The Spokane Chiefs won their second straight game at a Central Division opponent as Mitch Wahl scored a hat trick in a 6-4 win at Lethbridge.
Dale Woodward of the Lethbridge Herald provided a story below.
hosted the Spokane Chiefs during Western Hockey League play Friday night
at the Enmax Centre.
But getting rung up for three second period goals left the 3,761 fans in
attendance feeling blue and while the hosts had a red-hot finish in the
third period it wasn’t enough as the Chiefs hit the road with a 5-3 win.
“It was typical,” said Hurricanes head coach Rich Preston, whose team will
be back in their pink jerseys tonight when they host the Calgary Hitmen as
part of their Pink In The Rink fundraiser for the
Canadian Cancer Society. “You talk about it and you talk about it. It’s
our first home game in a long time and we were playing so well on the
road. You try to get through to the guys that they have to play the same
way and we don’t have the kind of team that’s going to open up and score a
lot of goals.”
The Chiefs got on the board first after a Hurricanes giveaway and Mitch Wahl was the beneficiary, tucking a behind-the-net feed
from Dominik Uher past Hurricanes netminder Linden Rowat for a 1-0 lead
with 3:20 left in the first.
But the Hurricanes tied it up 43 seconds later when Mitch Maxwell stuffed
a rebound off a point shot from Reid Jackson past Spokane netminder James
Reid. It was Maxwell’s 18th goal of the season, a making the Magrath
product the first ‘Canes rookie to score 18 goals in his rookie year since
Zach Boychuk did in 2005-2006.
But in the second period the the Chiefs took over and threatened to beat
the pink ‘Canes black and blue.
The Chiefs retook the lead when Steve Kuhn’s close-in shot just squeaked
past Rowat and in for a 2-1 lead early in the second as the Chiefs took a
17-8 lead in the shots on goal.
The Chiefs found themselves shorthanded, but instead went up 3-1 as Wahl
scored his second of the night on a breakaway midway through the second.
A bizarre bounce handed the Chiefs a 4-1 lead with 3:54 left in the second
when a point shot off the boards behind the ‘Canes net rolled right into
the Lethbridge crease. A goalmouth battle ensued before Brady Brassart was
able to tap the loose puck home for a three-goal lead after 40 minutes.
“In the first two periods it was just the errors,” said Preston. “It was
little errors on our part, bad passes and turnovers. It was ugly to watch.
But hey, give our guys credit. They made a good push in the third.”
That push started when Maxwell drained his second of the night 7:15 into
the third to make it 4-2.
The goal gave the hosts some life they weren’t showing in the second as
the Hurricanes turned up the pressure.
It paid off and they moved within one as Reid Jackson teed up a blast off
the point that beat Reid high and glove side, clanging in off the post to
make it 4-3 9:06 into the third.
The Hurricanes pulled Rowat in the final, but it was Wahl that completed
his hat trick bid, knocking down a clearing attempt and wristing a shot
into the yawning cage to make it 6-4 and send the fans in attendance
heading for the exits.
“Its tough, when you’re down two goals that’s one thing,” said Preston.
“But when you’re down three goals it’s tough. But the guys showed what
they’re made of in third and made it interesting. “
The Hurricanes are back at the Enmax tonight at 7 p.m. as the Hitmen pay a
“We have to play three solid periods,” said Preston. “The third period is
all about scoring goals and we scored a couple of goals. We just have to
manage the puck a lot better and make better plays. It was almost like we
had stage fright in the first two periods.”