CHILLIWACK, B.C. – The Spokane Chiefs are in the driver’s seat of their Western Hockey League first-round series after posting a 5-0 victory over the Chilliwack Bruins on Saturday night.
The Chiefs grabbed a 2-0 lead with the next three games in the best-of-7 series on their home ice.
Spokane broke open a scoreless game with three third-period goals.
Kenton Miller put the Chiefs up 1-0 with a goal at the 2:32 mark and Dominik Uher stretched the lead to 2-0 with a power-play goal just 4:16 later. Blake Gal capped Spokane’s second-period scoring with a tally at the 15:22 mark.
Steven Kuhn found the net first for the Chiefs in the third period, scoring at 8:27 to make it 4-0. Darren Kramer capped the scoring for Spokane with his third goal in two playoff games, this one coming with 1:16 remaining in the contest. Kramer has scored 10 goals this season with five coming in his last five games.
Nine different Chiefs garnered assists on the night – Anthony Bardaro, Corbin Baldwin, Brenden Kichton, Jared Cowen, Kuhn, Davis Vandane, Matt Marantz, Mike Aviani and Collin Valcourt.
Spokane goaltender James Reid was untouchable in net, stopping all 26 shots on goal to notch his first career playoff shutout.
Chilliwack goalie Lucas Gore stopped 42 of 47 shots.
The next three games in the series – Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday (if necessary) – are at the Arena. Spokane, despite being the higher seed, had to start on the road because the Arena played host to the NCAA women’sbasketball tournament over the weekend.