With all the goals Drayson Bowman has scored in his four-year Western Hockey League career in Spokane, you’d have thought No. 100 would have somehow been more special for the Chiefs than just another log on the fire.
Bowman’s 100th came Friday night at the Rose Garden in Portland and was the exclamation point on the Chiefs’ five-goal third period that produced a 7-1 rout of the Winter Hawks.
Bowman, working hard behind the net, freed the puck and flipped it off the back of the leg pads of Portland goalie Kurtis Mucha. With Mucha’s head on a swivel, the puck trickled into the net at 16:09 and 5,588 fans headed to the exits.
Spokane’s fourth straight win, coming on the first stop of four road games, left the Chiefs (26-15-0-3) nine points behind Tri-City in the U.S. Division with a visit to the Americans on tap tonight. Tri-City beat Kamloops 6-3 on Friday.
Spokane came out of the first period with a 2-0 lead as Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Roman collected pucks that bounced off the boards and fired them past Mucha.
But the Chiefs spent much of the second 20 minutes killing penalties, twice skating at a 5-3 disadvantage. On the second, Portland’s Travis Ehrhardt floated a shot from the right point past Spokane goalie Dustin Tokarski with 12 seconds left in the period.
That seemed to kick-start Spokane. The Chiefs responded with the most goals they’ve scored in a period this season, started by Mitch Wahl’s 18th of the season 51 seconds into the third, and capped by Bowman’s career milestone.
In between, Johnson got his second of the night, and 12th of the season, on a power play; Kenton Miller converted a feed from Roman for his third goal of the season and second against the Winter Hawks; and Ryan Letts scored for the second time in two games against Portland. Half of Letts’ eight goals this season have come against the Winter Hawks.
The first-period goal was Roman’s first since rejoining the Chiefs.
Meanwhile, solid play by Tokarski and defenseman Trevor Glass led a defense that frustrated the Winter Hawks.
Zack Majkowski and Layne Stopanski scored to lead the host Beaver Valley Nitehawks (20-16-4-4) to a 2-1 win over the Spokane Braves (18-22-2-0) in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League play at Fruitvale, British Columbia. Chase Wharton scored for the Braves.