Chiefs fall at home to Portland

Chief’s goalie nominated for CHL Goalie of the Week
Chief's goalie nominated for CHL Goalie of the Week

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Chiefs fell victim to special teams struggles Friday night as they lost to the visiting Portland Winterhawks, 5-3.

Portland struck first as Swiss forward Simon Knak busted through the neutral zone to get a partial breakaway, beating Czech goalie Lukas Parik to make it 1-0 just over four minutes into regulation.

The Chiefs equalized at 14:40 of the opening frame as Eli Zummack corralled a rebound for his 17th goal of the year, with assists to Erik Atchison and Noah King.

Spokane took the lead at 13:03 of the middle frame when team captain Ty Smith joined the rush to rip home his sixth of the season. Minnesota Wild prospect Adam Beckman earned an assist on the play, extending his point streak to 15 games.

Portland’s Tyson Kozak tied the game at two apiece with 3:07 remaining in the second before Knak struck again barely a minute into the third to give the Winterhawks a 3-2 lead.

The Winterhawks made it 4-2 at 4:13 of the third when Lane Gilliss potted his 11th goal of the year — third against Spokane — on the power play, with assists to Jaydon Dureau and Jake Gricius.

Beckman cut the Portland lead in half with 3:06 remaining in regulation, squeaking his 32nd goal of the season — matching his team-best total from a year ago — past Winterhawks netminder and St. Louis Blues prospect Joel Hofer. Hofer appeared to be trying to play the puck but Beckman beat him to it.

Portland iced the game with an empty-netter late to reach the final tally.

Parik ended the night 32-of-36 in net for the Chiefs while Hofer was 39-of-42. Spokane couldn’t convert on seven power play chances while Portland went 1-for-3 with the man advantage.