Royals outlast Chiefs in OT, take 3-1 series lead

Royals outlast Chiefs in OT, take 3-1 series lead

The Spokane Chiefs suffered a disappointing 3-2 overtime loss in Game 4 of their first round WHL Playoffs series versus the Victoria Royals on Wednesday night at Spokane Arena. Presten Kopeck scored a goal and had an assist for the Chiefs while Alex Forsberg led the Royals with two goals, including the game-winner in overtime.

Dominic Zwerger put the Chiefs on the board at the 4:09 mark of the first period to score his first goal of the post-season after leading the Chiefs with 27 during the regular season. Kopeck and Kailer Yamamoto earned assists on the play.

Victoria’s Matthew Phillips tied the game at the 9:51 mark of the opening frame with his second power play goal in as many nights, off assists from Jack Walker and Tyler Soy.

Kopeck returned the favor eight minutes into the second period, finding a rebound opportunity created by a Jason Fram shot to score his own power play goal to once again give the Chiefs a one-goal lead. Keanu Yamamoto, who came into the game with a team-leading five playoff assists, also earned a helper on the play.

Forsberg scored his first goal from the left wing barely a minute later, firing a shot from the left circle that snuck over Spokane goaltender Lasse Petersen’s left shoulder and under the crossbar.

After a scoreless third period, Forsberg tallied the game-winner at the 8:41 mark of the extra frame, punching the puck into the net after a fortuitous bounce in front of the net from the glass behind the Spokane goal. Walker and Ralph Jarratt earned assists on the winner.

The victory puts Spokane on the brink of elimination as they are now down three games to one in the best-of-seven series. Game 5 is on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. in Victoria.

The Chiefs finished the game 1-for-2 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill. Petersen finished with 23 saves on 26 shots faced while Victoria’s Griffen Outhouse made 30 stops on 32 chances.

Game 6, if necessary, will be back in Spokane at 5:05 p.m. on Sunday evening.