Prince George sends Chiefs to fifth straight setback

Ryan Donohoe of the Chilliwack Chiefs fights his way past two Prince George Spruce Kings players during the first period of Saturday night
Ryan Donohoe of the Chilliwack Chiefs fights his way past two Prince George Spruce Kings players during the first period of Saturday night's game at Prospera Centre.
— image credit: JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS

The Chilliwack Chiefs fired 45 pucks at the Prince George net Saturday night, but only one puck eluded Kirk Thompson in a 3-1 Spruce Kings win.

The home team dropped their fifth in a row, losing to a Mainland division rival they hadn't lost to in six previous meetings.

Chilliwack's record dropped to 27-17-1-1.

The Chiefs carried the play in the first period, but it was the Spruce Kings getting the only goal of period one.

Bryant Christian did the damage on a brilliant crease-crashing effort. Cameron Lawson picked up the assist with a shot from the right wing boards. The puck hit Chilliwack goalie Mitch Gillam in the crest and flopped into the blue paint, where Christian popped it in for his seventh of the year.

The Chiefs had 21 shots through 20 minutes, but Thompson was excellent, making several stellar stops.

Chilliwack ended the opening frame on a power play, with PG's Kevin Guilinan picking up a five minute major for a hit from behind on Mathieu Tibbett.

Guiltinan was tossed from the game, but the Spruce Kings kept the Chiefs power play at bay, escaping to the intermission with the 1-0 lead.

Prince George killed off the last 1:22 of Guiltinan's penalty to start period two, then had their own five minute power play minutes later when Chilliwack's Ryan Donohoe put PG's Jeremiah Luedtke into the boards from behind.

After a successful kill, the Chiefs got on the board, evening the score at 10:49.

Luke Esposito finished off a beautiful three-way passing play that started with Alex Perron-Fontaine. From the left point, he fed the puck to Austin Plevy, who was standing a couple feet off the left goal post.

Plevy quickly sent the puck cross-crease to Esposito, who chipped it over Thompson for his 15th of the year.

The Spruce Kings came right back at 16:29, surging ahead on a goal by Coltyn Hansen. David Stephens did the heavy lifting with some good work below the goal-line. Fending off two Chief defenders, he put a backhand centering pass into the crease, where Hansen popped it home for his team-leading 17th.

Shots on goal through 40 minutes favoured Chilliwack 31-22, but PG had a 2-1 lead.

The Chiefs had their chances in period three, but couldn't net the equalizer.

Josh Hansen might have had the best opportunity on a bang-bang play two feet in front of the Spruce Kings net.

Thompson kept that out, and made a couple more notable stops. The goalie watched with a smile as Mitch Eden floated a final minute empty netter the length of the ice to seal the deal.

The three stars were Thompson (first), Gillam (second) and Hansen (third).

Announced attendance was 2,112.

The Chiefs are back at it tomorrow night at 5 p.m., hosting the Alberni Valley Bulldogs at Prospera Centre.

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