The Chilliwack Chiefs got a chance to see how they stack up to a BCHL powerhouse Saturday night as they hosted the Penticton Vees.
The 6-2 loss for the home team at Prospera Centre revealed the following.
Chilliwack is capable of being competitive in games against the league’s big dogs, but they aren’t a big dog themselves. Not yet, anyways, and they won’t be until a couple things happen.
They have a solid and deep roster, but they desperately need one or two players to step up as true difference makers offensively.
And they need their power play to be far more effective than it’s been to date.
Those two things happen and Chilliwack will be a contender for the BCHL title and a legit threat when they host the 2018 RBC Cup this spring.
If not, the Chiefs (19-17-2-3) will be exactly what they were against the Vees (26-9-2-3), a good but not great team that couldn’t keep up.
Ryan Miotto scored the only goal in period one, which was a very good one for Chilliwack.
The Ontario native started the play, flying in on the forecheck and creating havoc below the end line. Regan Kimens joined him, pursuing the puck up the left wing wall. Vees forward Jack Barnes had the disc on his stick, but Miotto picked his pocket, skated into the slot and wired a shot past Penticton keeper Adam Scheel.
The Vees scored twice in the middle frame to take the lead, with Chris Klack leading the way.
The 20 year old got Penticton on the board at 3:24. A snapped stick by a Chilliwack defender led to a defensive-zone scramble which ended with Klack roofing a top-shelf shot over the blocker of Chiefs goaltender Mathieu Caron.
Midway through the period, with Kimens serving two minutes for charging and the Vees on the power play, Klack served up a pass for point man James Miller, who one-timed a rocket past Caron for his first of the season.
Penticton’s third goal came off the stick of Dakota Boutin. The Saskatchewan native took a drop pass from Jonny Tychonick and used Chiefs defender Jake Gresh as a screen, lasering a wrist shot over Caron’s glove at 14:11.
Chilliwack got one of those back on a late power play, when Tychonick delivered a high stick to a Chiefs player and drew a double minor.
Playing the point, Tommy Lee slid a pass to Corey Andonovski in the right faceoff circle, and he rifled a shot through a maze of players past Scheel for his 12th of the season.
Penticton scored twice in the third period to put the game away.
Marcus Mitchell sniped the first when the Chiefs had trouble clearing their zone. Kaden Pickering lost it a step or two inside the Chilliwack blueline, and three seconds later it was in the back of the net as Mitchell collected his 12th of the year.
Klack picked up his second goal and third point of the game at 14:17. Wyatt Sloboshan picked up the assist, turn-stiling a Chiefs defender and delivering the puck into the crease. Klack went to the blue paint and banged home the rebound.
Boutin picked up an empty net goal to wrap up the scoring.
The three stars were Klack (first), Sloboshan (second) and Miotto (third).
The Fortis BC Energy Player of the Game was Kimens.
The Chiefs finish off a three-games-in-three-days weekend tomorrow when they visit the Coquitlam Express.