At least the Spokane Chiefs are finding interesting ways to lose.
The Chiefs (3-5-1-1) suffered a broken Zamboni Wednesday night that delayed the third period. The Chiefs then lost the lead, survived overtime but lost 4-3 in a shootout to the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings (7-1-0-2).
To start the game, the Wheat Kings came out flying with crisp passing and a coordinated attack. But the Chiefs played spirited defense to at least slow the Brandon offense.
Despite the effort, the Wheat Kings had nearly three times as many shots on goal (11-4) in the first period.
They also got on the board first when Brandon’s Nolan Patrick came skating across the face of goalie Tyson Verhelst and squirted the puck over Verhelst’s right shoulder to make it 1-0 Wheat Kings. Assists were awarded to Colton Waltz and Braylon Shmyr.
The Chiefs have struggled to defend on power plays, but they survived two Brandon opportunities unscathed.
The Chiefs tied the game when Kailer Yamamoto smashed it home at the 11:47 mark of the first period. Assists were given to Curtis Miske, whose sharp pass set up the goal, and Markson Bechtold.
Things really heated up in the second period. Despite getting outshot 22-12 and surviving a third power play, the Chiefs had several close misses.
That all changed when Jaret Anderson-Dolan broke away on a power play and slammed it home at the 11:57 mark to make it 2-1 Chiefs. Assists were awarded to Kailer Yamamoto and Nik Anderson.
Just a few minutes later, Keanu Yamamoto made a beautiful pass to Riley Whittingham, whose shot was true to make it 3-1 Chiefs at the 18:51 mark.
Seconds after it looked like the Chiefs had created some breathing room, the Wheat Kings’ John Quenneville broke free and smashed it past Verhelst to make it 3-2 just before the end of the second period.
The third period was delayed by a defective Zamboni and it got worse for the Chiefs at the 11:41 mark when Ivan Provorov deflected the puck past Verhelst to tie the game at 3.
In the waning minutes, Bechtold had a shot go off the right post to win it. But instead, it went to overtime.
In the extra period, Anderson-Dolan and Whittingham both had excellent shots that were saved by the Wheat Kings’ Jordan Papirny. Despite several good opportunities for both teams, overtime ended with the same tie.
The game then went to a shootout, in which Kailer Yamamoto, Miske and Jason Fram all failed to score.
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