In the afternoon game at the Angel-of-the-Winds Arena, the Spokane Chiefs took on the team that ended their season last spring and got some semblance of revenge, winning 7-1 over the Portland Winterhawks.
Adam Beckman and Carter Chorney each had two goals and Michal King had three points as the Chiefs pulled away from the Winterhawks with five goals in the third.
Spokane rolled out many of their bigger named players with the likes of Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Ty Smith, Jake McGrew and Luke Toprowski taking to the ice.
There was a lot of youth on the Portland side and it showed at times.
Portland Assistant Coach and Assistant General Manager Kyle Gustafson thinks there lots of learning moments Portland got out of a lopsided preseason loss like this one.
“I thought there was a lot to take from tonight’s game. I thought we weathered the storm early. Spokane gave it to us – they had a veteran lineup and we had a lot of guys playing their first game. We weathered the first two periods and then after the second we got a little more confident and did some nice things with the puck,” Gustafson said.
After a scoreless first period where both teams sniffed around but neither scored, the Chiefs opened the scoring midway through the second.
Chorney took a pass in the high slot and buried a shot by a screened Shane Farkas. The goal came after Chorney had struck a post earlier in the game shooting from about the same distance.
The Chiefs then added to their lead when Adam Beckman took a pass in behind the defense and his backhand try deflected up and over Farkas’ pad, sliding just inside the near post.
After the Winterhawks took a penalty in the third, the Chiefs went up 3-0. Riley Woods dished a nice feed in front to defenseman Luke Gallagher and the Spokane native buried a shot by Farkas from between the face off dots.
Portland strung some sensational looking plays and it was often one of their trio of 2002-born forwards fighting to make the team doing it. Seth Jarvis nearly got one by Spokane goalie Dawson Weatherill but the 19-year-old puck stopper turned him away.
The Winterhawks did get on the board a little later though as with 14:54 left in the third, Jake Gricius, playing with Cross Hanas and Robbie Fromm-Delorme, pounced on a rebound and beat Weatherill.
A pivotal moment came a couple minutes later as Portland was about to have a power play when Brendan De Jong retaliated and was called for a penalty himself. That turned a Portland power play into a 4-on-4 situation.
That would prove key as Beckman picked off a cross-ice pass from Cross Hanas, walked in alone on Farkas and buried a high backhand by the goalie for his second of the game and a 4-1 Spokane lead.
Penalties plagued Portland for much of the game and this continued in the third.
Spokane went 2-for-6 on the man advantage.
Gustafson lamented his team’s decision making in the latter half of the third.
“It was 3-1 with about 10 minutes left in the game and that is when we got away from our game. They scored a couple on the power play.”
Michael King scored on the man advantage, making the game 5-1 and then Carter Chorney and Eli Zummack put the game away with two more to give us the 7-1 final.
Gustafson thinks that Portland’s younger players are going to learn a lot from the lopsided loss.
“For us to get that experience against a veteran team and a veteran lineup is going to go a long way.”
Portland’s Shane Farkas stopped 27-of-34, while Spokane’s Dawson Weatherill turned away 24-of-25.
Portland plays tomorrow at the Everett preseason tournament against Tri-City at 11:30 am while Spokane takes on Vancouver at 3pm.