SPOKANE, Wash. – The Spokane Chiefs got the first of five consecutive home games started off on the right foot on Friday night as they beat the Prince George Cougars, 6-2. Goaltender Bailey Brkin, in his first game as Chief since being acquired in a trade with Kootenay, stood tall with 36 saves to stonewall the Cougars.
Spokane got on the board early as Kailer Yamamoto, in his first game back with Spokane since returning from the World Junior Championship tournament, slid in a rebound at the 1:11 for his third of the season.
San Jose Sharks prospect Jake McGrew found the net just over three minutes later, snapping the puck inside the right post to put the Chiefs up 2-1.
Team-leading scorer Hudson Elynuik carried the puck across the blue line just before the midway point of the first, dropping it for Riley Woods who unwound on a slap shot to score his 19th of the season and make it 3-1.
After Prince George finally broke through Brkin with goals at 14:10 of the first and 0:26 of the second to cut the Chiefs’ lead to two goals, the home team responded in force, scoring the game’s next three to cruise to the win.
McGrew struck for his second goal of the night on a power play at 5:11 of the second, corralling a rebound on the right side and chipping it into the vacant goal. Jaret Anderson-Dolan got in on the action at 17:49 of the middle frame, flying down the ice while shorthanded to split the Cougars’ defense and make it 5-2. Ethan McIndoe capped the scoring late in the third, finishing a perfect set-up from rookie Luke Toporowski with 2:54 left in regulation.
Brkin withstood a late push by the Cougars, saving all 13 shots faced in the third period as Prince George failed to take advantage of three of their seven power plays.
Spokane was outshot 38-28 on the night but went 7-for-7 on the penalty kill and 1-for-5 on the power play. Taylor Gauthier started in goal for Prince George opposite Brkin and made 22 saves on 28 shots.