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Chiefs separate in third, beat Ams in home opener

The return of Hudson Elynuik from Carolina Hurricanes camp was a much-needed boost after Spokane was drilled by Tri-City a week ago.

Hudson Elynuik (26) had four points Saturday for the Chiefs.
Hudson Elynuik (26) had four points Saturday for the Chiefs.
Marissa Baecker/Getty Images

The Spokane Chiefs got back on the right track a week after opening the season in embarrassing fashion.

After falling 8-3 at Tri-City the previous Saturday, Spokane broke open a 2-2 game with three third-period goals en route to a 5-2 win. It's the ninth straight season Spokane won the home opener.

Similar to last week's defeat, Spokane's power play was effective against the Americans. Curtis Miske wasted little time on the Chiefs' first power play, scoring 10 seconds into the man advantage to tie the score at 1. Kailer Yamamoto only needed five seconds to score on the next power play, displaying the Chiefs effectiveness and efficiency with the extra man. The teams swapped power play markers in the first and second periods, treating fans to a 2-2 game at the second intermission.

Hudson Elynuik, fresh from Carolina Hurricanes training camp, assisted on Tyson Helgesen's game-winner and added an insurance tally of his own in the third period. Elynuik finished with four points in his first game this season. Kailer Yamamoto potted two goals on the night, the second into an empty net the final minutes.

Spokane killed off a pivotal 5-on-3 in the third period that paved the way to a win. Leading 3-2 with just under 12 minutes left, Elynuik and Evan Fiala committed penalties 37 seconds apart. Spokane was able to kill off 1:23 while down two men, and Elynuik scored five minutes later to secure victory.

Goaltender Jayden Sittler had a much better home opener after getting yanked the week prior. He stopped 30 of 32 shots to pick up his first win of the season.

Zwerger traded to Everett

In an expected move, the team moved overage import forward Dominic Zwerger to Everett for a third-round draft pick in the 2017 bantam draft. Not many teams would be willing to keep an overage import player, and the numbers didn't allow for Zwerger to remain in Spokane. Trading him within the division is interesting, but Spokane likely had very few options and new GM Scott Carter like went for the best he could get.

Chiefs acquire goaltender Weatherill

Spokane traded for 17-year old goalie Dawson Weatherill and a conditional bantam pick to Red Deer in exchange for the rights to Tyson Verhelst and a third-round pick. Verhelst opted to retire from hockey in the offseason but decided he wanted to return and sought a trade. With the move, Spokane reassigned goaltender Matt Berlin.


Spokane has the week off before hosting Lethbridge (3-1-0-0) on Friday and Victoria (1-3-0-0) on Saturday. The meeting with Victoria is a rematch of last year's first-round playoff series, which Victoria took in 6 games.