Spokane Chiefs allow 7 straight goals, fall to Medicine Hat 10-4

Jan. 7—MEDICINE HAT, Alberta — For the second game in a row on their six-game swing through the Western Hockey League's Eastern Conference, the Spokane Chiefs held a 4-3 lead early in the second period over a team with a winning record.

And for the second game in a row, it all came crashing down after. The Medicine Hat Tigers outscored their visitors 6-1 in the second period and the Chiefs fell 10-4 at Co-op Place on Sunday.

Spokane surrendered five unanswered goals in an 8-4 loss to Swift Current Friday night. The Chiefs (14-18-3-0) have lost back-to-back games to start 2024 after winning four in a row to end December.

Holding a 3-1 first-period lead, the Chiefs let the Tigers tie the score at 3-3. Midway through the second Chiefs forward Chase Bertholet camped out in the slot to convert a feed from Conner Roulette to go up one.

Tigers winger Hunter St. Martin was hauled down on a breakaway 28 seconds later and he converted the penalty shot to tie it right back up.

Medicine Hat (25-12-2-0) took a lead it wouldn't relinquish two minutes later when Oasiz Wiesblatt scored for his 16th goal of the season.

Moments later, Spokane forward Ty Cheveldayoff took a 5-minute checking-from-behind penalty and earned a game misconduct. The Tigers' Andrew Basha knocked in Shane Smith's touch pass on the power play for the insurance marker. Thirty seconds later Berkly Catton was whistled for slashing and Basha tallied again for a three-goal lead.

The rout was on.

A mere 45 seconds into the third period Tomas Mrsic made it 8-4 with a one-timer against Dawson Cowan, who replaced Cooper Michaluk (16 saves on 23 shots) after the second intermission. Marcus Pacheco scored on a three-on-one and Dru Krebs came in on a breakaway to make it 10-4.

It started out great for Spokane.

Catton got the Chiefs on the board with a power play goal 4 1/2 minutes into the game. He collected a loose puck at the Medicine Hat blue line, gathered steam and fired past goalie Ethan McCallum for his 24th marker of the season and a 1-0 lead.

They made it 2-0 with just under 4 minutes left in the first period. Layton Feist made a hard shot from the right point and forward Cheveldayoff redirected it past McCallum for his fifth goal of the season.

Defenseman Brayden Crampton added to the lead a couple of minutes later. He entered the offensive zone down the right wing, hit the brakes and shuffled to his left and fired a slap shot to make it 3-0 with his fourth goal of the season.

Medicine Hat cut into the lead a bit with 41.6 seconds left as Mrsic converted a two-on-one pass from Vasyl Spilka.

Just 57 seconds into the second period, the Chiefs defense left McKenna alone in the slot and he buried Mrsic's pass past Michaluk to make it 3-2.

McKenna tied it a little more than 2 minutes later, coming in on a breakaway after a line change for his 15th of the campaign and fourth goal in four games.