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Sports >  Spokane Chiefs

Chiefs drop another lopsided game to Thunderbirds

UPDATED: Fri., Jan. 28, 2022

By Kevin Dudley For The Spokesman-Review

Different night, similar outcome.

The Spokane Chiefs, fresh off an 8-2 drubbing at the hands of the Seattle Thunderbirds on Tuesday, came up on the wrong side of a lopsided score to the same Thunderbirds. This time it was a 7-0 home decision.

The Chiefs gave up four power-play goals on five penalty kills and couldn’t capitalize on any of their five power-play opportunities.

Jared Davidson had a career night, scoring four goals in the win for Seattle. The Chiefs made it easy on Seattle goaltender Scott Ratzlaff, who needed to make only 19 saves in the shutout. Spokane goaltender Manny Panghli stopped 22 of Seattle’s 29 shots on net.

Despite the lopsided score, Spokane head coach Adam Maglio said he saw more positives compared to Tuesday’s decision. Still, the positives didn’t make much of a dent in a Seattle team that was short one forward and one defenseman.

“The ebbs and flows of the game, it did feel a little different,” he said. “Last time in Seattle the zone time was very in favor of them and tonight we were a little bit better with evening that out.”

Maglio is leading a team with a new look. This was Spokane’s first home game since trading mainstays Luke Toporowski and Cordel Larson at the trade deadline.

“We have a young team and an inexperienced team. At the end of the day, you can’t dwell on things like this tonight, but you have to learn from mistakes,” he said.

Conner Roulette scored at 9:37 of the first period when he was left alone to Panghli’s left and easily potted a pass from Lukas Svejkovsky to make it 1-0.

Davidson scored his first of the game at the 18-minute mark of the first to make it 2-0 when he took advantage of two Chiefs tied up behind the play to score on the rush.

Henrik Rybinski scored on a breakaway to make it 3-0 3:53 into the second period. Spokane’s Graham Sward pinched in the neutral zone, allowing Rybinski to get free.

Davidson’s second came on the power play at 5:57 of the second. He completed his hat trick with another power-play goal at 7:06 of the third period. Davidson still wasn’t done and scored on a 5-on-3 power play at 14:44 of the period.

The Chiefs’ only notable scoring opportunity came when newly acquired Nick McCarry was stopped on a shorthanded breakaway in the second period. Other than that, scoring chances were hard to find against a big Seattle defense.

“They’re D do a good job shutting it down,” Maglio said. “They’re big and they’re heavy. I know they’re missing some key D as well but the guys they have in do a good job of taking away time and space. You have to earn your scoring chances and it’s not an easy game.”

The Chiefs dressed 15-year-old Nathan Mayes for his first career WHL game. Mayes, Spokane’s third round pick in the 2021 prospects draft, played on the third defensive pairing.

“I thought he had some poise with the puck. I’m excited for him to get in his first game,” Maglio said. “He’s a young player and I was happy with his game. He’s got a very high ceiling and I think he’ll be a very good player in this league.

The Chiefs are back at the Arena tonight to welcome the Tri-City Americans. Spokane is four points behind Tri-City in the U.S. Division and gunning for the last playoff spot.

“Tomorrow’s a really important game, so we need to regroup and get back at it,” Maglio said.

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