EVERETT – The Spokane Chiefs have made beating the top teams in the Western Hockey League look easy in January.
They’ve struggled against the teams stuck in the basement.
That changed – at least on Wednesday night – as Steve Kuhn scored two goals and added an assist as the Chiefs battled their way to a much-needed 4-2 win over the last-place Everett Silvertips (10-30-1-8).
Mac Engel improved to 22-12-1-2, making 19 saves between the pipes for Spokane.
Todd Fiddler scored a power-play goal 8 minutes, 6 seconds into the first period to tie the game 1-1.
Chiefs captain Darren Kramer scored the winner – his 16th goal of the season – tipping in Davis Vandane’s shot from the right circle to give Spokane (26-14-3-3) a 3-2 lead midway through the third period.
Kuhn, who scored his first goal on a Chiefs power play in the second period to give Spokane a 2-1 lead, added an empty-net goal with 1 second remaining in the game.
Ryan Murray and Josh Birkholz scored for Everett in the first and third period, respectively.
Spokane – which went 2 for 7 on the power play and killed both penalties it took – is now one point behind the Vancouver Giants for fourth place in the Western Conference standings.