The Chiefs were without much firepower, and the Rockets were without much of a power play.
It led to a lacklustre result, but the Chiefs will take it.
The Spokane Chiefs edged the Kelowna Rockets 2-1 on Wednesday night at Veterans Memorial Arena in Spokane, Wash., in WHL play thanks largely to special teams.
Kelowna went 0-for-5 on the power play while the Chiefs scored once on two chances.
Without two regular forwards, the Chiefs opted instead to play with just 10 skaters up front rather than add affiliated players.
The strategy worked, and Spokane snapped its six-game losing streak.
Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Bear Hughes powered the Chiefs’ victory, scoring once and adding an assist.
Pavel Novak scored the lone goal of the game for the Rockets, extending his point streak to eight games. Rockets starter Talyn Boyko made 24 saves on 26 shots.
Kelowna native Jack Finley was held pointless for the Chiefs, although he managed four shots on goal in the win.
While playing four-on-four hockey, Hughes brushed past Kelowna defenceman Noah Dorey and forward Nolan Flamand to score the lone goal of the first period.
He had the defence turned around, then beat Boyko up high on the partial breakaway.
Cordel Larson connected on a cross-ice feed from Hughes while on the power play to extend Spokane’s lead early in the second period.
With 59 seconds to play in the second, Flamand won the faceoff clean back to Novak, who hopped on the puck and fired it past Mason Beaupit 23 saves.
The Chiefs outshot the Rockets 26-24 and won 56% of faceoffs in the game.
The loss drops Kelowna’s record to 8-5-2, second in the B.C. Division.
Spokane improved to 4-9-2, fourth in the five-team U.S. Division.
Caden Price, Andrew Cristall, Rilen Kovacevic, Logan Dochuk and Grady Lenton were the Rockets scratches.
Price and Cristall are representing Canada at the Capital City Challenge in Ottawa, a four-team under-17 tournament featuring the Canadian women’s Olympic hockey team preparing for the 2022 Beijing Games.
The Rockets are next in action on Friday when they return home to host these same Chiefs. They’ll then take on the Prince George Cougars on Saturday at Prospera Place. Tickets can be purchased at selectyourtickets.com, at the Prospera Place box office or by phone at 250-762-5050.