Chiefs bump slump with weekend wins

Chilliwack Chiefs, BCHL, Trail Smoke Eaters, Salmon Arm Silverbacks

The Chilliwack Chiefs put a five game losing skid to rest and started work on a new winning streak, taking back to back games against the Trail Smoke Eaters and Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

The Chiefs (6-5-0-1) and Smokies (2-9-1-2) faced off Friday night at Prospera Centre, with Chilliwack earning a 4-3 win in overtime.

The Chiefs got regulation time goals from Derek Huisman, Kit Sitterley and Jeremy Gossard. The overtime winner came off the stick of Trevor Hills, who beat Trail netminder James D’Andrea just 39 seconds into the extra session.

Mitch Gillam tended net for Chilliwack, stopping 23 of the 26 shots he faced.

Adam Faries and Taylor House beat Gillam in the second period, and Erik Cooper scored with 3:24 remaining to force OT.

“We didn’t play well early in this game. We were nervous and tentative, with not a whole lot of energy,” said Chiefs head coach Harvey Smyl. “As the game progressed we got better and better. I thought the kid line of (Garret) Forster, (Jaret) Babych and Gossard brought a lot of energy and created most of our chances.”

Chilliwack hit the road Saturday night, travelling to Salmon Arm to face the Silverbacks for the second time this season.

The Chiefs beat their Interior conference rivals 6-4 in early October, and handed the Silverbacks a 3-1 loss at the Sunwave Centre. Salmon Arm opened the scoring, with Devin Muller pulling the trigger just 38 seconds into period one.

David Thompson knotted the score at 1-1 midway through period one, with Sitterley and Chris Blessing adding second period markers to wrap up the scoring.

“Other than the first four or five minutes I thought we did a great job of shutting them down,” Smyl noted. “They didn’t get a whole lot of grade A opportunities, and most of their shots came from the perimeter. It was one of those greasy road victories.”

Gillam got another start in goal, stopping 23 of 24 pucks to even his regular season record at 4-4-0-0, with a 2.35 goals-against average and .928 save percentage.

After splitting starts with Bryton Udy through the first nine games, the 19-year-old Ontario native has gotten the last three, perhaps an indication that Smyl has arrived at his go-to guy in goal.

“Udy’s last two outings haven’t been fantastic,” Smyl said. “He knows that, agrees with that and is working his butt off to get better. He’s working with our goalie guy, Rob Bruni, but right now Mitch is on a bit of a roll.”

Chilliwack is home Wednesday night at 7 p.m., hosting the Surrey Eagles at Prospera Centre.

 

— The Chiefs acquired 20-year-old defenceman Matthew Hutchinson from the Coquitlam Express late last week in exchange for future considerations.

Hutchinson was in the lineup for both of Chilliwack’s weekend games.

Before joining the Chiefs, the North Vancouver native logged 89 BCHL games with Surrey, Quesnel and the Express, recording 14 points and 120 penalty minutes.

Hutchinson adds size to the Chilliwack blueline, tipping the scale at six-foot-one and 196 pounds.

“Matthew  takes pride in his defensive play and enjoys the physical part of the game, so he is your prototypical stay at home defenseman,” Smyl said. “We didn’t play that well defensively on the road the weekend prior and felt he could help in that area.”

To make room for Hutchinson,  19-year-old defenceman Justin Elliot was released.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack Mural Festival comes alive in the downtown core

‘Murals offer a safe way for people to enjoy socially distanced artwork,’ says organizer

Chilliwack museum looking for public feedback on exhibits

Online survey will help drive three-year plan for future exhibit possibilities

Mission man who nearly died from COVID-19 at Abbotsford hospital reflects on one-month battle

Robert Billyard was in an induced coma to ensure his body would not fight the ventilator to breathe

Lavender hand sanitizer sale raises cash for Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation

Golf course and lavender farm partner up to support health care in the Fraser Valley

Donations of fresh produce sought from Chilliwack backyard gardeners

Hamper program from Chilliwack Citizens for Change to serve those with special dietary needs

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

35,000 doses of fentanyl part of huge Maple Ridge bust

Largest seizure in RCMP detachment’s history included submachine gun, body armour

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Most Read