Spokane Chiefs coach Adam Maglio has worked with his team this season to play a certain way when holding a lead.
Maglio’s Chiefs got the opportunity to do so Friday night after getting out to a three-goal advantage in the first period. They held steady to beat the visiting Portland Winterhawks 4-1 at the Arena.
The Chiefs got goals from four players and 10 Chiefs had points. Spokane goaltender Mason Beaupit stopped 39 shots. The Chiefs were outshot 40-17 and only got two shots on net in both the second and third periods.
But the Chiefs defended well and were able to stifle any Portland threat. Beaupit’s steadiness in net was a huge reason for the victory.
There was a lot to like in the win for Spokane, and Maglio pointed to Spokane scoring all four goals at even strength.
“It was great scoring 5-on-5. We were able to get a bit of confidence in our 5-on-5 play because we’ve needed it,” he said. “And then I thought our goalie was outstanding tonight. A lot of our young ‘D’ stepped up and it was a collective effort.”
Graham Sward got Spokane on the board at 7:46 of the first period after the Chiefs kept possession and got good zone time, something indicative of Maglio’s comments on his team’s 5-on-5 play. Sward was fresh off the bench and took a pass from defenseman Brayden Crampton before sniping one past Portland goaltender Dante Giannuzzi.
Carter Streek scored his fourth of the season at 11:12 of the first period, about 15 seconds after a Portland penalty expired.
Again, Spokane held possession in the Winterhawks’ zone to give itself a scoring chance.
Luke Toporowski scored his 11th of the season almost 2 minutes later with a slapshot past Giannuzzi.
Portland’s lone goal came on a 2-on-1 at 14:19 of the first period when Robbie Fromm-Delorme got one past Beaupit.
After taking a 3-1 lead into the first intermission, the Winterhawks started to wake up while Spokane held on and withstood an onslaught of Portland shots.
The Winterhawks outshot Spokane 15-2 in the second period and 12-2 in the third, but Beaupit never wavered and Spokane impressed with its play in its zone. Beaupit credited his teammates in front of him for making things relatively easy.
“They were doing a really good job of letting me see the puck and boxing out guys,” he said. “If I did let out a rebound, they helped me out a lot. Can’t say enough good things about them.”
Newly acquired Chase Bertholet scored an empty-net goal with 31 seconds left to ice the game.
Bertholet and James Form were playing their first game in Spokane after being acquired last week from the Winnipeg Ice in exchange for Jack Finley.
“They’ve both been positives contributors to the team,” Maglio said. “(Bertholet) brings a good element of speed and is a heads-up player. Form is a big body up the middle and pretty good on draws and a responsible player. They fit in well so far.”
The Chiefs took just one penalty – a roughing call on Sward – and were able to kill it off.
Portland killed both of its penalties, including a second period 4-minute double minor on Dawson Pasternak for slew footing.
The teams are back on the Arena ice Saturday night.
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