West Kelowna 7
Salmon Arm 3
The Chilliwack Chiefs' third-period struggles continued over the weekend as a pair of late-game collapses stretched their losing streak to four games.
The Chiefs followed a 3-1 loss to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks Friday with a 7-5 defeat to the West Kelowna Warriors Saturday.
Chilliwack could have won both games. Instead, they finished their final multi-day road trip of the regular season with no points, but plenty of questions.
For the second time in a week, the Chiefs found themselves stymied Friday by the tight-checking Silverbacks. The Chiefs, who had lost 5-1 to Salmon Arm the previous weekend in Chilliwack, couldn't generate any more offence on the road.
After a scoreless first period, Salmon Arm took the lead late in the second before the Chiefs solved Silverback goalie Adam Clark midway through the third, courtesy of Cooper Rush.
Salmon Arm outshot Chilliwack 20-8 in the third. And just when it looked like Chilliwack might sew up at least a much-needed single point, Josh Bowes scored with 61 seconds remaining on the clock to give the Silverbacks the lead.
Bryden Marsh scored his second of the game with 16 seconds left to cap the Salmon Arm win.
The following night against a shorthanded West Kelowna Warriors squad, the Chiefs rediscovered their scoring touch but not their ability to elevate-or maintain-their play in the third period.
The Warriors were missing three players who were suspended following an altercation in a midweek game against the Penticton Vees. The Chiefs built a 3-0 lead thanks to a pair of power play goals by Austin Plevy in the first period and a Josh Hansen marker early in the second.
But that lead evaporated in the span of six and a half minutes in the second.
Despite the collapse, the Chiefs still had life; goals from Tanner Cochrane and then-after the Warriors had tied the game again-Spencer Graboski gave the Chiefs a one-goal advantage with 11 minutes to play in the third.
But for the second time in as many periods, the Warriors scored three goals in quick succession. Just 3: 46 was all it took for the Chiefs to watch another two points go up in smoke.
Chiefs goalie Mitch Gillam couldn't be blamed for any of the four Warriors third period goals.
Rather, lax defensive zone coverage gave the Warriors all kinds of space in front of goal. The winning goal, appropriately, came on a rebound that squirted to a wide-open Warriors player after Gillam had stopped a shot from the slot.
The Chiefs have now been outscored 11-2 in their last four third periods and 17-3 in the second half of their last four games. In the first 30 minutes of those games, they've outscored their opponents 8-4.
Donohoe back with team
After more than two months on the sidelines, Ryan Donohoe returned to the lineup Friday against Salmon Arm. He skated alongside Trevor Hills and Josh Hansen on a newly formed second line.
David Thompson, meanwhile, returned to action Saturday after serving a two-game suspension for a hit-from-behind last weekend.
Thompson and Jaret Babych must still serve one-game suspensions dating to January's altercation against the Victoria Grizzlies.
Silverbacks snap goal-scoring streak
Philip Zielonka's five-game goal streak was snapped Friday by the Silverbacks, as were Luke Esposito and Austin Plevy's nine-game point streaks and Esposito's eight-game assist streak. All three tallied points against the Warriors. Plevy and Esposito are tied with each other for second in league scoring, one point back of Langley's Mario Puskarich.