Chiefs win playoff opener
PORTLAND – Kyle Beach and the Spokane Chiefs gutted one out.
Beach scored the winning goal with 1 minute, 28 seconds remaining as the Spokane Chiefs defeated the Portland Winterhawks 5-4 in the teams’ Western Hockey League playoff series opener Saturday night at the Rose Garden.
Beach, coming back from a knee injury, buried a shot from the high slot to cap off a game which saw Spokane come back twice from two-goal deficits. The goal was Beach’s second of the night.
The Chiefs entered the third period trailing 4-2, but goals by Stefan Ulmer and Tyler Johnson in the first 6:25 changed that and tied the game at 4.
First it was Ulmer, who gave the Chiefs life when he kept the puck in the Portland zone on a power play. He blasted a shot from the high slot to make it 4-3 on an unassisted goal at the 4:37 mark.
Johnson tied the game less than 2 minutes later with a wrap-around goal he sneaked low past Portland goalie Mac Carruth, who appeared to have things covered at the right post.
That set the stage for Beach’s winner and capped Spokane’s three-goal third period as the Chiefs took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 series.