VANCOUVER, B.C. – Special teams provided the difference in a matchup of the two hottest teams in the Western Hockey League’s Western Conference on Friday night.
The Vancouver Giants scored three power-play goals to defeat the visiting Spokane Chiefs 5-4. The Giants extended their winning run to six consecutive games while snapping Spokane’s four-game streak.
Luc Smith scored twice, giving him 25 this season, for the Chiefs (30-18-2-4, 66 points) and Eli Zummack had a goal and two assists. Teammate Riley Woods added a late goal.
Spokane took an early lead on Smith’s power-play goal at 3:13 of the first period.
But the advantage lasted 15 seconds, as Vancouver’s Kaleb Bulych scored at 3:28.
The Giants took the lead exactly 10 minutes later on Justin Sourdif’s man-advantage tally. Vancouver added two more power-play goals in the second period to extend the margin to 4-1. The Giants went 3 for 4 with the extra man and held Spokane’s league-leading power play to one goal in seven chances.
Smith made it 4-2 at 3:47 of the third and Zummack got the Chiefs within a goal at 11:51.
Vancouver’s Jadon Joseph scored the clincher at 15:46, making it 5-3. Woods tallied at 18:50 of the third.
Spokane goaltender Reece Klassen made 26 saves and the Giants’ Trent Miner stopped 20 shots.
The Giants (38-13-2-1 79 points), who lead the B.C. Division and have clinched a playoff berth, got a goal and an assist each from Jared Dmytriw, Milos Roman and Joseph.
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