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 Spokane Chiefs

Chiefs Fall Short to Late Heidt Heroics in 5-2 Overtime Loss to PG

March 3, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Spokane Chiefs News Release

Prince George, B.C. - The Spokane Chiefs didn't trail in all of regulation, but a pair of late-game goals would prove to be their downfall as the Prince George Cougars stole a 5-4 win in overtime Saturday night.

The Chiefs were early to get on the board after Conner Roulette slid the puck over to Berkly Catton in a slick cross-ice pass and Catton fired it on net. A save from Prince George netminder Ty Young bounced the puck in front of his pads, where a waiting Ty Cheveldayoff chipped it over the line to open the scoring at 3:11.

The Cougars answered a little over two minutes later, as Matteo Danis tied things up 1-1 with help from Hunter Laing and Oren Shtrom.

The team traded a few penalties throughout the middle of the first frame, but Spokane regained their footing at 14:16 when a rushing Catton dropped the puck behind him to Shea Van Olm, who carried it across the slot before rifling it to the twine for his 20th goal of the season. Roulette also picked up his second assist of the night on the play.

The second period was a battle between special teams and the goalies, as the Chiefs went 1-for-1 on the penalty kill, but 0-for-2 on the power play, while Cooper Michaluk turned aside all 11 Cougar goals he faced in the middle frame.

Spokane held onto that 2-1 lead through to the second intermission.

It was Prince George who struck first in the third period, when Carlin Dezainde netted his 22nd goal of the year on the power play at 6:47. This once again evened the score at two apiece.

Spokane's top line cooked up its usual magic in the back half of the final frame, as Roulette and Catton played some give-and-go skating up the right wing before Catton fired from the circle. It seemed as though Young stopped it at first, but it trickled in behind him after the save, giving the lead back to the Chiefs at 12:51.

Five minutes later, the dynamic duo connected again - this time with Roulette stopping and dropping the puck over to Catton at the left circle, who shot it over Young's shoulder and into the twine to give Spokane a 4-2 lead at with just over two minutes left in regulation.

But Prince George wasn't going down without a fight, scoring back-to-back goals in the final two minutes eventually tie things up at 19:30 and force the game into overtime. The first came from Villiam Kmec, while the Cougars' fourth goal was scored by league leader Zack Funk (his 59th of the year).

It was Riley Heidt who put the nail in the Chiefs' coffin at the 2:03 mark in bonus time to win it for Prince George 5-4.

Despite the final score, Michaluk dazzled in net for Spokane, stopping 33 shots throughout the night including a near-perfect 20/21 through the first two periods.

The Chiefs went 2-for-6 on the power play and 3-for-5 on the penalty kill. They lost the shot battle 38-22.

Spokane still holds the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, with 56 points in 59 games. They are nine points ahead of the ninth-place Tri-City Americans (47 points in 58 games) and two points behind the seventh-place Kelowna Rockets (58 points in 59 games).

Up next, the Chiefs return home to take on the Victoria Royals on Tuesday, March 5 at 7:05 p.m. in the second-to-last TicketsWest Player Magnet Giveaway night at Spokane Arena this season.

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