Sometimes defeating a team by three goals can lead to complacency.
That’s what Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur suspects following the Chiefs’ 3-2 shootout loss to the Kootenay Ice on Saturday night at the Arena.
“We had a dominating performance last night and the other team was motivated,” said Nachbaur, whose Chiefs thumped Kootenay 4-1 on the Ice’s home ice on Friday. “I forewarned the guys we had to go to work … and I thought we were sloppy. We had four shots in the first period and I thought that was indicative of our mindset.”
Spokane fell in a shootout that went scoreless entering the ninth round. Kootenay center Reed Morrison sent one past Jayden Sitler to end it.
The Chiefs outshot the Ice 10-1 in overtime but failed to convert any of their scoring chances into goals.
Despite eventually tying the game, Spokane couldn’t shake off its slow start. The Ice jumped out to a one-goal lead on Matt Alfaro’s shorthanded goal on a 2-on-1 rush. The Chiefs’ Tyson Helgesen fumbled the puck at the Ice’s blue line, leading to the scoring chance.
Spokane’s Kailer Yamamoto tied the game at 1 with 1:45 remaining in the second period, but the Ice quickly responded. Alfaro scored his second game of the night with 18 seconds remaining in the second period. Kootenay scored each of its first two goals in the final 30 seconds of the first and second periods, respectively.
“It’s a momentum builder for the other team,” Nachbaur said of giving up goals leading up the first and second intermissions. “(It) sucks the life out of you.”
Spokane’s Jaret Anderson-Dolan found the back of the net on a rebound goal while lying on his stomach to tie the game at 2 with 12:03 left in regulation. That was the only time the Chiefs found the back of the net for the rest of the night, despite firing 47 shots on goal to the Ice’s 23.
The number of shots is deceiving, according to Nachbaur.
“Their goalie saw every shot,” he said of Kootenay goalie Jakob Walter, who made 45 saves. “I don’t think he had a hard save where he had to look around somebody.”
Anderson-Dolan said the Chiefs need to follow their plan closer to find more offensive success.
“It’s not just about shots. It’s about getting guys to the net, which we haven’t had in the last couple games,” he said. “We get a lot of pucks on net, but at the end of the day we might have Grade-A chances, but the goalies are seeing every shot. That’s why we are not scoring as many goals as we should right now.”
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