Royals eliminate Chiefs

Royals eliminate Chiefs

The Spokane Chiefs dropped Game 6 of their first round WHL Playoffs series versus the Victoria Royals on Sunday night, 6-2. The loss eliminated the Chiefs from the playoffs and ended their season.

Spokane jumped out to a 1-0 lead early in the first period, at the 3:40 mark, as Jordan Henderson scored his second goal of the postseason on a slapshot from the left circle. Kailer Yamamoto and overage forward Presten Kopeck, playing in his final WHL game, earned assists on the play.

The Royals scored the next five goals of the game, beginning with a pair of power play goals in the first period from Jack Walker and Tyler Soy. Defenseman Scott Walford scored what would end up being the game-winning goal on a 4-on-4 opportunity at the 17:47 mark of the opening period to send the visitors into the first intermission up 3-1.

Soy tallied his second of the night just over four minutes into the second period to make it 4-1 before Western Conference Rookie of the Year Matthew Phillips punched one in after a creative hesitation move at 13:54 to push the Royals’ lead to 5-1.

Spokane native Keanu Yamamoto scored his third goal of the season and team-leading 10th point to cut the lead to 5-2 midway through the third period, on rebound chance created by Curtis Miske and Henderson. Yamamoto scored a point in all six games in the series.

Victoria’s Walker capped the scoring with his fifth tally of the postseason with just under three minutes left in regulation.

Spokane finished the game 0-for-5 on the power play and 2-for-5 on the penalty kill. The Chiefs outshot Victoria 26-25.

The Royals advance to the second round of the playoffs, where they will face the winner of the Kelowna Rockets versus Kamloops Blazers series.