VANCOUVER, B.C. – Adam Helewka’s career-best four-goal game Friday night allowed the Spokane Chiefs to return to form.
Helewka notched a hat trick in the third period alone to double his season number for goals as the Chiefs shook off a 12-day downturn with a 6-4 Western Hockey League win over the Vancouver Giants at Pacific Coliseum. Helewka’s previous best was two goals at Kamloops on Wednesday.
Helewka also assisted on the winning score, Mike Aviani’s 15th goal of the season on a second-period power play for a 2-1 advantage.
WHL scoring leader Mitch Holmberg (42 points), who has accounted for points in every Chiefs game this season, had four assists. Holmberg leads the league with 18 goals and is tied for first in assists with 24.
The Chiefs (12-5-0-0, 24 points) had dropped three of their last four games, including a 5-4 setback at Kamloops, the last-place team in the Western Conference. Spokane tied Seattle for the second-best record in the conference, three points behind Portland, which has won 10 straight and plays at the Arena tonight.
The Chiefs finished 3 for 6 on power plays but allowed the Giants (6-10-1-1) to register a 2-for-4 night with the man advantage. Both teams had two power-play goals during the 3-all third period.
Chiefs goalie Eric Williams stopped 23 of 27 shots to improve to 10-3. Williams leads the WHL with his goals-against average of 2.13.
Spokane outshot Vancouver 35-27, including 17-6 in the first period.
The Chiefs improved to 7-3 on the road and 8-4 against conference opponents. Spokane is 3-1 at Vancouver in the last four years.