Stewart leads Chiefs past TBirds

Stewart leads Chiefs past TBirds

SPOKANE, Wash. – Liam Stewart scored his fourth and fifth goals of the season as the Chiefs cruised past the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds, 4-1 on Wednesday night at Spokane Arena.

Chiefs forward Keanu Yamamoto got the scoring started, beating T-Birds goaltender Taran Kozun over his right shoulder to put Spokane up 1-0. Stewart forced a turnover in front of the Seattle net as the T-Birds started their breakout and Yamamoto capitalized, snapping his shot at the 11:29 mark of the 1st Period.

Forward Adam Helewka would push the Chiefs’ lead to two with a goal at the 3:10 mark of the 2nd Period, with the assist going to 20-year-old Calder Brooks. Seattle’s top left winger Ryan Gropp answered quickly, powering to the net and beating Spokane goaltender Garret Hughson with a flip to the top of the net at the 3:52 mark of the period, bringing the Chiefs lead down to 2-1.

Spokane answered late in the 2nd Period as Stewart banged home an easy rebound opportunity created by Brooks at the 19:03 mark. Helewka earned the secondary assist on the play, which pushed the Chiefs to a 3-1 lead into the 2nd Intermission.

Stewart capped the scoring with his second goal as he drove to the left side of the net and beat Kozun high over his right shoulder. Yamamoto and defenseman Jeff Rayman earned assists on the play.

Hughson earned his fourth win in goal, pushing his record to 4-1-2-0, after stopping 18 of 19 shots. Kozun finished with 39 saves as the Chiefs outshot the T-Birds 43-19 on the night. Both teams were scoreless on two power play opportunities.

The Chiefs stay in Spokane to host top-ranked Kelowna on Fred Meyer Calendar Giveaway Night on Friday at Spokane Arena.