Lukas Parik knows how to contribute to his own cause.
The first-year Spokane Chiefs netminder not only logged his first career shutout in Spokane’s 3-0 win over the Kamloops Blazers, but he also scored the first goal by a Spokane goaltender in Chiefs history. He became the ninth goalie in WHL history to score a goal, and the first to do it and record a shutout.
With a 2-0 lead and the Kamloops net empty for an extra skater late in the third period, Parik corralled the puck on his stick just outside the crease. In a split second, he made the decision to do what all goalies dream about.
“I was thinking about it with 2 minutes left,” Parik said. “We were up two goals and I knew if they were going to shoot it at me, I’ll try. It didn’t bounce to me, so I tried it. I was scared because (the shot) was kind of low and I was afraid they might catch it. They didn’t catch it and it was unbelievable.”
The goal came with 42 seconds left and gave Spokane its 10th win in a row. Parik got everything out of the goal as he could: He even left his net to do the traditional goal celebration train along the Spokane bench. He kept the puck, too.
The goal capped an outstanding game for Parik. Kamloops, which had won six consecutive games, was in Spokane’s end for much of the night and Parik stopped all 36 shots he faced, including 18 in the first period alone.
“He kept us in the game the first period,” Chiefs head coach Manny Viveiros said. “I wasn’t surprised. I thought we were going to be sluggish because of our long road trip. Sometimes it takes a while to get your legs and he kept us in it. After that we got going a bit.”
The Chiefs were returning home from a three-game road trip through Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton.
The Chiefs were thoroughly outplayed in the first period, but they did open the scoring just 12 seconds into the game when Cordel Larson put one past Blazers goaltender Dylan Garand. After that, though, it was all Kamloops, at least in puck possession and shots on net.
The Chiefs were able to clamp down on defense in their zone and Parik continued to come up big.
“I’m always trying to keep calm and keep my head,” Parik said. “The guys helped me in front. There was no seam to shoot from for them. I saw almost everything. It’s not my win, it’s our win.”
Leif Mattson scored his 23rd of the season at the 5-minute mark of the second period. He sent a floater from the point past Garand, who seemed to be distracted by Spokane’s Eli Zummack battling hard in front. It was Mattson’s seventh goal in his last nine games.
The Chiefs best period came in the third when they needed it most. Kamloops looked frustrated, yet the Blazers still kept the pressure on Spokane’s defense.
A Ty Smith holding penalty with 4:07 to play looked like it could open the door for a Kamloops comeback. It was Smith’s and Spokane’s third penalty of the game and also took one of the Chiefs’ main penalty killers off the ice.
But Spokane’s penalty kill unit slammed the door on the Blazers.
“Our PK was outstanding. It was a big difference in the game,” Viveiros said. “We took some penalties against a good team and normally a team like that will eventually make you pay but our guys did an outstanding job.”
Spokane’s 10 wins in a row are two games shy of tying a team record set during the 1995-96 season. The Chiefs haven’t lost at home since Jan. 17 against the Portland Winterhawks, who will be in Spokane on Friday as the Chiefs look to make it 11 in a row.
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