Spokane got hat tricks from Hudson Elynuik and Jaret Anderson-Dolan on Friday night as the Chiefs destroyed the visiting Vancouver Giants 10-1 at the Arena.
Elynuik banked his first WHL hat trick on a night when the Chiefs’ were missing leading scorer Kailer Yamamoto and key forwards Markson Bechtold and Tanner Wishnowski.
His big moment came with 7:18 to play. Defending a Vancouver power play, Elynuik stole the puck and raced free before faking the goalie to open the net. Hats rained down as teammates mobbed him.
“I’ve been dreaming about it and thinking about it for a long time,” Elynuik said. “And for it finally to happen feels awesome.”
Before the tame, the team called up 16-year-old Eli Zummack, who got in on the scoring as well, and earned player-of the game honors from the team, coach Don Nachbaur said.
“That was a team effort. When you are missing key guys from your lineup, they have to buckle down and they did,” he said. Zummack “came in at a tough time and has given us big minutes.”
While Elynuik and Anderson-Dolan led the scoring parades on the ice, Keanu Yamamoto quietly racked up six assists on the night. As a team, the Chiefs (10-8-4-1, 25 points) poured in five power-play goals and killed three penalties while limiting the Giants (10-16-0-0, 20 points) to 23 shots on goal.
“I liked how we competed. We earned it,” Nachbaur said. “We had some special moments on the back end.”
The game started slowly as both teams failed to get much established.
After Vancouver’s Matt Barberis picked up a double minor, the Chiefs got down to business. Keanu Yamamoto fired a shot that bounced off Giants’ goalie David Tendeck. The rebound went right to Elynuik, who fired it home to give Spokane a 1-0 lead.
The lead didn’t last long. At the 7:42 mark of the first period, Chiefs’ goalie Jayden Sittler lost track of the puck that bounced to a wide open Ty Ronning. He made quick work of it to tie the game at 1-1.
A few minutes later, the Chiefs’ Hayden Ostir fired a shot that looked like it bounced off the back of a Giants player and into the net to give Spokane the lead for good.
It only took about 90 seconds for the Chiefs to get their third power-play goal of the game when Taylor Ross backhanded the puck off the leg of a Giants’ player and into the net to give Spokane a 3-1 lead.
The offensive barrage continued at the 2:52 mark of the period when Curtis Miske raced toward the net and raked the puck past the goalie from long range.
Spokane poured some salt in the wound with 7:59 remaining in the second period when the Chiefs’ Jaret Anderson-Dolan attacked the net and fired the puck into the far corner of the net to make it 5-1. He skated his way past three defenders to score his next goal five minutes into the final period.
Elynuik scored again and Zummack scored his first WHL goal with 11:26 remaining to make it 8-1. Elynuik’s hat trick made it 9-1 and then it was Anderson-Dolan’s turn.
He again skated himself free before getting the shot to go with 3:57 to play. The only problem was most of the fans had already tossed their hats for Elynuik.
“I saw one hat,” said Anderson-Dolan, who scored a hat trick last season. “Ely and I were on a little slump. It was nice to get the monkey off our backs.”
The Chiefs return to the Spokane Arena Saturday night to face the Edmonton Oil Kings.
“We have to put this game behind us,” Elynuik said, “and be even better.”
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