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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Chiefs hang on to hold off Vancouver’s late charge

Spokane gave up two goals late in the third period Wednesday night, but the Chiefs held on for a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Giants to extend their winning streak to four.

The Giants (5-15-2-2) almost turned Spokane’s win into an epic fail. With the Chiefs (13-8-2-1) leading 3-0 in the third period, Vancouver’s Radovan Bondra smashed it past Spokane’s Lasse Petersen with 3 minutes, 37 seconds to play.

Some 46 seconds later, Chase Lang did the same thing for Vancouver to make it 3-2. But the Chiefs played just enough defense in the closing moments to earn their ninth win in the last 11 games.

“That’s getting to be a theme,” Chiefs head coach Don Nachbaur said. “We are dodging bullets. I’m not going to complain about a win, but our guys know we have to be better.”

The late goals weren’t enough to keep the Giants for losing their fifth consecutive game and 10th of their last 11.

Despite their record, the Giants started the game sharper. But the Chiefs took the lead only 4 minutes into the game when a shot deflected off of Vancouver goalie Ryan Kubic and Ethan McIndoe hammered it home for his first career goal.

McIndoe pumped his gloved fist in the air as he led the customary scoring parade to his bench after scoring the power-play goal.

“He’s really been playing well,” Nachbaur said of McIndoe. “I’m really happy to where he has progressed to.”

Assists were awarded on the play to Jason Fram and Kailer Yamamoto, giving him 31 points (eight goals) on the season to lead the team.

The Giants, who played physical and kept the Chiefs tied up on the boards, had several opportunities to score in the first period, including when they had a 3-on-1 in front of the Spokane net. But Petersen held tough.

“They played harder than we did,” Nachbaur said. “The model we set tonight is not the model we want to play after.”

Things got strange in the second period during a power-play opportunity for Vancouver. Adam Helewka broke free and headed for the Giants’ net. His shot looked like it squirted in, the crowd roared, the staff turned on the celebration lights, but play continued.

Several seconds later, referees stopped play and then did a video review. They awarded Helewka the short-handed goal at the 8:21 mark of the second period to make it 2-0 Chiefs.

Keanu Yamamoto was awarded an assist on the play, which gave Helewka the team lead with 10 goals on the season.

Late in the second, the Giants put on the offensive pressure, but Petersen denied shot after shot and had 21 saves before the start of the third period.

The Chiefs then got some brotherly love in the third period when Kailer Yamamoto sent a sharp pass to Keanu, who lifted it past Kubic to give the Chiefs a 3-0 lead at the 9:33 mark. Jaret Anderson-Dolan was also awarded an assist on the play.

The Chiefs looked like they were cruising to the easy win until the late goals quickly put the game in doubt.

“Too many guys weren’t playing right style of hockey,” Nachbaur said. “We did not have enough effort.”

The Chiefs play Friday at Tri-City before returning home to play the same Americans on Saturday.

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