It’s hard enough when you’re up against a hot goalie. For the Spokane Chiefs, it was a warm goalie, as in Beck Warm, the 20-year-old goaltender for the Tri-City Americans.
The Chiefs put 38 shots on Warm and he stopped each and every one. Despite outshooting the Americans 38-23, the Chiefs dropped a 3-0 decision in the team’s home opener Saturday night in front of 8,122 fans.
On the other side of the ice Chiefs goaltender Lukas Parik stopped 20 of 23 shots.
The Chiefs carried the play for most of the first period and in spurts the rest of the game. They didn’t help themselves by taking four penalties and allowing four Tri-City power play goals. The Chiefs were shut out on all four of their power play opportunities.
Head coach Manny Viveiros was pleased with his team’s overall body of work, but he’d like to see the team break through a little more and take advantage of some scoring opportunities.
“We had some decent chances tonight but I thought a lot of our chances were from the perimeter,” Viveiros said. “If you’re going to play anybody in this league you’re going to have to go to the dirty areas, where it’s not fun sometimes. We have to play a little bit harder and get to the net more.”
After a scoreless first period, Dom Schmiemann got Tri-City on the board with a power play goal at 6:41 of the second. Eli Zummack was in the box for Spokane after taking a high-sticking penalty.
Samuel Huo scored just eight seconds into a late second-power play, extending Tri-City’s lead to 2-0 at 18:40. Jake McGrew had a brief stay in the box for delay of game.
Paycen Bjorklund scored at 3:10 of the third period on a deflected shot.
The Chiefs had two power-play opportunities in the third period but came up empty both times, squandering two chances to get back in the game.
Parik was making his second start of the season. The 18-year-old is playing his first season in North America and is expected to be the team’s top choice in net. So far, his switch to the Western Hockey League has gone well.
“There’s always an adjustment with angles and such, but I thought so far he’s adjusted well,” Viveiros said. “He’s been outstanding for us.”
Despite the loss, Viveiros had positive things to say, but especially about his fourth line, which is made up entirely of rookies: 16-year-olds Owen MacNeil and Blake Swetlikoff, and 17-year-old Reed Jacobson.
“I thought they were our best line tonight… they didn’t cheat the game,” he said. “They played the game the right way, got in position and took care of the puck in the D-zone and put some good players for Tri-City under pressure. That’s the mindset the rest of this team has to have going forward. We’re going to get there, we just have to keep going forward.”
The Chiefs are back at the Arena on Oct. 4 to welcome the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Chiefs release import defenseman Matvei Startsev: The Chiefs announced early Saturday that the team has released Russian defenseman Matvei Startsev, the team’s second pick of this summer’s CHL Import Draft.
Startsev appeared in the team’s overtime loss at Kelowna on Sept. 21. His release is the result of the team’s need to be down to two import players.
“With (Filip) Kral returning from Toronto’s camp and Lukas Parik as one of our two goalies, Matvei was the odd man out,” Chiefs General Manger Scott Carter said in a news release.
“We expect him to pursue other opportunities in North America and wish him the best with his next team.”
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