Kichton’s hot hand carries Chiefs past Blades
Three-goal first period sparks Spokane victory
SASKATOON, Saskatchewan – Brendon Kichton’s first two-goal game of his career gave the Spokane Chiefs a 2-0 lead in the first period, leading to a 3-2 victory over Saskatoon in Western Hockey League action Tuesday.
The two goals by Kichton handed the Chiefs a two-goal advantage in the first 7:08 of the first period and Jared Cowen added his second goal in as many games to give the Chiefs a 3-1 lead they would not relinquish against the Blades (11-5).
It was Spokane’s second consecutive win on its Eastern Conference road swing, bringing the Chiefs’ record to 7-7, which allowed them to reach the .500 mark for the first time this season.
“I think all 20 guys showed up to win the hockey game,” Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur said. “We got some early goals and went up quickly 3-1 in the first period. We won a lot of battles. Our penalty kill was outstanding. I’m real proud of the guys. We beat a good hockey team.”
Taking the 3-1 lead into the second period, Spokane allowed a goal by Josh Nicholls with 2:27 remaining as the Blades closed to within one.
But some timely defense preserved the lead late in the third, as the Chiefs denied a Saskatoon power play with less than 3 minutes left in the game.
The loss by the Blades was their first in eight home games.
James Reid collected 20 saves to earn the win for Spokane, which moved into a fourth-place tie with Everett in the U.S. Division. Reid made nine of his saves in the third period to preserve the one-goal advantage.
Saskatoon goalie Adam Morrison converted 26 saves on 29 shots, allowing all three of his goals in the first period.
The Chiefs play at the Prince Albert (Saskatchewan) Raiders tonight at 6.
Chiefs 3, Blades 2
First Period—1, Spokane, Kichton 2 (Uher, Johnson) 1:10. 2, Spokane, Kichton 3 (Kuhn) 7:08. 3, Saskatoon, Trask 1 (Zahn) 10:05. 4, Spokane, Cowen 3 (Valcourt, Bardaro) 19:22. Second Period—5, Saskatoon, Nicholls 7 (Dietz), 17:33. Third Period—None. Power-play Opp.—Spokane 0 of 3; Saskatoon 0 of 3. Saves—Spokane, Reid 7-4-9—20. Saskatoon, Morrison 7-14-5—26. A—5,121.