The list of things that went wrong for the Spokane Chiefs Saturday against the Everett Silvertips is long.
Take your pick: a lack of scoring chances, sloppy play, too much time spent in their zone, three power-play goals against and an overall lackluster performance that culminated in a 6-2 loss.
“We were undisciplined and took silly penalties,” Chiefs coach Dan Lambert said. “At the start of the game, we had a good game at 5-on-5. As soon as we got some penalty trouble, things went sideways for us.”
The Chiefs began to fall apart in the span of 3 minutes, 25 seconds in the first period.
First, it was Connor Dewar scoring a power-play goal at 12:36. Then, Jackson Berezowski made it 2-0 after putting a shot past Bailey Brkin on the rush. Sean Richards then scored a power-play goal at 16:01, which forced Lambert to pull Brkin and put in Dawson Weatherill in relief. Brkin allowed three goals on seven shots.
“I wanted to try and shake things up a little bit and see if we were going to get a spark,” Lambert said. “It didn’t work.”
After surrendering three goals and taking three penalties in the first period, the Chiefs’ second period didn’t go any better. Dawson Butt scored at 7:35, and Martin Fasko-Rudas had a nice redirection goal a little more than 4 minutes later.
The Chiefs finally got on the board when Cordel Larson poked the puck past Everett goaltender Dustin Wolf a little more than a minute into the third period on the power play. It was Larson’s first career goal.
Gianni Fairbrother scored Everett’s third power-play goal after his shot from the point hit off a Spokane defenseman and past Weatherill.
Carter Chorney scored Spokane’s other goal at 18:32.
The Chiefs took seven penalties and Everett made them pay three times. Spending that much time deploying penalty killers disrupted the flow and jumbled the lines a bit.
“Their power play is really good,” defenseman Ty Smith said of the Silvertips. “They score goals and it’s tough to handle those on the PK. With a team that has a good power play you have to limit their opportunities and stay disciplined. We didn’t do that.”
The Chiefs also showed some new line combinations and elevated Jeff Faith to the top line. Faith had previously spent time on both the third and fourth lines this season. With Jaret Anderson-Dolan still out with an upper-body injury and Jack Finley away at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge, Lambert tried to balance out his lines.
“I thought Jeff did a good job and we wanted to bring some physicality to the line and I thought he did that,” Lambert said. “We’re short bodies right now, so we have to try and put people in chairs that they can succeed.”
Faith had a number of big hits, making his presence on the top line well known throughout the arena.
The Chiefs don’t have too much time to dwell on the loss. The Portland Winterhawks come to town Sunday night for a 5:05 game between U.S. Division rivals.
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