Chiefs lose battle for first place to Portland

Spokane, WA - Portland scored four goals in the first period and cruised the rest of the way as they dropped the Chiefs 9-1 in front of 7,855 fans Saturday night at the Spokane Arena. Brenden Kichton scored the Chiefs lone goal as Spokane fell to 10-2-0-0 at home and 14-7-0-0 overall.

The Winterhawks raced out to a 4-1 lead despite being outshot by Spokane 16-12 in the first period. Portland got on the board at 5:01 with a Brendan Leipsic goal. It took the Hawks only 19 more seconds to double their advantage as Oliver Bjorkstrand went top shelf for the score at 5:20.

Kichton cut into the Hawks lead at the 10:47 mark, scooping up a rebound in front of the net and sending a backhanded shot past Mac Carruth with assists from Mitch Holmberg and Dylan Walchuk. Portland quickly regained the momentum though as Taylor Peters caught a pass in front of the net and flicked it in at 11:37. The Winterhawks capped off the opening period with a rebound score from Keegan Iverson at the 15:36 mark.

Portland continued the scoring in the second period as Joe Mahon tallied at the 3:29 mark. It came against Garret Hughson, who replaced starter Eric Williams after 20-minutes.  The Winterhawks scored again on the power play at 12:33 on a goal from Chase De Leo and once more at 14:22 as Taylor Leier beat Hughes, ending the second with a 7-1 lead.

Portland got its eighth goal of the night at 8:31 with Seth Jones firing a slap shot past Hughson. The Winterhawks' final score of the night came at 13:10 as Bjorkstrand slipped one in for his second goal of the game.

Williams finished with 8 saves on 12 opportunities while Hughson was 19 of 24 and Portland's Carruth was 43 of 44. Spokane finished 4 for 5 on the penalty kill and 0 for 7 on the power play.

Tonight's three stars were: Bjorkstrand (1st), Iverson (2nd), and Peters (3rd).

The Chiefs travel to Seattle on Saturday, November 17th for a game against the Thunderbirds before returning to Spokane on Wednesday, November 21 for a 7:05 PM matchup with the Everett Silvertips.