It had been since Oct. 14 when the Spokane Chiefs felt the thrill of victory. In the past month, the Chiefs have often been on the wrong side of a lopsided game. Saturday at the Arena in front of 6,115 fans, the Chiefs flipped the script in a 7-3 win over the Tri-City Americans.
Spokane erupted for four goals in the second period and six different players found the net. Six players also had multi-point nights, and 11 players had at least one point.
Cade Hayes had two goals and two assists to lead Spokane. Cooper Michaluk stopped 39 shots in the win. The four-goal outburst in the second chased Tri-City goaltender Tomas Suchanek, who gave way to Nick Avakyan in the third period.
“Our goalie played great and our PK was really solid,” associate coach Stefen Legein said. “We were dialed in and it’s what we needed. That second period was the result of us doing right things.”
Ty Cheveldayoff, Carter Streek, Chase Bertholet and Tommy De Luca all scored in the second.
The highlight was Streek scoring a goal commonly known as “The Michigan.” Streek scooped up the puck on his stick behind the Tri-City net and placed it above Suchanek’s shoulder. The goal was made popular in 1996 when Mike Legg of The University of Michigan first scored using that technique.
“I kind of blacked out after scoring it so it’s kind of a blur,” Streek said. “It’s fun seeing it on TV and it’s cool that it happened to me.”
Streek said it’s the first goal he’s scored of its kind.
“I’ve always practiced it when I’m just messing around but it’s exciting to actually happen,” he said, while adding that he knew if he tried it and missed ,he’d hear it from his coaches and teammates on the bench. Thankfully for Streek, he didn’t have to worry about those chirps.
The highlight-reel goal gave Spokane a 3-1 lead and energized the team. Bertholet and De Luca scored their goals shortly after and kept the fans energized as well.
“A lot of credit goes to the fans,” Legein said. “We’re losing by seven, we’re winning by seven, the fans are electric and are on their feet. They really feed us on the bench. I know myself the last five games I’ve really drawn from that to keep the team positive.”
Lukas Dragicevic scored on the power play 2:44 into the game to give Tri-City its only lead of the game. Hayes tied it for Spokane on the power play with eight seconds to go in the first period.
The Chiefs found themselves in penalty trouble again, giving Tri-City nine power play opportunities but only surrendering goals on two of them. Spokane was on the penalty kill four times in the first period and getting out with only giving up one goal was a huge confidence builder.
“It was huge to come back into the room 1-1 instead of 2-0, 3-0, 3-1 like some games have been going for us,” Legein said. “I thought it started out with a similar script but we were able to reset and refocus and changed the narrative of the game tonight.”
The Chiefs scored two power play goals on six tries, both from Hayes.
The Chiefs are back at the Arena Nov. 19 against Calgary.
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