Spokane 9 Prince George 2
While Ty Smith has long been considered the eventual top pick form the WHL in the 2018 NHL draft, he had not really had a statement game yet. That game was Friday night in Spokane as Smith scored twice and added five assists for a seven point night, leading his Spokane Chiefs (34-21-3-2) over the visiting Prince George Cougars (20-32-4-4) 9-2.
Smith, who had never gotten above three points in a WHL before tonight, was all over the ice, dismantling a Cougars squad who iced seven rookies and is now 17 points out of the playoffs with only 12 games left to play.
Ethan McIndoe, Jaret Anderson-Dolan and Kailer Yamamoto all added three points nights for Spokane and Dawson Weatherill turned away 32 of 34 shots.
The Chiefs opened the scoring under seven minutes in. McIndoe drove the Cougars zone and dropped a pass to Yamamoto in the slot. The Edmonton Oilers prospect wired a shot by the blocker of Tavin Grant for his 17th of the year.
59 seconds later, the Chiefs scored on the rush again. This time a cross-ice pass from Filip Kral deflected out to the high slot where Milos Fafrak was waiting. The rookie import fired a shot right where Yamamoto had and he also beat Grant.
The Chiefs out shot the Cougars 13-6 in the first.
It was quickly a 3-0 lead for Spokane before the second period was 12 seconds old. A broken up play caused the puck to bounce out to the high slot and Smith corralled it and shot a low shot at Grant in the same motion. The result was his 11th this year.
He added his 12th and second of the game not long after. Smith again had the puck in the high slot but appeared to be just throwing the puck towards the net, when Prince George defenseman Ryan Schoettler appeared to bat the puck in with his glove. The result, regardless of how it got in, was a 4-0 Chiefs lead and the fourth goal on the 20th shot on Grant.
Smith then followed up his lucky-bounce goal with an incredible pass. From in front of his own net, he fired a laser of a pass right to the stick of Luke Toporowski. The 16-year-old drove in alone and beat Grant for his ninth goal this year and a 5-0 Spokane lead.
Dalton Hamaliuk made the score 6-0 with his seventh of the year, with 47 seconds left in the middle frame.
After 40 minutes and six goals on 28 shots, Grant’s night was over, Isaiah DiLaura came on in relief.
The Cougars did not give up and actually out-shot the Chiefs 14-6 in the third, but they still got outscored by a team that may have let off the gas pedal.
Brogan O’Brien got the Cougars first goal of the game 3:25 into the second, but Spokane answered with markers from Carter Chorney, McIndoe and Jeff Faith to make this one a laugher.
Aaron Boyd scored the Cougars second goal with two seconds left to make this a 9-2 final.
DiLaura played the final 20 and stopped half of the six shots he faced.
The Chiefs won the season series 4-0 and outscored the Cougars 24-7
P.G. has lost six of seven and has not won a game in regulation since February 2nd.
The Chiefs have won four of their last five and stay three points back of the Portland Winterhawks for second in the U.S. Division as the Hawks beat Victoria 2-1.
They remain three points ahead of Tri-City as well, due to the Americans edging Kamloops 4-2.
Spokane stays home to host the Kootenay ICE, while The Cougars head west to Kennewick for a game with Tri-City.