PORTLAND – Mitch Wahl scored two goals in regulation and also connected in the shootout, and Kyle Beach recorded the decisive goal in the shootout as the Spokane Chiefs beat the Portland Winterhawks 5-4 on Sunday night at the Rose Garden.
With their fourth straight victory, the Chiefs moved to one point back of Portland for second place in the WHL’s U.S. Division.
After playing to a 1-1 tie through two periods, the Chiefs and Winterhawks combined for six goals in the third period. Mitch Holmberg’s marker with 4 minutes, 49 seconds left in the third period tied the score at 4 and forced overtime. Jared Spurgeon assisted on Holmberg’s tying goal, his third helper of the night.
“We showed great battle to the end of the game without feeling sorry for ourselves,” Chiefs coach Hardy Sauter said. “Kenton Miller and Mitch Holmberg scored big goals for us there in the third period.”
Wahl opened the scoring at 14:17 of the first period, netting a power-play goal on assists from Spurgeon and Beach.
The Winterhawks evened the score at 5:44 of the second period, when Portland’s Chris Francis got the puck past Spokane netminder James Reid.
The game remained deadlocked at 1 until the third-period fireworks began at 7:59. Wahl netted his second of the night, this one also on the power play and assisted by Spurgeon and Beach.
Portland responded just 30 seconds later, with Francis scoring his second goal of the night to make it 2-2.
Miller then scored at 10:38 on assists from Blake Gal and Brett Bartman. Less than two minutes later, though, Francis completed his hat trick and evened the score again at 3-3, and Brad Ross scored 39 seconds later to give the Winterhawks their first lead of the night.
Wahl and Beach connected in the shootout to give the Chiefs a 2-1 advantage and the victory. It was the first overtime win for Spokane in three tries, and the first overtime loss for Portland in five chances.
Reid made 19 saves for the victory.
Chiefs 5, Winterhawks 4 (SO)
Spokane won shootout 2-1
First Period—1, Spokane, Wahl 10 (Spurgeon, Beach), 14:17 (pp). Second Period—2, Portland, Francis 13 (Walker, Rattie), 5:44. T hird Period—3, Spokane, Wahl 11 (Spurgeon, Beach), 7:29 (pp). 4, Portland, Francis 14 (Walker, Rattie), 7:59. 5, Spokane, Miller 5 (Gal, Bartman), 10:38. 6, Portland, Francis 15 (Rutkowski, Rattie), 12:28. 7, Portland, Ross 15 (Niederreiter, Aronson), 13:07. 8, Spokane, Holmberg 2 (Spurgeon, Johnson), 15:11.
Shootout—Spokane 2 (Spurgeon NG, Wahl G, Beach G), Portland 1 (Berglund NG, Francis G, Niederreiter NG).
Power-play Opp.—Spokane 2 of 6; Portland 0 of 3. Saves—Spokane, Reid 6-8-3-2—19. Curtis 11-7-10-3—31.
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