The Chilliwack Bruins put up little fight Tuesday night, dropping a 6-1 midweek decision to the visiting Spokane Chiefs at Prospera Centre.
Seventeen-year-old Brady Brassart had a pair for the Chiefs (28-11-3-2), who’ve won nine of their last 10 and now sit alone atop the Western conference standings.
The Bruins dropped to 20-20-2-1, good for eighth in the West.
Spokane opened the scoring 6:06 into this one with a power play goal by Edmonton native Levko Koper. They added to the lead at 14:54 on a pretty goal by Mike Aviani, set up by defenceman Brenden Kichton. Kichton saucered a feed through to Aviani as he snuck in behind the Chilliwack defence. The 17-year-old faked forehand and went to the backhand, sliding the puck past Bruins keeper Lucas Gore for his sixth of the year.
Brady Brassart made it 3-0 at 17:28, darting into the slot to finish off a pretty drop pass from Kichton.
Shots on goal in period one favoured the Chiefs 14-5.
Spokane continued to pour it on in period two, with Brassart scoring his second of the game and big defenceman Jeff Cowen netting his 11th of the year.
Chilliwack had some nice chances around the Chiefs net, but James Reid came up with a couple big stops to preserve his shutout bid.
Shots on goal through 40 minutes favoured the Chiefs 25-12.
The Bruins managed to slip one past Reid early in the final frame. Ryan Howse hit the 30 goal mark for the third time in his Western Hockey League career, beating Reid 25 seconds into period three. Checking back into the lineup for the first time since injuring his shoulder Dec. 29, Curt Gogol drew an assist on the Howse tally.
Gogol hit the showers soon after, earning four minutes for roughing and a 10 minute misconduct for a brief tustle with Spokane’s Darren Kramer.
The Chiefs wrapped up the scoring with 2:07 remaining as Koper out-muscled Kevin Sundher for a puck along the right wing boards, walked in and went top shelf for his 20th of the year. Koper’s goal was a shorthanded effort.
Three stars were Brassart (first), Kichton (second) and Aviani (third).
The Bruins are on the road Friday night, visiting the Kamloops Blazers. They return home to host the Prince George Cougars in a Saturday night tilt (7 p.m.) before hitting the road again for a Sunday night date with the Vancouver Giants.