Tough 3rd Period Sinks Chiefs

Tough 3rd Period Sinks Chiefs

The Chiefs carried a 2-2 tie after two periods but lost momentum in the third, dropping a 5-2 contest to the division-rival Seattle Thunderbirds on Tuesday night at Spokane Arena. Forward Kailer Yamamoto extended his team-leading point streak to eight games in the loss.

The Thunderbirds opened the scoring with a slapshot from defenseman Brandon Schuldhaus that beat screened Spokane goaltender Dawson Weatherill at the 1:22 mark of the first period. Forward Alexander True earned the lone assist with his faceoff win, drawing the puck back to Schuldhaus at the left point. It was Schuldhaus’ first goal of the season.

Seattle extended their lead to 2-0 with a surprising goal from team captain Scott Eansor for his team-leading eighth of the season, just seconds after the Chiefs killed off a Thunderbirds penalty. Eansor drove the puck to the net from the left wing before chipping the puck over Weatherill’s shoulder on the near post. The goal, at the 14:32 mark of the period, was assisted by New York Islanders draft selection Mathew Barzal and rookie defenseman Reece Harsch.

Spokane bounced back with under three minutes remaining in the opening frame as leading scorer Kailer Yamamoto extended his point streak to eight games – and goal streak to four – with his 16th goal of the season. Curtis Miske fired a shot from the left circle that ricocheted off goaltender Rylan Toth’s left pad and into the slot, from which Yamamoto picked up the puck and took it around the goalie’s outstretched leg to get the Chiefs on the board. Czech forward Ondrej Najman also picked up an assist on the play; his sixth of the year.

Forward Hudson Elynuik found the net for the equalizer only 13 seconds into the second period, forcing a turnover at the Seattle blueline before snapping a shot low past Toth’s outstretched glove. The unassisted goal was Elynuik’s sixth score of the season.

Unfortunately for the Chiefs, the third period was all Thunderbirds as they scored three unanswered to run away with a 5-2 win. Ryan Gropp slipped a rebound under Weatherill at the 3:54 mark, True snapped a shot to the top-left corner for his sixth of the season at the 9:02 mark and Nolan Volcan slid in an empty-netter at the 19:05 mark.

The Chiefs finished the game 0-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. They outshot the Thunderbirds 33-32.

The regulation loss marks the first time the Chiefs have been held without a point in the standings since October 22 at Brandon.