Spokane used a shootout goal from Brenden Kichton for their second consecutive victory over Portland as the Chiefs dropped the Winterhawks 5-4 in front of 3,548 fans at the Spokane Arena Wednesday night. Adam Helewka scored two goals and Eric Williams finished with 44 saves as the Chiefs improved to 16-7-0-0 at home and 30-16-2-0 overall.
Williams stopped a Portland 3-on-1 breakaway early in the first period with a spectacular lunging save on a shot from Ty Rattie. The Winterhawks, who held a 12-3 advantage in shots at one point, finally lit the lamp at 16:30 with Adam De Champlain going top shelf with a backhand.
Spokane's offense caught fire in the final three minutes of the period starting with a goal at the 17:27 mark from Dylan Walchuk on assists from Blake Gal and Todd Fiddler. The Chiefs scored again just 56-seconds later as Kichton beat Mac Carruth with assists from Walchuk and Mitch Holmberg. Portland outshot Spokane 13-12 for the period.
The Chiefs appeared to take a 3-1 lead at 5:50 in the second as Helewka deflected a shot past Carruth but it was waved off for high sticking. Helewka got the last laugh though, as he found the back of the net for his 6th goal of the season at 11:01 with assists from Aviani and Holmberg.
Williams stopped all 13 shots he faced in the period, some in highlight reel fashion, to protect Spokane's 3-1 advantage heading to the third.
Portland cut into the Chiefs' lead at the 5:28 mark of the third as Rattie beat Williams glove side. Spokane answered at 6:20 with Helewka's second goal of the night on an assist from Holmberg to regain a two goal advantage. The Winterhawks notched the period's final two goals, with Troy Rutkowski scoring short-handed at 15:13 and Rattie scoring again at 16:31, to send the game to overtime.
Neither team found the back of the net in overtime as Williams stopped eight shots and Carruth turned away the only shot he faced. Williams and Carruth each stopped the first two shots in the shootout before Kichton went top shelf for the score and Williams turned away a shot from Oliver Bjorkstrand to preserve the win.
Williams finished 41 of 45 on save opportunities while Carruth was 26 of 30. The Chiefs went 0 for 5 on the power play and 4 for 4 on the penalty kill.
Tonight's three stars: Eric Williams (1st), Troy Rutkowski (2nd), and Adam Helewka (3rd).
The Chiefs host the Winterhawks again on Friday for Washington's Lottery Night and the Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday for Coca-Cola Boomer Bobble Head Giveaway.