One night after upsetting the mighty Vernon Vipers 4-1 at Prospera Centre, the Chilliwack Chiefs stumbled, dropping a 5-3 home ice decision to the visiting Powell River Kings.
The home side dug themselves into a four-goal hole early in the second period before rallying to within one in the third. But a last minute empty netter finished them off and dropped their early-season record to 4-2-0-0 as they head to Merritt for a Sunday afternoon tilt with the Centennials.
Penalty problems caused Chilliwack’s downfall in period one. While the Chiefs came up empty on two early power plays, the Kings came up with three goals with the man advantage.
Cohen Adair scored the first with Chilliwack’s Mike Berry in the box for interference. Adair turned and fired from the right faceoff circle. Chiefs goaltender Bryton Udy may have gotten a piece of it, but not enough to keep it from flopping over his shoulder and across the goal-line.
Midway through the opening frame, Powell River’s Jordan Benton took a run at Chilliwack’s Mike Spring.
Chiefs D-man Stefan Gonzales rushed to his teammate’s defense and got seven minutes for the effort. While Benton got two minutes for a check to the head and a 10 minute misconduct, Gonzales got two minutes for instigating, two minutes for being over-zealous in his pummeling of Benton, five minutes for fighting plus the 10 minute misconduct.
Powell River took just 12 second to cash in.
Adair scored again on a near carbon-copy of his first, picking the top corner from the right faceoff dot to hit the 10 goal mark on the year.
With Josh Hansen in the box for hooking and the Chiefs down two men, Jon Jutzi took a feed from Steven Schmidt and one-timed it under the left arm of Udy for his third of the season and a 3-0 Powell River lead.
Shots on goal in period one were 18-5 in favour of the Kings.
A bad break put the Chiefs down by four early in period two.
Carrying the puck out of his zone at the tail-end of a power play, Chilliwack captain Ty Miller had his stick snap in two. Langley native Carter Shinkaruk took off on a short-handed breakaway, going with a backhand-forehand move before sliding the puck inside the right post.
First period penalties put Chilliwack behind the eight ball. Second period penalties fueled their comeback hopes.
Powell River’s Brandan Smith gave the Chiefs an opening when he rode Chris Blessing head-first into the boards in the neutral zone. Smith was given a five-minute major and game misconduct, and Chilliwack cashed in with two power play goals.
Derek Huisman scored the first, parking in the slot to bury a pretty back-pass from David Bondra.
Spring got the second two minutes later, sweeping the rebound of a Trevor Hills shot past Powell River keeper Jamie Phillips for his first of the year.
Udy made a potential game-saving saving as the major ended, poke-checking Tanner Cochrane as he stormed in on a breakaway.
Shots on goal in period two favoured Chilliwack 14-8.
The Kings clamped down in the final frame and when Hansen took two minutes for hooking at 12:31, hope was fading fast. But in the waning moments of the penalty kill, Huisman poked the puck away from a Powell River player, carried down the wing and beat Phillips with a top shelf wrister from the left faceoff circle.
His short-handed tally drew the Chiefs within one, setting up a frantic finish.
Powell River’s Taylor Carmola was flagged for tripping, giving the Chiefs a last-minute power play. Udy was pulled with 54 seconds left to give Chilliwack a six-on-four advantage.
But Powell River’s Teaghan Waugh iced the game with a rink-length slapper into the empty net, making the final 5-3.
The three stars were Adair (first), Huisman (second) and Powell River’s Craig Dalrymple (third).
Announced attendance was 1,867.