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Chiefs end trip with win

CHILLIWACK, British Columbia – The Spokane Chiefs are finally headed home.

Tyler Johnson and Kyle Beach each tallied a goal and an assist and the Chiefs (28-18-3-1) closed out an eight-game road trip with a comfortable 4-1 victory over the Chilliwack Bruins (23-24-1-5) in Western Hockey League action Wednesday night at the Prospera Centre.

The Chiefs finished the trip with a 4-3-0-1 record and earned nine of a possible 16 points.

Spokane will open a four-game homestand Friday night against the Seattle Thunderbirds.

The Chiefs used the power play to get things started against the Bruins. With a man advantage, Johnson banged in his 21st goal of the season at 13:40 in the first period to give the Chiefs a 1-0 lead. Stefan Ulmer and Beach were credited with assists on the score.

Spokane stretched its lead to 2-0 when Jared Cowen notched his sixth goal of the season – a power-play blast – just 1:59 later. Johnson and Jared Spurgeon picked up assists.

Spokane added a pair of even-strength goals in the second period to extend its lead to 4-0.

Beach netted his 30th goal this season – tying him for fourth place in the league in that category – at the 5:48 mark on assists from Mitch Wahl and Levko Koper.

Wahl followed with his 23rd score exactly nine minutes later with assists from Koper and Ulmer.

Chilliwack scored its only goal of the night against Spokane goalie James Reid just 33 seconds into the third period. Alexander Wiklund ended the Bruins’ drought with his seventh tally of the season.

“I thought it was a great job after last night’s result (an 8-1 loss to Kamloops),” Chiefs coach Hardy Sauter said. “I loved the heart we played with. Lots of guys stepped up tonight to contribute in an all-around effort.”

Reid stopped 15 of 16 shots on goal on the night. All 15 saves came in the first period, when Spokane outshot Chilliwack 17-15.

The Bruins managed just one shot on goal over the final two periods.

The Chiefs finished with a 28-16 shots advantage.

Spokane finished 2 of 8 on the power play, while Chilliwack was 0 of 5 with a man advantage.

After hosting Seattle on Friday night, the Chiefs will entertain Kootenay (Saturday), Everett (Wednesday) and Kamloops (Feb. 5) to close out the homestand.

Spokane sits in fourth place in the U.S. Division with 60 points.

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