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Sports >  Spokane Chiefs

Big second period leads Chiefs to win against Winterhawks 6-2

Feb. 15, 2023 Updated Wed., Feb. 15, 2023 at 10:13 p.m.

By Kevin Dudley For The Spokesman-Review

In perhaps their best performance of an otherwise poor season, the Spokane Chiefs looked like a dominant playoff team. Spokane erupted for four goals in the second period en route to a 6-2 win over the Portland Winterhawks. The win snapped a nine-game losing streak for Spokane.

Portland entered the game tied for third in the Western Hockey League in points with 76. The Winterhawks have already clinched a playoff spot and are among the favorites to win the league title. But they didn’t look like it Wednesday at the Arena.

Berkly Catton had two goals and an assist to lead Spokane. Dawson Cowan made 25 saves in the win.

“We got off to a good start in the first and then the second period was one you dream about,” Spokane head coach Ryan Smith said. “Everything worked out and we got a couple bounces but we earned them by the way we were playing. It was one of the better games for sure.”

The Chiefs were clearly the better team from the start.

“We got the first goal and then we got a couple big penalty kills,” Smith said. “That got us a little momentum. Even when (Portland) got a goal at the tail end of the first I still thought we were playing good hockey.”

Defenseman Mac Gross made it 1-0 7:48 into the game when he scored from a tight angle along the goal line in the corner for his seventh goal of the season.

Portland’s Marcus Nguyen scored right after a Spokane penalty expired to make it 1-1, a score the teams would take into the intermission.

But then Spokane came out flying in the second period.

Catton scored his first goal 35 seconds into the period on a nice feed from Chase Bertholet. The play started with a turnover forced in the neutral zone.

“That was just all structure,” Catton said. “Cade Hayes made a great read and Chase Bertholet gave me a great feed and I just put it in the net. It was pretty open.”

Grady Lane was in the right spot at the right time when the puck deflected off his shin pad and past Giannuzzi at 4:36 of the second. Just 61 seconds later, Ty Cheveldayoff put home a rebound on the power play to score his 18th of the season to make it 4-1.

Catton’s second goal made it 5-1 at 7:09 of the second and that was the end of the night for Giannuzzi, as he gave way to Jan Spunar in net.

James Stefan got Portland’s second goal at 6:06 of the third on the power play. Cade Hayes added an empty net goal for Spokane with 48 seconds left.

The Chiefs are on the road this weekend at Everett Friday and Tri-City Saturday.

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