The Spokane Chiefs and Everett Silvertips play nine times this season, and if Sunday’s game was any indication, the season series could be a good one.
The teams traded periods of possession and impressive goals, but it was a 4-minute stretch to start the third period that decided Everett’s 4-3 win at the Arena. The Silvertips, entering the final period down a goal, scored twice in 2:14 to turn the tables, taking a lead they wouldn’t give up.
Bryce Kindopp scored twice for Everett, including the game-winner, and added an assist. Michal Gut had three assists. The Chiefs saw eight skaters put up points.
Keegan Karki stopped 27 shots in the win. Campbell Arnold turned back 21 for Spokane.
“It’s one of those games. At times we had momentum and at times they had momentum,” Spokane head coach Manny Viveiros said. “A couple minutes there in the third period, we made some mental mistakes and they scored. Our kids worked hard and fought hard. That’s three games in two-and-a-half days almost, and at times we ran out of gas.”
The Chiefs, playing their third game in as many nights, came away with four points out of a possible six over the weekend. Not bad, especially against their U.S. Division foes.
The Chiefs lost 20-year-old Jake McGrew at the end of the first period after he was knocked out in a fight with Gianni Fairbrother. McGrew was motionless on the ice and needed help getting to the dressing room. His status is unknown.
McGrew left with the game tied at one after Kindopp opened the scoring at 5:15. Spokane’s Bear Hughes answered on the power play a little more than three minutes later. Hughes’ goal came on Spokane’s first shot of the game at the 8:36 mark.
The Chiefs came out flying in the second period, and forward Adam Beckman contributed that partially to the team seeing McGrew go down.
“He put himself on the line for us. We’re battling for him because we love Jake and hopefully he’ll be OK, but we worked hard for him,” Beckman said.
Beckman gave Spokane its first lead at 3:13 of the second period when he scored 7 seconds into a power play. Jacob Wright answered for Everett at 14:24 to tie the game.
But almost two minutes later, 16-year-old Brandon Reller got his first career goal and gave Spokane a 3-2 lead on a beautiful play with Erik Atchison and Ty Smith.
Fairbrother caught a skate edge and went down, allowing Reller to snatch the puck and race in two-on-one with Atchison. Reller found Smith trailing, who then slid a pass to Atchison, who sent a pass back to Reller for the one-timer.
“I love Reller’s energy when he’s out there, it was real good,” Viveiros said.
Brendan Lee spoiled Reller’s would-be game-winner when he scored for Everett just 1:39 into the third. Kindopp answered with his second of the night at 3:53. The Chiefs had a flurry of chances at the end with their net empty, but could not put one past Karki.
“We had a lull at the beginning of that period and that’s ultimately what cost us tonight,” Beckman said.
Graham Sward was another 16-year-old who saw his first action on home ice.
Sward played on the third defensive pairing and even got some power-play time.
“Sward looks like he’s a veteran,” Viveiros said. “It’s his second game this year, and he looks poised and didn’t look like he is 16 years old.”
The Chiefs will stay in Spokane this week and host the Prince George Cougars on Friday before the Victoria Royals visit on Saturday.
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