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WHL: Chiefs rally to down Thunderbirds in shootout

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The Canadian Press
12/15/2012 1:56:59 AM
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Mitch Holmberg and Brenden Kichton supplied much of the offence as the Spokane Chiefs came from behind to beat the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds 7-6 in a shootout on Friday in Western Hockey League action.

The two forwards combined for eight points and both scored in the shootout to give their club its eighth victory in its last 10 outings.

Holmberg scored three times and added two assists in regulation for the Chiefs (22-8-1), who trailed 6-2 early in the third period, and now has seven goals in his last four contests.

Kichton set up three goals and now has 30 assists in 32 games, which is good for fourth spot in the WHL.

Mike Aviani, Dylan Walchuk and Riley Whittingham also scored for Spokane as Marek Kalus chipped in with three assists.

Luke Lockhart scored twice for the Thunderbirds (16-15-1), who have lost three in a row, and Connor Honey had a goal and two assists.

Connor Sanvido, Roberts Lipsbergs and Justin Hickman also scored for Seattle while Shea Theodore, Riley Sheen and Alexander Delnov each had two assists.

Lipsbergs, a rookie, has picked up at least one point in 13 of his last 14 games and has 17 goals and 32 points in 33 games.

Eric Williams started in goal for the Chiefs and allowed five goals on 18 shots through 40 minutes. Garret Hughson came in for the third period and stopped 2-of-3 shots in 25 minutes of relief to earn the win as Brandon Glover stopped 39-of-45 shots in a losing cause for Seattle.

Spokane went 2 for 7 with the power play while Seattle went 2 for 5.

Elsewhere in the WHL, it was: Kootenay 5, Prince Albert 4 (SO); Saskatoon 4, Swift Current 3; Brandon 4, Moose Jaw 2; Lethbridge 4, Kamloops 2; Kelowna 5, Medicine Hat 2; Red Deer 3, Victoria 2 (SO); Portland 4, Everett 2 and Vancouver 2, Prince George 1.

At Spokane, Wash., Walchuk opened the scoring for the Chiefs 3:35 into the opening period, however Sanvido and Lockhart scored power-play goals less than a minute apart to make it 2-1 Seattle after 20 minutes.

Less than a minute into the second period Lockhart added another goal to make it 3-1.

Whittingham cut into Seattle's lead at 1:57 before Lipsbergs and Hickman added two more for the Thunderbirds to give their club a three-goal cushion heading into the final period.

Honey made it 6-2 1:27 into the third period, however the Chiefs responded with four unanswered goals to force overtime.

Holmberg scored three straight goals in the span of eight minutes before Aviani tied the game at 19:05.

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Ice 5 Raiders 4 (SO)

At Prince Albert, Sask., Levi Cable scored in the sixth round of the shootout and Luke Philp scored twice in regulation as Kootenay (10-20-1) picked up its first win in three outings by downing the Raiders (21-11-3).

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Blades 4 Broncos 3

At Saskatoon, Josh Nicholls scored twice and set up one more and Shane McColgan had a goal and two assists as the Blades (18-14-1) beat Swift Current (14-17-5) for their fifth straight win.

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Wheat Kings 4 Warriors 2

At Brandon, Tim McGauley scored two of Brandon's four third-period goals and Curtis Honey made 28 saves as the Wheat Kings (12-18-4) doubled up Moose Jaw (12-16-7).

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Hurricanes 4 Blazers 2

At Lethbridge, Alta., Ty Rimmer turned aside 29 shots and the Hurricanes (17-15-5) scored three times with the man advantage en route to downing Kamloops (25-9-3).

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Rockets 5 Tigers 2

At Medicine Hat, Alta., Damon Severson scored once and set up two more and Jordon Cooke made 20 saves as Kelowna (22-9-2) picked up its fifth win in a row by defeating the Tigers (14-18-2).

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Rebels 3 Royals 2 (SO)

At Red Deer, Alta., Rhyse Dieno and Matt Bellerive both scored in regulation and the shootout as the Rebels (20-12-3) beat Victoria (17-13-2) for their first win in three contests.

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Winterhawks 4 Silvertips 2

At Portland, Ore., Taylor Leier and Nicolas Petan each had a goal and an assist and goaltender Brendan Burke won his ninth straight decision after making 24 saves as the Winterhawks (26-5-2) doubled up Everett (13-21-2).

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Giants 2 Cougars 1

At Vancouver, Cain Franson scored the winning goal at 13:02 of the third period and Payton Lee made 31 saves as the Giants (8-23-0) handed Prince George (10-17-4) its fourth loss in a row.

Spokane Chiefs (Photo: TSN)

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(Photo: TSN)
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