Spokane holds on to beat Prince George 4-2 on opening night of the WHL season

Prince George, BC – Spokane Chiefs Defenseman Ty Smith had a goal and two assists as the Chiefs beat the Prince George Cougars 4-2 on Friday night in front of 3,833 fans at the CN Centre in Prince George. Head Coach Dan Lambert got his first win at the helm for Spokane in the first game for both clubs in the 2017-2018 WHL season.

Taylor Ross started the scoring at 7:30 of the opening period before Riley Woods doubled Spokane’s lead to 2-0 exactly seven minutes later at 14:30 of the 1st. Hudson Elynuik expanded the lead on the Power Play at the 8:45 mark of the 2nd period to make it 3-0 Spokane.

Prince George answered with less than four minutes to go in the middle frame as Nikita Popugaev got his first of the season. But Spokane’s Ty Smith would answer with his own with just 58 seconds remaining in the 2nd to give Spokane a 4-1 lead going into the final period of play. Prince George’s Ethan O’Rourke made it a two-goal game at 8:53 of the 3rd, but that was all the closer the Cougars would get on opening night.

Spokane’s Riley Woods, Hudson Elynuik and Riley McKay all had two-point nights. Dawson Weatherill saved 28 of the 30 shots he faced in the win while Prince George Cougars Goaltender Tavin Grant stopped 27 of the 31 shots he faced. Spokane went 1 for 3 on the PP while Prince George went 1/6.

Spokane played tonight’s game without their top two scoring leaders from last season in Kailer Yamamoto and Jaret Anderson-Dolan, who are both away at their respective NHL Camps. Jake McGrew was another NHL-drafted player missing from the roster. Prince George was without Defenseman Dennis Cholowski who is currently with the Detroit Red Wings.

The Spokane Chiefs and Prince George Cougars are at it again tomorrow as the Cougars look to get revenge on the Chiefs. Puck drop for tomorrow is scheduled for 7pm PST from the CN Centre.

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