Early power play goals sink undermanned Chiefs

Early power play goals sink undermanned Chiefs

The Spokane Chiefs gave up two early power play goals to the visiting Portland Winterhawks and couldn’t climb back, losing 2-1 at Spokane Arena on Wednesday night. Keanu Yamamoto scored the only goal for the Chiefs, who were without top scorer Kailer Yamamoto and only dressed 17 skaters for the game.

Portland came out of the gates buzzing, scoring power play goals at the 3:31 and 6:38 marks of the first period to take an early 2-0 lead.

NHL Draft prospect Cody Glass made it 1-0 with his 14th of the season on a strangely deflected shot that changed speeds and fooled Spokane goaltender Jayden Sittler to the left post. Ryan Hughes followed that with his 11th goal for what would become the game-winner, as he tapped in a perfect centering feed to beat Sittler’s outstretched pad.

The injury-plagued Chiefs – who fielded only 10 forwards and seven defenseman – settled in following the Winterhawks’ second goal, thanks in large part to a standout effort from Sittler. The overage netminder finished the game with 38 saves on 40 shots faced, including 14 in the third period to keep Spokane in the game.

With Sittler pulled late in the third, Keanu Yamamoto fired a slapshot from the right corner under the pads of Winterhawks goalie Cole Kehler for his ninth goal of the season. The score, assisted by Jaret Anderson-Dolan and Tyson Helgesen, extended Yamamoto’s point streak to six games.

Portland held strong as the Chiefs battled to the end, holding the game at 2-1 in favor of the visitors and sending Spokane to their second loss in a row.

The Winterhawks outshot Spokane 40-35. Spokane went 0-for-2 on the power play and 1-for-3 on the penalty kill.

The Chiefs remain home on Friday for their 10th home contest in 11 games before hitting the road on Saturday to take on the Tri-City Americans. They’ll finish with 4-of-7 on the road before the mid-season holiday break.