Seven different Chilliwack Chiefs scored Saturday night as the home team bombed the Surrey Eagles 7-2 at Prospera Centre.
The feisty visitors burst out of the gate, taking a 2-0 lead before Chilliwack came roaring back.
The Chiefs scored five in the second period, cruising to their 10th straight victory and their 19th in 20 post-Christmas games, but they didn’t pick up ground on Mainland division leading Wenatchee. The Wild thumped the Langley Rivermen for the second time this weekend to stay three points up on Chilliwack, making it extremely likely the Chiefs will be second seed in the playoffs.
Everything about the first period of this one was perfect, except the scoreboard.
The Chiefs had the rink tilted, throwing 19 pucks at Surrey netminder Daniel Davidson. The 18 year old only let one past him. Off a faceoff to his right, Chilliwack’s Will Calverley won the draw back to winger Jake Smith. Davidson stopped Smith’s rocket shot but left a rebound 10 feet out. Aaron O’Neill slid the puck inside the right goal post for his 12th of the year.
The Chiefs needed that goal because despite their dominance they trailed 2-0 at the time.
Seldom-scoring defenceman Landon Fuller collected just his second of the year to open the scoring at 7:58. Eagle forward Jordan Robert did the heavy lifting on a rush down the left wing, fighting through Chilliwack defender Colin Bernard to get the puck into the goal-mouth. Fuller followed and chipped the puck past Chiefs goalie Mark Sinclair.
Surrey’s Cory Babichuk went end to end for the second Eagle goal, doodle-dipsying his way past rookie defender Powell Connor before stuffing the puck past Sinclair.
Chilliwack blew the doors off the visitors with a second-period offensive explosion.
Tommy Lee got them rolling at 3:34, flying down the left wing and beating Davidson with a sharp-angle bullet.
Kohen Olischefski got the next one, though he didn’t have to do much other than go to the net and have the rebound from a Davis Bunz shot go off him and in.
A Will Calverley power play goal gave Chilliwack a 4-2 lead at 12:23. Calverley set up himself with a hard wrist shot into a crowd from the high slot. He followed the puck and potted his own rebound.
Puck luck gave Colin Bernard his seventh of the year at 14:46, although Kale Kane might not feel so lucky after taking a puck to the facial area. Bernard’s shot hit Kane up high and came right back to the D-man who snapped it past Davidson.
Kane got a less painful assist on Jordan Kawaguchi’s goal at 19:41. Taking a loooong stretch pass from Carver Watson, Kane made an inside move on an Eagle defender and fired a shot. Sort of. He flubbed it but the puck slide over to Kawaguchi and the Chilliwack captain popped the puck into the gaping cage.
Gooch’s goal gave everyone in the building a voucher for two free Subway cookies on ‘Score Six Saturday.’
Connor McCarthy had the only goal of period three on a late five-on-three power play, taking an Olischefski pass and lasering a wrist shot under the crossbar.
Kawaguchi collected a second assist on that one, moving him within four points of Doug Ast for the career franchise scoring mark. With three games left, Captain K is a good bet to supplant Ast at the top of that list.
The three stars were McCarthy (first), Calverley (second) and Kawaguchi (third).
The Fortis BC Energy Player of the Game was Ben Fanjoy.
Announced attendance was 2,888.