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Chiefs drop pair of home games, fall to 1-3

Spokane came out flat and struggled to stay out of the penalty box in losses to Lethbridge and Victoria.

Evan Fiala dropped the mitts in Saturday's loss to Victoria.
Evan Fiala dropped the mitts in Saturday's loss to Victoria.
Marissa Baecker/Getty Images

Ty Smith scored his first WHL goal, but that was one of few positive moments in the weekend for the Spokane Chiefs.

On Friday, Lethbridge broke out to a 3-0 first-period lead and never looked back in a 5-3 win. Tyler Wong had two goals and an assist for Lethbridge, which scored all three goals in the first on the power play.

Import forward Pavel Kousal scored his first career WHL goal to make it 3-1 with 16 seconds left in the first. Jaret Anderson-Dolan and Keanu Yamamoto each scored to draw Spokane within two goals, but the Chiefs never amounted much of a comeback.

Jayden Sittler had another forgettable evening, his second in Spokane's first three games. He allowed five goals on just 13 shots. Dawson Weatherill got his first action of the season and stopped all five shots he faced.

Royals shut down Chiefs

On Saturday, the Chiefs hosted Victoria in the first meeting between the clubs since last season's 6-game series in the first round. Ty Smith potted his first career WHL goal -- the first of many I assume -- off a shot from the point that ricocheted into the net.

But that was the lone highlight, as Tyler Soy potted a pair to lead the Royals to a 4-1 win.

Victoria goalie Griffen Outhouse was the difference in this one. He turned away 34 shots to earn a well-deserved first-star award. The Royals made it 1-0 near the end of a sluggish first period for both clubs. Soy made it 2-0 on a nice finish four minutes into the second.

Smith made it 2-1 when his wrist shot from the blue line caromed off a Royals defender and past Outhouse. Victoria sealed the win when Matthew Phillips beat Weatherill with just over five minutes to play, and the dagger from Soy came into an empty net.

The game saw Spokane's first, and second, fights of the season. Evan Fiala squared off with Carter Folk midway through the first, with neither really coming out on top. Tyson Helgesen dropped the mitts with Russian import Marsel Ibragimov after the first-period buzzer had sounded.

Weatherill got his first start in net this season, and fared well against the club with the best record in the West last season. He stopped 31 of 34 shots before the empty-net goal.

Chiefs trade rights to Berlin

A week after being reassigned to his junior team in Alberta, Spokane traded the rights to netminder Matt Berlin to the Seattle Thunderbirds. In exchange, the Chiefs receive a conditional pick in the 2018 Bantam Draft. Berlin appeared in a handful of games last season. He was reassigned when the club acquired Dawson Weatherill last week.

Upcoming

After a slow two weeks to start the season, the schedule ramps up for the Chiefs this week. Spokane visits Kent on Tuesday to face the Seattle Thunderbirds (2-2-0-0) before making the 300-mile trek north to Kamloops (3-5-0-0) for a Wednesday night affair. They return home Friday to host U.S. Division foes Everett (4-1-1-0) and Portland (5-3-0-0) for the first time this season.