Through four periods, everything was going great for the Chilliwack Chiefs on their road trip to Powell River.
The Chiefs beat the Kings 5-0 Friday night, with goalie Grant Riley making 23 stops for his first career BCHL shutout. AJ Lacroix, Dawson Good, Connor Milburn, Xavier Henry and Jordan Chudley scored for Chilliwack.
The Chiefs led 3-0 after 20 minutes in Saturday’s rematch, with Milburn scoring a pair and Lacroix netting a single. They were poised to have their first two-win weekend of the young season, but things fell apart in the final 40 and Chilliwack lost 4-3, settling for a split against their Coastal Conference foes.
Inconsistency is a familiar early-season theme for the junior A club.
Five weekends with two games each, all of them splits.
Through 11 games it’s been loss-win-win-loss-win-loss-loss-win-loss-win-loss. No long losing skids, but no winning streaks either.
“We played well for a game and a half,” said Chilliwack hockey boss Brian Maloney about the latest effort. “Then we allowed them (Powell River) to open up the play in the second game, giving up a ton of scoring chances back and forth.”
That said, Maloney thought his team did enough to win.
“We scored a goal that should have counted with a minute remaining,” he said.
Ethan Bowen swooped down the left wing, went behind the cage and stuffed a wraparound past Kings goalie Zak Brice with 1:05 to play, but the goal was waved off. Kienan Draper had gone hard to the net, ending up in the blue paint along with Powell River defender Nathan Small.
The officials huddled up and took Bowen’s goal off the scoreboard, calling goalie interference.
“Then it was a lack of focus with 20 seconds left that allowed them to score,” Maloney said.
Nolan Krogfoss netted the winner behind Chilliwack goalie Cole Savage, who stopped 21 of 25 shots.
The Chiefs come out of the weekend at 5-6-0-0, good for fifth in the Coastal Conference. They’re on the right side of the goals for/goals against ratio at plus-six, and any sort of winning streak would vault them up the standings in the hurry.
But at the moment, their 10 points puts them closer to the bottom (Coquitlam Express with six) than the top (Langley Rivermen with 17).
Chillliwack has just one game this week, but it’s a tough one. They host the Victoria Grizzlies (8-4-0-0) Friday night, 7 p.m. at the Chilliwack Coliseum.