Chiefs escape Prince George with weekend split

The underlying numbers were ugly, but the Chilliwack Chiefs got out of Prince George with a win and a loss in two weekend games.

The official record shows the BCHL Chilliwack Chiefs going 1-1 on a weekend road trip to Prince George.

Not bad.

Not great.

Most coaches would take a .500 road trip and be happy with it.

But the underlying numbers from the PG games tip towards the ugly side.

The Chiefs lost 7-1 Friday night, getting out-shot 53-19 in the process.

A Jaret Babych tally had them tied 1-1 through 20 minutes, but the Spruce Kings scored three in the second and three more in the third, ventilating Chiefs stopper Lyndon Stanwood.

The 20-year-old netminder was back between the pipes Saturday, and it was largely because of him that Chilliwack escaped with a 2-1 overtime win.

“Even in that Friday game, I still think he played decent,” said Chiefs assistant coach Doug Ast. “He kept us in there for a while. As the breakdowns start to happen and guys get out of position, there’s only so much a goalie can do. But he competed to the end.”

The ex-Trail Smoke Eater stopped 42 of 43 shots Saturday to earn first star honours.

Carter Cochrane scored in regulation time and Kiefer McNaughton got the OT winner for a Chiefs squad that generated 19 shots on goal.

Collectively, Chilliwack has scored five goals in four regular season games.

Ast is confident the offence will come as the skill players get used to the high tempo BCHL game.

But the defensive side is cause for concern.

“We’re two weekends in and the shot clock trend is awfully high in favour of the other team,” Ast conceded. “I think they weren’t exactly accurate, but at the same time there’s something to that.”

Good news though.

The coaching staff has nearly two full weeks to tinker before Chilliwack’s next game.

A scheduling quirk has the Chiefs not playing again until Sept. 28, hosting those same Spruce Kings at Prospera Centre.

The time off is not likely to be leisurely for the players.

“I think it’s a good thing for us the way it’s worked out, because we need time to grow as a group, fine-tune our structure and continue to work on that defenssive side,” Ast said. “We’ll take this time to get focused, coach and teach and get them paying attention to detail. From the top down, we have to get better in a lot of areas, but I believe we have the guys to do it.”

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