Playing more than the required 60 minutes hasn't generated great results so far this season for the Spokane Chiefs.
That trend continued last week after a pair of overtime losses at home to Red Deer and rival Tri-City. But after a week off spent getting healthy Spokane responded by defeating division-leading Everett in OT. The win ended a three-game skid, all of which came in overtime. It was also the Chiefs' first win in six tries in games that went beyond 60 minutes.
Here's a quick recap of the past 3 games
Rebels nab late overtime victory over Spokane
Spokane spent nearly two weeks traveling through the Eastern Conference last week. So it was only fitting the first home game since mid-October was against another team from the East.
Kailer Yamamoto scored his 11th of the season to tie the game last in the third, but Spokane allowed yet another overtime goal and lost 4-3 to Red Deer.
Spokane overcame a 2-0 deficit after one period behind goals from Hudson Elynuik (5) and Keanu Yamamoto (4). Keanu Yamamoto's goal was an impressive sharp-angle snipe off a juicy rebound from Rebel goaltender Riley Lamb.
The teams swapped goals in the third, with Kailer Yamamoto beating Lamb on the glove side through a screen. Michael Spacek beat Jayden Sittler in overtime to pick up the win for Red Deer. Sittler finished the night with 26 saves.
Chiefs yield late goal, lose in overtime again
Saturday's 5-4 loss at home against Tri-City was especially gut-wrenching. Spokane overcame a 3-1 deficit after two periods and took a 4-3 lead with only 6:02 to play.
But Tri-City, generating nothing offensively up to that point, pressured and pressured over the final two minutes and eventually tied the score with 6.4 seconds left. Vladislav Lukin was left all alone in front and buried it moments after getting robbed by Dawson Weatherill on a glove save.
The Americans then needed only 55 seconds to win the game in overtime. Morgan Geekie fed a pass to Juuso Valimaki on a 2-on-1 and the defenseman beat Weatherill on the blocker side.
Despite being outshot Tri-City held a 1-0 lead after one and 3-1 after two periods. Taylor Ross scored shorthanded for his first of the year to tie the score at 1 in the second. Michael Rasmussen, the WHL leader in goals, scored his 15th just 23 seconds later to silence Spokane's momentum.
The game took an interesting turn a couple minutes into the third. Hayden Ostir was tripped by Ams defenseman Brendan O'Reilly, but both went to the penalty box after Ostir was given an embellishment penalty. Spokane completely dominated the ensuing 2-minute 4-on-4 session, with Kailer Yamamoto scoring twice in a span of 1:18. When Ostir and O'Reilly went to the box it was still 3-1, when they exited it was 3-3 and an entirely different game. Keanu Yamamoto then gave Spokane its first lead of the night with 6 minutes left and the Spokane Arena was sent into a frenzy.
Defenseman Jake Toporowski played in his first game of the season Saturday against the Americans. He had been out with a lower-body injury, and looked like a player playing in his first regular-season game. He'll be a nice addition to the defensive unit once he gets his legs under him.
Week off pays off, Chiefs beat Tips
Kailer Yamamoto showed yet again why he is a consensus top-15 pick in next summer's NHL Draft, and his recent successes may vault him even higher. Yamamoto was at his best again against division-leading Everett, earning a point on all 3 Chiefs goals in a 3-2 overtime win.
Yamamoto assisted on Markson Bechtold's second of the season, tying the game at 1 only a minute after Everett grabbed the lead in the first period. After the Tips took a 2-1 lead into the second intermission, Yamamoto does what we've seen him do all year: dominate a third period. He scored at 3:54 to tie the game and finished the win in overtime on the power play off a feed from rookie defender Ty Smith.
The win snapped Everett's six-game winning streak. Although Spokane had dropped three prior to this win, Spokane has now earned a point in seven consecutive games. The Chiefs pounded 33 shots on Everett goalie Carter Hart, while only limiting Everett to 18.
Chiefs trade Henderson to Blades
With players returning from injury, the defensive unit became expendable, and the team moved Jordan Henderson to Saskatoon for a sixth-round pick in the next bantam draft. Henderson played his entire WHL career with the Chiefs, having been drafted by the team in the fourth round in 2012. He had one goal and 12 assists in 112 games. He was a serviceable defenseman, but a move involving any number of defenseman was inevitable for Spokane.
Spokane continues the home stand with three more games in the Arena: Seattle (8-8-0-1) on Tuesday, Calgary (7-6-2-0) on Friday and Kamloops (11-10-1-0) on Saturday.