Chiefs drop to fifth place in conference
KAMLOOPS, British Columbia – Kale Kessy’s career-high night, with two goals and three assists, helped the Kamloops Blazers continue their home dominance Friday with a 7-4 Western Hockey League win over the Spokane Chiefs.
Colin Smith recorded four assists and his 35th goal for the Blazers, who improved to 20-4-1-1 at home and 34-15-2-3 (73 points) overall. Smith is tied with Spokane’s Todd Fiddler for second place in league goals, one behind Portland’s Nicolas Petan.
The Blazers’ Tim Bozon added two goals and two assists.
Kamloops’ victory denied the Chiefs their 1,000th win in franchise history. The Chiefs (30-19-2-0, 62 points) also dropped to fifth place in Western Conference rankings when Tri-City (30-19-1-2, 63) won in a shootout.
Mitch Holmberg had his third career hat trick for Spokane, which lost for the seventh time in 10 games. Holmberg reached the 30-goal mark. His first goal, on a power play, makes the Chiefs 2 for 33 with an extra man in their last seven games.
Mike Aviani assisted on all three Holmberg goals. Blake Gal added one goal and one assist.
The Chiefs lost defenseman Jason Fram to a left ankle injury in the second period.
The Blazers lead the season series 2-1. The teams’ last meeting of the regular season will be Feb. 23 in Spokane.