The Chilliwack Chiefs continue to put up video game numbers and they continue to win games.
The BCHL club stretched their winning streak to nine with a 6-3 home ice win over the Trail Smoke Eaters Friday night.
Jake Smith and Cole Poliziani scored two goals apiece for the Chiefs, who won their 30th game of the year (30-9-5-0) and moved within striking distance of the all-time longest win streak in franchise history.
The 1995-96 team won 12 straight.
This game didn’t start nearly as well as it finished, with the visitors opening the scoring just 46 seconds in on a goal by Mitchell Barker.
Barker started the play, forcing Chilliwack’s Olivier Arseneau to cough up the puck in the high slot. Barker pushed the puck to linemate Connor Brown-Maloski, wheeled towards the Chiefs net and got the puck right back.
Chilliwack goalie Mark Sinclair stopped Barker’s first shot but not his second as the Kamloops native knocked in his ninth of the season.
Trail led 1-0 through 20 minutes, but the hammer dropped on them hard in period two.
Chilliwack scored four goals in six minutes against a stunned Smokies squad that had no idea what hit them.
The snowball started rolling downhill on a Justin Dixson snipe at 1:39.
Pouncing on a loose puck at the Trail blueline, No. 7 skated unchecked into the slot and ripped a wrister past Smoke Eaters goalie Linden Marshall for his fourth of the year, snapping a 15 game goal-less drought dating back to Nov. 23.
Smith gave Chilliwack the lead just 12 ticks later. Linden Hora hounded the Smokies into a turnover and dashed down the right wing wall. As he headed behind the net Hora sent a centering pass into the goal mouth where Smith was able to chip it over Marshall for his 24th of the year.
The goal stretched Smith’s team-leading point streak to 12 games. The New York native has tallied 10 goals and 22 points over that stretch and now trails Jordan Kawaguchi by just two (27 to 25) for the team goal-scoring lead.
Trail’s trouble clearing their own zone produced another Chiefs goal at 5:31.
Kawaguchi pounced on another puck steps inside the Smokies blueline and got the puck to Kohen Olischefski on the right wing wall. Olly threw the puck into the slot and Cole Poliziani punched it past Marshall.
Sixteen year old D-man Powell Connor collected his third of the year at 7:39 on a blast from the point.
Smith’s second of the game had Chilliwack up 5-1 just 1:23 into period three.
Credit Tommy Lee for good work on the forecheck, creating a turnover for Kale Kane. From behind the end line, Kane whipped a backhand centering pass into the slot for Smith who snapped the puck past Marshall.
Trail waited a long time for their first power play, but cashed in when they got the chance.
Ex-Chief Carter Cochrane skated in from the right point, cutting through the slot and slipping a five-hole shot through Sinclair at 6:22.
Spencer McLean cut Chilliwack’s lead to 5-3 at 7:42, but the Chiefs pushed back with two shifts spent entirely in the Trail end.
With 9:21 remaining, 19 year old Smoke Eaters veteran Kale Howarth answered for a sketchy first period hit on Anthony Vincent, who was driven into the boards from behind at the Chilliwack bench.
Howarth dropped the mitts with 16 year old Chiefs D-man Powell Connor. Connor looked to be in trouble until he wasn’t, coming back with several rights, the last one toppling Howarth to the ice in a heap.
Poliziani gave Chilliwack all the breathing room it needed with 2:17 to go.
A mad scramble in the Trail goal mouth saw Marshall desperately trying to find the puck in a pile of players.
It squirted off to the left where Poliziani swooped in and roofed a backhand shot.
The Smoke Eaters came away with a bunch of penalties, including a match penalty to Brown-Maloski and a game misconduct to their assistant coach.
They finished the game on the PK.
The three stars were Smith (first), Hora (second) and Dixson (third)
The Fortis BC Energy Player of the Game was Connor.
Announced attendance was 2,713