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Spokane Chiefs

Robbie Fromm-Delorme helps Winterhawks rally past Chiefs

By Kevin Dudley For The Spokesman-Review

The Spokane Chiefs haven’t had much success against anybody this season, but lately they’ve had the Portland Winterhawks’ number. Spokane came into Friday’s game winners of the previous two meetings against Portland, but the streak would end there.

Robbie Fromm-Delorme scored twice, including a power play goal late in the third to thwart any kind of comeback for Spokane, as Portland skated away with a 5-2 win in front of 5,317 fans at the Arena.

The Chiefs were without three key players: Grady Lane, who was serving the first of a two-game suspension, and Saige Weinstein and Ty Cheveldayoff, who are both our with upper body injuries.

The Chiefs will lament a lack of focus in the third period as their downfall, as Portland scored three times in the final frame and held Spokane scoreless.

“The first two periods we were pretty good and I thought the second was one of our best periods of the season,” Spokane had coach Ryan Smith said. “In the third we seemed to lack a little passion. We seemed to just be playing and we were a little loose with the puck.”

Smith cited half of the team playing to win in the third and the other half along for the ride. That’s not a recipe for success, and Portland—locked into the third spot in the Western Conference—made them pay.

“(Portland) had pride and they took the game over in the third,” Smith said.

Pride is something the Chiefs need desperately, as they sit on the brink of playoff elimination. If the Kelowna Rockets—the team holding the final playoff spot in the Western Conference—gain one more point this season, the Chiefs will be eliminated. Kelowna just happens to be in Spokane tonight.

Carter Sotheran opened the scoring at 4:04 of the first when he caught Spokane goaltender Dawson Cowan slightly out of position along the left post.

Raegan Wiles got Spokane on the board in the second period when he sniped one past Portland goaltender Jan Spunar. The Chiefs took advantage of some offensive zone pressure on Wiles’ goal.

Cade Hayes gave Spokane a 2-1 lead at 10:33 of the second when he scored going hard to the net. It was the last time Spokane would find the net.

Fromm-Delorme tied it at 16:08 of the second when he deflected a shot from the point.

The teams entered the third knotted at two, but Portland got goals from Josh Zakreski and Fromm-Delorme got his second of the night on the power play late in the third to seal the win. Marcus Nguyen added an empty netter for the Winterhawks.

With a game tonight, the Chiefs don’t have a ton of time to dwell.

“The opportunity to play (tonight) is important because you don’t have to think too much,” Smith said. “It’s the Western Hockey League level, and you have to have pride in your game and your individual effort. We had 50% of players who had pride and played the right way and then the other 50% were guys out for themselves and that’s not going to work.”