Larry Brunt

Opening weekend: Chiefs fall to Thunderbirds

 

It is a season of rookies and that means anything can happen. The first two games of the season in the US Division have seen the underdog teams win games against two of the top teams in the league last year. In Friday’s game, fans saw the Spokane Chiefs fall to the Seattle Thunderbirds in a shootout.

Should each team play all 24 of their scheduled games looking like we’ve seen so far, it’s going to be an incredible season to watch. The only team that has yet to hit the ice is the Everett Silvertips. Though, that will change this evening as they are set for their first game of the year.

Campbell Arnold (Photo-Spokane Chiefs/Larry Brunt)

Looking good as ever

To the surprise of very few, Adam Beckman got the scoring started in this game. Just 24 seconds in, the 19-year-old Minnesota Wild prospect found the back of the net. In the Chiefs’ first game back, Beckman performed just about how everybody expected tonight, finishing with two goals and an assist.

In the first game of his final season with the Thunderbirds, Keltie Jeri-Leon finished the night with two goals.Β It appears as though he’s picked up right where he finished last year. Should he continue on this level of play for the next two months, he is sure to raise some eyebrows.

Career firsts

Chiefs’ defenseman, Raegan Wiles, found the back of the net for his first career goal mid-second period.

Rookie defenseman, Jeremey Hanzel scored the first goal of his WHL career and of Seattle’s season. Fellow rookie, forward Gabe Ludwig, tallied his first career assist on the goal.

Special teams were tested

There have been penalties galore throughout the first two games of the season. Teams will want to change that over the next two months.

As for last night, there were seven power plays between the two teams, with each team finding success on one of their opportunities. The third period saw Thunderbirds defenseman, Luke Bateman, and Chiefs’ forward, Grady Lane, take matching double-minor (roughing) and 10-minute misconduct penalties.

For the second time in as many nights, US Division fans were treated to overtime hockey. However, this game continued on into a shootout.

A game of goaltenders

From what has been seen so far this season, goaltenders are running the system.

17-year-old goaltender Thomas Milic looked absolutely phenomenal in only his third appearance for the Thunderbirds. Stopping 29-of-30 shots faced tonight, he continued on to stop both shots faced in the shootout.

At the other end of the ice, Campbell Arnold made 34 saves prior to the shootout to keep his team in the game.

These two teams next meet again on Friday, March 26. However, both teams are back in action on March 20 with Seattle hosting Portland and Spokane taking a trip out to Everett.

 

DUBNetwork Forums Opening weekend: Chiefs fall to Thunderbirds

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