In three previous games against the Prince George Cougars, the Spokane Chiefs dominated play but had only one win to show for it.
On Saturday night, the Chiefs used a big second period to get the monkey off their back in a dominating 6-0 win to end a two-game losing streak.
Campbell Arnold got his first career shutout for Spokane, stopping all 27 pucks sent his way. Prince George was without Spokane nemesis Taylor Gauthier in net due to an injury. Jacob Herman stopped 32 of 38 shots in the loss.
The Chiefs got goals from five players, including three goals from defensemen. Filip Kral had two goals and an assist, while Eli Zummack had a goal and two assists.
“When you spread out your scoring, especially if your ‘D’ can get some goals, that definitely makes a difference,” Chiefs head coach Manny Viveiros said. “We wanted to get back to playing a structured game and we did for the most part. We have to carry that over (today) against a very structured hockey team.”
The Chiefs shuffled their forward line a little, moving Jack Finley to the top line with Adam Beckman and Cordel Larson and moving Zummack to the wing on the second line with Bear Hughes and Luke Toporowski.
It paid off, and Viveiros said more movement is likely to take place throughout the season.
Prince George challenged Arnold throughout the game, despite his team’s large lead. Getting his first career shutout was a great feeling for the young goaltender.
“It’s kind of hard to put into words right now. I couldn’t have done it without the guys in front of me,” he said. “I want to make that clear, every win is a team effort, and I’m just thankful for the guys in front of me.”
Arnold’s first career shutout came in his ninth straight start, a heavy load for a 17-year-old.
“It has been challenging, but this league is challenging,” Arnold said. “Every player needs to accept their role and I’ll do whatever it takes to win. I love playing games and that’s why I’m here.”
Arnold got the start ahead of Lukas Parik, who returned from injury.
The Chiefs scored five goals in the middle frame, including three in the final 1 minute, 38 seconds.
After Kral had the lone goal in the first period – a pretty tally off a tic-tac-toe play with Beckman and Finley – Zummack started the goal deluge when he whacked a loose puck past Herman at 3:07.
Kral scored his second of the game off a nice snipe at 7:44, and then the floodgates opened.
Matt Leduc went first, making a nice play to keep the puck in at the blue line before converting a give-and-go to make it 4-0. Just 37 seconds later, Bear Hughes tapped in a pretty cross-ice pass from Zummack to make it 5-0.
Brandon Reller finished the quick trifecta when he deflected a Noah King shot from the point past Herman.
The teams were scoreless in the third.
The Chiefs hit the ice again Sunday as they welcome the Everett Silvertips.
McGrew added to long-term injured list
Jake McGrew has been added to the team’s long-term injured list and taken off the active roster. McGrew was injured on Oct. 6 after a fight against Gianni Fairbrother of the Everett Silvertips.
McGrew had successful knee surgery in San Jose, California, last week and will begin the rehabilitation process in Spokane. His return this season is still to be determined.
The Chiefs are down to two 20-year-olds on the active roster and can go out and acquire a third. The league allows teams to carry up to three 20-year-olds.
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