No doubt hockey fans know the Chiefs picked up a big road win on Friday against defending Western Hockey League champion Kelowna. However, for your added enjoyment is the story from my friend Doyle Potenteau of the Okanagan. It focuses on Kelowna native Kyle Beach. Keep reading for the story.
By Doyle Potenteau
The Okanagan Saturday
The show came to Kelowna on Friday night. For the , it proved to be a frightful evening.
Beach had a three-point night for Spokane, with two goals and one assist,
as the Chiefs posted a 4-3 victory over the Rockets in WHL action on
Friday night. And only a good effort by Kelowna netminder Adam Brown kept
the game from being a blowout, as the Chiefs were methodical in their win,
which wasn’t as close as the one-goal difference.
“It was a good game,” said Beach, a product. “We made a couple of
mistakes — defensive zone, last minute of a period, shift after a goal,
that type of thing — but the guys played really well. Our power play is
clicking and if that keeps going, we’ll keep winning games.
“This win was huge for our team: We lost a couple of games (recently) we
thought we should have won, but we made mistakes late, and it cost us.
Personally, I was a little nervous (playing in front of the hometown
crowd), but the guys kept battling, never got down and we got the win.”
Tyler Johnson, with two goals, also scored for Spokane (6-5-1-0), which
snapped a two-game and went two-for-four with arguably the
best power-play unit that’s been inside Prospera Place this season. The
Chiefs’ top five was comprised of three players with world junior
experience (Johnson and Mitch Wahl, U.S.A.; and Stefan Ulmer, Austria)
plus two first-round picks in Beach (Chicago, 11th overall, 2008) and
6-foot-5 defenceman Jared Cowen (Ottawa, 9th overall, 2009).
After a scoreless first period, the Chiefs, opened the second frame with
two quick goals in the first two minutes. Johnson made it 3-0 at 9:12,
then Beach, with what stood up as the game winner, made it 4-1 at 17:40
with a power-play goal.
Tyson Barrie, with two goals, his third and fourth markers of the season,
and Mitchell Callahan replied for Kelowna (8-7-1-0), which fell to 6-3-1-0
on home ice this season. The game was a letdown for Kelowna, which, just
two days earlier, was coming off a big 4-1 win over the league-leading
“We came out flat in the first period and we’ve done that a few games
now,” said Barrie. “This game, we came out flat for the first two and that
killed us. We get in the box, we’re not moving our feet and then we take
penalties. They have a good power play . . . after a big win like that,
the last thing you want to do is come out and deflate yourself, which is
what we did.
“It’s a tough game; you want to play them tough, but we didn’t have it in
the first two (periods). It’s frustrating; we have to learn as a team that
(coming out flat) is not acceptable.”
Brown made 31 saves for the Rockets, while Michael Tadjdeh turned aside 31
shots for the Chiefs.
ICE CHIPS: Kelowna’s scratches were G Mark Guggenberger (hernia, 4 weeks),
LW Evan Bloodoff (knee, 5 months), C/LW Cody Ito (ribs, indefinite), C Max
Adolph (ankle, 1-2 weeks) and D Kyle Verdino (ankle, knee, 2 weeks).
Spokane’s scratches were D Garrett Leedahl, RW Ryan Lettts (ankle,
indefinite), C T.C. Cratsenberg (suspension, 1 game), C Brady Brassart, D
Jared Spurgeon (shoulder, week to week) and C Dominik Uher.