Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
And it took a big dose of luck for the Spokane Chiefs to make 5,936 fans happy with a 4-2 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds at the Arena Friday night.
Calvin Pickard, Seattle’s fine young goalie, mishandled the puck behind his net and Steve Kuhn pounced on it to feed Dominic Uher for the game winner with 3:33 to play.
“End of the game, tight game like that, both teams going hard, you never know. Mistakes are made,” Kuhn said after Uher, a 17-year old rookie from Czechloslovakia, scored his first Western Hockey League goal.
“It was just good to see how happy Dom was when he scored that goal. It feels good for the team. I was playing with Dom all game mainly. He worked really hard and he really deserved that goal.”
Uher was playing in just his 11th game of the season.
“He was excited. Good for him,” Chiefs coach Hardy Sauter said. “He has worked extremely hard in the weight room and in practice and I’m glad that getting an opportunity he was able to not only get a goal but get the game winner.”
It was the opposite for Pickard.
“I do feel bad for him,” Sauter added. “He played real solid all night and it’s too bad a fumbled puck has to lead to the game winning goal. At the same time, we generated a lot of good chances early and we probably did deserve to score four.”
It took an empty net goal by Kyle Beach, his second goal of the game and 21st of the season, at 19:46 to make four.
Before that it was a bit of a struggle.
It took the Chiefs (17-8-2, 36 points, third in the U.S. Division) more than five minutes to get their first shot of the game but the Thunderbirds (10-17-4, 24 points) only had their first shot at after more than four minutes elapsed. The Chiefs then had a flurry of shots, highlighted by Jared Spurgeon’s first goal at 9:33.