Chiefs cruise past Portland, force game 7

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SPOKANE — The Spokane Chiefs have put a 3-1 series deficit and poor home playoff record against Portland behind them. It’s down to one game to see if the Chiefs or Winterhawks advance in the WHL postseason.

Spokane used first-period goals from Jake McGrew and Eli Zummack to open an early lead, and the Chiefs never trailed in a 5-2 win to even their best-of-seven playoff series with Portland at 3-3. The puck drops at 7:05 tonight in Portland in a decisive game 7.

Portland closed the lead to 2-1 on a power-play goal early in the second period. But after the Chiefs had a goal waved off, Ty Smith tallied his first career playoff goal to restore a two-goal lead, and the hosts closed out the Game 6 win before 3,509 at the Spokane Arena.

Dawson Weatherill had 31 saves in net for Spokane, which had been 1-10 against Portland in home playoff games since 2010. The Chiefs have not defeated the Winterhawks in a playoff series since 2003 — the last time the teams went seven games in the postseason.

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