Puffer nets three more in overtime win

Craig Puffer continued his tear through the BCHL Friday night, scoring three including the overtime winner against Powell River.

The Chilliwack Chiefs withstood a late rally by the Powell River Kings, escaping with a 5-4 win at Prospera Centre Friday night.

The home team coughed up a two-goal lead in the last five minutes, but Craig Puffer scored the winner in overtime as the Chiefs improved to 10-1-0-1 on the season.

The Kings were a feisty bunch in the opening 20, staking themselves to an early two goal lead.

Kurt Keats got the first on a Powell River power play. Parked to the left of the Chilliwack cage, Jarid Lukosevicius fired a shot up and over the crossbar. But it came bouncing straight to Kurt Keats on the other side, and with Chiefs netminder Mitchell Datz a touch slow getting across, the Winnipeg native b buried the biscuit for his 12th of the year.

Jarryd Leung almost got Powell River’s second goal on the next shift, picking the pocket of Chilliwack D-man Dennis Cholowski at the blueline and skating in on a breakaway. Datz thwarted him, but Leung got his revenge at 9:05.

On a quick two-on-one rush, Stephen Hiff put a pass under the stick of Vincent Desharnais, and Leung chipped it in for his sixth.

But the Chiefs came alive midway through the period, led by the usual suspect, Puffer.

The Connecticut kid scored his league leading 13th of the year at 13:49. Working below the end-line, Tipper Higgins fed Puffer a backhand pass near the right faceoff dot. Puffer’s first shot was stopped by Kings netminder Brett Magnus, but the Montreal native couldn’t coral the rebound. Puffer slipped the puck inside the far post.

Less than two minutes later, on a Chilliwack power play, Puffer scored a beauty. From in tight he zipped a top shelf shot over Magnus on the short-side, getting the home side back on even terms.

Shots on goal in period one favoured Chilliwack 15-12.

Jordan Kawaguchi turned in a highlight reel effort to give the Chiefs their first lead early in period two. The second year forward slithered past Tony DeVito on the left wing wall, dangled past Liam Lawson in the left faceoff circle and snapped the puck past Magnus for his fourth of the year at

The Chiefs got the much-needed insurance marker 4:36 into the final frame on a goal by Chilliwack’s Ryan Bowen. The hometown hero beat Magnus with a sharp-angle shot from the left wing wall, squeezing the puck through the goalie’s pads for his second of the year and a 4-2 lead.

Kawaguchi’s snipe seemed to put the game away, until the Kings scored two goals in 46 seconds to tie it up. Lukosevicius scored a power play goal with 4:36 to play, getting the Kings back within one. He struck again on the next shift, sending the game to overtime.

Higgins had a great chance in four-on-four OT when a Puffer pass left him completely alone in the blue paint. The big forward tried to stuff the puck past Magnus, but the goalie held on.

Moments later, the Chiefs were gifted a four-on-three power play, with Powell River’s Carmine Buono tripping Puffer behind the net.

Nine seconds into the penalty Puffer made them pay, teeing up an Evan McEachern pass and blasting it through Magnus for the win.

The three stars were Puffer (first), Lukosevicious (second) and Kawaguchi (third).

The Fortis BC Energy Player of the Game was Eric Roberts.

Announced attendance was 2,209.

The Chiefs host the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Saturday night with a 7 p.m. start.

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