Chilliwck, BC – Dennis Cholowsk’s goal with 11 seconds left in the first overtime period Wednesday against the visiting Wenatchee Wild capped a furious comeback for the Chiefs and moved them three points ahead of the second place Wild in the race for first place in the BCHL’s mainland division.
In a game featuring two of the league’s best defensive teams, Cholowski’s goal was the 13th of the night.
The Wild were gifted a power play in the game’s opening minute. With Chiefs forward Ryan Forbes off for tripping, Dakota Raabe corralled a rebound and backhanded his 18th of the season behind Chiefs goaltender Aidan Pelino.
With 6:24 left in the opening period Darien Craighead scored his 20th of the season to knot the game at one. Taylor Allan started the play along the left board in the offensive zone, feeding the puck to Dennis Cholowski at the point.
Cholowski’s shot hit something in front and Craighead, while on this knees was able to bring the puck from his backhand to his forehand and beat goaltender Chase Perry.
With just under three minutes left in the first the Chiefs got a power play goal from Vimal Sukumaran. Craighead set up the play finding Sukumaran all alone to the left of Perry. Sukumarn’s tough angle shot eluded Perry to give the Chiefs a 2-1 lead.
A defensive zone turnover with just under four minutes gone in the second period led to Charlie Combs beating Pelino for his 20th of the season and a two two game.
The Chiefs regained the lead 89 seconds later.
Chiefs forward Jeremy Germain started the play, causing a turnover with a strong forecheck. Craighead then found Olivier Arseneau at the point. Arseneau’s shot hit a Wild defender in front but Craighead found the rebound and put the Chiefs back up by one.
More poor defensive zone play by the Chiefs led to goals by Kyle Stephan and Bryan Yoon in the period’s final five minutes to give the visitors a 4-3 lead after forty minutes.
The Chiefs answered at the 3:29 mark of the third period. Once again it was Jeremy Germain making the key play. Driving wide left as he entered the offensive zone he found Forbes driving the Wild net with a perfect pass. Forbes perfectly timed one timer beat Perry high and tied the game at four.
Chilliwack held the lead for just under four minutes before giving up goals to Raabe and August Von Ungern to find themselves down 6-4 with nine minutes left in the third.
It was also the end of the night for Pelino who was replaced in the Chiefs goal by Matteo Esposito.
The two goal lead lasted just thirty two seconds.
Back to back breakaway goals by Craighead and Germain thirty seven seconds apart set the table for Cholowski’s overtime heroics
The Chiefs visit Coquitlam Friday night before hosting the Vernon Vipers Saturday and the Cowichan Valley Capitals Sunday.