After a power outage Friday night, the Chilliwack Chiefs offence came to life Saturday to tie their best-of-five series with the Prince George Spruce Kings as the two teams prepared to head north.
A day after his spectacular goaltending stole Prince George a 3-1 victory, Spruce Kings netminder Kirk Thompson was yanked from the pipes just halfway through Game 2 as the Chiefs marched to a 10-1 victory.
The series was to resume in Prince George Monday evening for Game 3. (The result was not available at press time).
The Chiefs didn't deserve to lose Friday, but Thompson's heroics and a couple of lucky bounces for Prince George combined to give the visitors a series lead.
Chilliwack roared out of the gate, outshooting the Spruce Kings 155 before parts of Prospera Centre abruptly went dark with 3: 52 left in the first period.
The power outage, the result of a local lightning storm, sent the two teams to the dressing room for an early first intermission and ice clean. (The remaining first-period time was played before the second).
When action resumed, the Chiefs kept the pressure on Prince George but Thompson held the fort. And late in the second, with the Spruce Kings on a power play, a cross-crease pass hit a skate and bounced past Chiefs goalie Mitch Gillam to give Prince George the lead.
Spruce Kings star Coltyn Hansen added to the Prince George lead 6: 38 into the third. Faced with an on-rushing Hansen, Gillam's poke check instead ended up elevating the puck over the prone netminder and into the net.
Prince George added a late empty-netter before Mathieu Tibbet ruined Thompson's shutout with three seconds left on the clock.
Saturday's game was a mirror opposite, with the Chiefs poking holes in Thompson like he was made of cork.
The Chiefs scored twice within the first 4: 05-both on wrist shots that Thompson could have stopped; Alexandre Perron-Fontaine's point shot midway through the first made the score 3-0; and goals by Trevor Hills and Philip Zielonka chased Thompson from his crease by the 13-minute mark of the second.
Prince George spent much of the rest of the game mixing things up, playing shorthanded and fishing the puck out of their net.
Shortly after Bryant Christian ruined Gillam's shutout, Smyl gave his starter an early break and installed backup Josh Halpenny in net.
The Chiefs would score five more times-including three power play goals-in the final 10: 15 of the game. Hills completed a hat trick with a pair of markers and Tanner Burns scored with one second on the clock to push Chilliwack's total to double digits and tie a franchise playoff record.
NIELSEN OUT FOR FIFTH FIGHT OF SEASON
Chiefs forward Brodyn Nielsen missed Saturday's game after receiving a one-game suspension for participating in his fifth fight of the season.
Agitator Tanner Cochrane is set to return Tuesday after serving a three-game suspension following a hit-from-behind and game misconduct in the Chiefs' final regular season game.
Affiliated player Brandon Volpe drew into the lineup for Games 1 and 2 and registered two assists.