Chiefs Win Again, Force Game Seven

Chiefs Win Again, Force Game Seven

The Spokane Chiefs forced a decisive seventh game in their first round WHL Playoff series with a 5-2 win over the Portland Winterhawks on Monday night at Spokane Arena. The Game 6 win evened the series at 3-3 heading into Game 7 at Portland on Tuesday night.

Spokane jumped out to a lead at 16:29 of the first when forward Eli Zummack forced a turnover in the Chiefs’ attack zone and fired it across the zone to Jake McGrew, who one-timed his second goal of the series past Winterhawks goaltender Cole Kehler to put Spokane on top, 1-0. Just 14 seconds later, Zummack added on with a goal of his own, deflecting a Tyson Helgesen shot attempt to put the Chiefs up 2-0 heading into the first intermission.

The Chiefs’ lead was cut in half 3:42 into the second period when rookie Mason Mannek got the Winterhawks on the board with a power play goal, his third goal of the series.

Nearly four minutes later, it appeared that Chiefs’ defenseman Filip Kral had regained the two-goal lead with a shot from between the circles, but it was waved off due to incidental contact with the goaltender. Ty Smith made up for the disallowed goal and made it 3-1 before the next whistle, at 7:52, becoming the 12th Chief to score a goal in the series.

Ethan McIndoe made it 4-1 for Spokane with his second goal of the series at 13:50 of the second, tapping in an easy score off a perfect backdoor feed from Jaret Anderson-Dolan on the power play. Spokane carried the three-goal lead into the second intermission.

Chicago Blackhawks prospect Henri Jokiharju notched Portland’s second goal of the game at 4:09 of the third, sniping a perfect shot to the top-left corner to beat Spokane’s Dawson Weatherill.

Spokane would not budge after that as Luke Toporowski added an insurance goal at 16:39, trailing Hudson Elynuik for a drop pass and sliding the puck between Kehler’s pads to extend the Chiefs’ lead to 5-2.

Weatherill finished the with 31 saves to Kehler’s 22. Spokane went 1-for-5 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.