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Sports >  Spokane Chiefs

Blazers dominant in shutout of Chiefs

UPDATED: Sat., Jan. 15, 2022

By Kevin Dudley For The Spokesman-Review

If you’re looking for a turning point in the Spokane Chiefs’ matchup with the Kamloops Blazers Saturday at the Arena, look no further than a 2:17 span in the second period.

That’s when the Blazers scored three goals and never looked back as they cruised to a dominating a 6-0 win over the Chiefs.

After a scoreless first period, the Blazers started the onslaught when Nick McCarry put home a rebound shortly after a Spokane power play had expired. Dylan Sydor redirected a shot past Spokane goaltender Mason Beaupit to make it 2-0, and 34 seconds later, Daylan Kuefler made it 3-0.

“We had a bad lapse there. I didn’t think we were very good tonight by any means but I thought that was definitely a momentum killer with three quick ones in the second,” head coach Adam Maglio said.

Maglio called timeout after Kamloops’ third goal.

“Just get going and get back to our kind of hockey,” Maglio said of his timeout message. “It was a bit of a regroup for Beaupit as well. I didn’t think any of those goals were on him but I just wanted to get him a bit of a break. We thought he was playing quite well. It’s a team game so we win and lose as a team.”

Kuefler added another goal at 18:16 of the second to pad the Blazers’ lead. Caedan Bankier and Logan Stankoven added goals in the third period. Bankier’s was shorthanded. Bankier was stopped earlier in the game on a penalty shot and a breakaway.

The Chiefs didn’t do themselves any favors by putting only 25 shots on net. The Blazers’ stingy defense didn’t allow Spokane many good looks. That stingy defense, Maglio said, starts with the Blazers’ offense.

“They keep you on your heels and they’re a fast hockey team,” he said. “They have a lot of skill up front and a lot of foot speed. They have defensemen who move the puck well and get it up to their forwards. They’re spending a lot of time playing offense and that’s a pretty good recipe for not giving up much defensively.”

The Chiefs were without defensemen Graham Sward and Saige Weinstein, who both left Friday’s loss with injuries. In their places were Ben Bonni and 15-year-old Will McIsaac.

McIsaac said he got the call to come to Spokane around 10 p.m. Friday night and caught a flight Saturday morning. He got to town around 2 p.m. and quickly got up to speed with what he needed to do to get ready.

“I was nervous before the game but I felt comfortable as the game went on,” McIsaac said. “The boys helped me out and it was awesome.”

McIsaac pointed to the pace of the game as the real eye opener. McIsaac’s play impressed his head coach.

“I thought he was great tonight. I really liked his game,” Maglio said. “I was really pleased with what I saw. He has a real bright future.”

McIsaac played on the third defensive pairing and took his first career penalty— an interference call in the second period.

The Chiefs head to Seattle next Friday for the first of three games in three nights against the Thunderbirds, Tri-City Americans, and Portland Winterhawks.

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