Spokane continued its month-long resurgence in the Western Hockey League on Saturday night.
As he has throughout November, goalie James Reid figured prominently in the Chiefs’ victory.
Reid stonewalled Regina’s potent offense and posted 22 saves in a 4-0 blanking of the Pats in a WHL interconference matchup at the Arena before 7,217 fans.
Reid has been the common denominator in the Chiefs’ 10 victories in November. He is 10-0-1 with three shutouts this month – the one blemish was an overtime loss at Everett on Wednesday – and has propelled Spokane (16-9-2) into fourth place in the Western Conference standings.
Reid already has played 21 games – three more than he did a year ago – and he’s parlayed the added playing time into newfound recognition as one of the WHL’s premier goaltenders.
“On Nov. 1, I got a shut- out at Portland, so I got off to a good start this month,” said Reid, who leads the WHL in save percentage (92.9) and is second among all goaltenders with 14 victories in 20 games started. “Since then I’ve had a lot of confidence. It’s all about positioning. I try to stay big in the net, and on rebounds just try to put them in the corners.”
“We knew he’d be good,” Spokane coach Hardy Sauter said of Reid’s ascension to the No. 1 goaltender slot with the Chiefs. “It’s a matter of finding the right mindset of playing night in and night out. He’s found that mindset.”
Regina (15-13-3) entered the game second in the 22-team WHL with 116 goals scored, and the Pats began the game outshooting Spokane 8-1 in the first 10 minutes. Reid squelched every Regina threat, however, and Spokane eventually began to assert control in front of him.
Tyler Johnson registered his 15th goal of the season with 9 minutes remaining in the first period to give the Chiefs a 1-0 lead. Levko Koper collected a Johnson pass and quickly returned the puck to the Spokane native, who fired a backhanded shot to Dawson Guhle’s stick side for the game’s opening goal.
Kenton Miller got loose on a breakaway after a Regina turnover at center ice and ripped a shot past Guhle for a 2-0 lead just 2 minutes into the second period. The unassisted goal was Miller’s fourth.
Steve Kuhn and Ryan Letts scored 34 seconds apart in the third period to put the game away for Spokane. Jared Cowen and Kyle Beach assisted on Kuhn’s goal, and Letts scored his first goal of the year when he deposited the puck into Regina’s empty net.
•KIJHL: Joel Stewart scored twice to lead the Spokane Braves (19-10-0-2) to a 3-1 win over Grand Forks (3-23-0-1) at Eagles Ice-A-Rena. Stewart scored once in the second period before breaking a 1-1 tie in the third on an assist from Dylan Tappe.