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Milos Fafrak nets hat trick as Chiefs throttle Thunderbirds 9-2

Spokane defenseman Tyson Helgesen (6) celebrates scoring the chiefs third goal of the night during the second period of a WHL hockey game, Sat. Dec. 9, 2017, in the Spokane Arena. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane defenseman Tyson Helgesen (6) celebrates scoring the chiefs third goal of the night during the second period of a WHL hockey game, Sat. Dec. 9, 2017, in the Spokane Arena. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

It rained teddy bears and goals Saturday night at the Arena, as the Spokane Chiefs opened the floodgates in the second and third periods to lay a 9-2 thrashing on the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds.

Milos Fafrak had a hat trick, and both Jaret Anderson-Dolan and Zach Fischer had two goals in the win.

It was the annual Teddy Bear Toss Night, where fans throw teddy bears on the ice after the first Spokane goal. The yearly tradition makes players, personnel and fans anxious as they await that first goal.

Everybody could relax, though, after Anderson-Dolan set 6,829 teddy bears free when he put a loose puck past Seattle goaltender Dorrin Luding at 14:37 of the first period to tie the game at one.

The T-Birds took a 1-0 lead when Jarret Tyszka scored on the power play at 13:44.

Anderson-Dolan’s goal helped the Chiefs set a new record for teddy bears tossed.

“You want to get that goal pretty quick,” Anderson-Dolan said. “I’ve heard stories where teams don’t score on the teddy bear toss night. I don’t think guys were scared but we were super excited for tonight.”

The largest crowd of the season—10,059—witnessed the dominating win.

The Chiefs broke the dam in the second period. Tied 1-1, Jake McGrew got things started when he redirected a Filip Kral pass in front of the net. Just 20 seconds later, Tyson Helgesen took a drop-pass from Anderson-Dolan to give the Chiefs a 3-1 lead.

The barrage of goals was a nice change from the Chiefs’ 3-0 loss Friday night in Everett. The Chiefs outshot the Silvertips 39-20 and couldn’t take advantage of six power plays.

“We had a lot of opportunities (Friday) night and we didn’t capitalize. Tonight we did,” Lambert said.

Fischer made one of the prettiest plays of the year when he dangled the puck around a T-Bird defenseman and sniped a shot past Luding at 14:01 of the second period. Fischer’s goal ended Luding’s night and Matt Berlin played in net the rest of the way.

Berlin’s night didn’t start well, though, as Milos Fafrak sent the first shot he faced into the net to extend Spokane’s lead to 5-1.

Fafrak would score two more times in the third period, with his final two tallies coming just 14 seconds apart.

“It’s great to see him get rewarded,” Lambert said. “He’s been playing much better over the last few weeks. Tonight he shot the puck and good things happened. Him and his linemates were really effective.”

Fafrak said he just played a simple game and the goals came naturally.

“I was just playing hard,” the rookie from Martin, Slovakia said. “We dumped pucks and drove to the net and hoped some goals would be there.”

Anderson-Dolan scored his second of the night in the third period shorthanded when he picked the puck from Tyszka and put it past Berlin.

Fischer sent his second goal into a wide open net off a nice feed from Riley Woods at 9:08 of the third period.

The Chiefs outshot the T-Birds 40-19—the ninth-straight game they’ve outshot their opponent. The Chiefs have won six of those nine games.

Despite the lopsided score, the Chiefs were 0-for-7 on the power play and gave up two power play goals. They did, however, manage a shorthanded goal.

All but three skaters had at least one point on the night for Spokane.


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