Aviani's score proved to be the period's only goal as Garret Hughson turned away nine shots for Spokane and Laurent Brossoit stopped 10 for Edmonton.
Walchuk gave the Chiefs a 2-0 lead with a goal at the 4:25 mark of the second on assists from Todd Fiddler and Reid Gow. Edmonton answered with their first score of the night at 7:13 as Cole Benson flicked a rebound past Hughson.
Spokane regained the momentum on the power play at 11:04 with Aviani deflecting a pass into the back of the net on assists from Adam Helewka and Kichton to take a 3-1 lead. The Chiefs weren't done yet though, as Mitch Holmberg capped off a scintillating second period at 12:52, firing a shot past Brossoit with assists from Gow and Kichton.
Benson scored his second of the night for Edmonton at 3:53 in the third to cut Spokane's lead to 4-2. The Chiefs reclaimed a three goal advantage with a power play score from Fiddler at the 7:17 mark with assists from Hughson and Kichton.
Edmonton's Benson, who entered the night with just three goals, completed a hat trick at 8:20 to make the score 5-3. Keegan Lowe followed with a power play goal for the Oil Kings at 10:13 to turn what looked like a runaway into a tense game at 5-4. That's when Stewart went to work, stealing the puck away from Edmonton on the power play and beating Tristan Jarry to provide the game's final margin.
Hughson finished 33 of 37 on save opportunities while Brossoit was 14 of 18 and Jarry was 9 of 11. Spokane went 3 for 5 on the power play and 5 of 6 on the penalty kill.
Tonight's three stars: Mike Aviani (1st), Cole Benson (2nd), and Brenden Kichton (3rd).
The Chiefs are home again tomorrow as they host the Kamloops Blazers at 7:05 PM for Breast Cancer Awareness Night presented by Mike's Hard Pink Lemonade.