Eric Welsh – Chilliwack Progress
The Chilliwack Chiefs played a much better game Saturday night in game two of their second round BCHL playoff series against Prince George, but it wasn’t enough.
One night after falling 7-0, the Chiefs kept it close, losing 3-2 at Prospera Centre.
But close gets them nowhere in the best-of-seven series. Prince George now holds a commanding 2-0 lead with the next two games coming up Monday and Tuesday night in the cozy confines of the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena.
Prince George opened the scoring 189 seconds into this one on an unlucky play for Chiefs rookie Brett Rylance.
Hounded by a Spruce Kings forechecker behind the end line to the left of his own net, Rylance accidentally threw the puck into the goal-mouth where Ben Poisson lurked. The Vancouver native pounced on the turnover and snapped a quick shot over the glove of Chilliwack goalie Daniel Chenard.
Poisson also opened the scoring in game one, opening the floodgates in a 7-0 PG rout.
Different story this time as the home team pushed back, drawing even at 12:18 on a goal by Harrison Blaisdell.
Matt Holmes played his strongest game of the playoffs and picked up his first point of the postseason. The winger carried the puck down the left wing, driving wide on Spruce Kings defender Sean Donaldson. Just before he slipped behind the PG net, Holmes curled a pass into the goal-mouth where Harrison Blaisdell was waiting to pop it in.
The Chiefs were arguably the better team in the second period, but found themselves trailing after goals by Max Coyle and Nicholas Poisson.
Coyle collected his on a Spruce Kings power play, hammering a point shot past Chenard at 1:51.
With the home team pressing for the equalizer, Nicholas Poisson scored the third PG goal. Defenceman Liam Watson-Braun started the play with a beautiful stretch pass to Ben Poisson. Hounded by the Chiefs D on his way to the net, Ben couldn’t beat Chenard, but Nicholas followed the play and scored his third of the playoffs at 10:30.
Chilliwack deserved to have something good happen in the second period and Kevin Wall supplied the goal that got his team back within one.
Capping off a shift spent buzzing around the Spruce Kings zone, Ethan Bowen sent a backhand centering pass into the crease where Wall was waiting to punch it in for his second of the playoffs.
Sadly, that was it for the home team.
The BCHL’s stingiest team went into lockdown mode in the final frame, holding Chilliwack to just six harmless shots on goal.
Chiefs coach Brian Maloney pulled Chenard with a minute to play, but Chilliwack couldn’t get set up in the offensive zone and PG was able to kill the clock and get the win.
The three stars in game two were Harrison Blaisdell (first), Ben Poisson (second) and Ben Brar (third).
Energy Player of the Game was Clark Nelson.