Spokane, WA- The Tri-City Americans (22-25-2-0, 46 pts) earned a big win in an important game in the WHL playoff race, defeating the Spokane Chiefs (23-20-3-2, 51 pts) 7-3 in front of 9,839 fans at Spokane Arena on Saturday Night.
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Tri-City broke the game open seven minutes into the first, as Mackenze Stewart slammed home a rebound, scoring his first goal of the season to put the Americans up 1-0. Midway through the first, Hudson Elynuik found twine for Spokane to even the game at one. Vladislav Lukin fired a laser top shelf late in the first to put the Americans ahead 2-1 after one period.
Early in the second, Spokane tied the game on a shorthanded goal from Dominic Zwerger. But on that same Tri-City power play, Morgan Geekie buried a shot, pushing the Americans back in front 3-2. About two minutes later, Spokane answered again, this time from Ethan McIndoe, to tie the game at three. Parker Bowles scored a beautiful goal 7:15 into the second, putting the Americans back in front, 4-3, going into the third period.
The Americans increased the lead to 5-3 as Jordan Topping tapped in a rebound early in the third. Spokane fought to get back into the game but Tri-City sealed the game with an empty net goal from Tyler Sandhu late in the third. The icing on the cake was capped off with Lukin’s second goal of the game with less than a minute remaining, as Tri-City earned a big win.
Tri-City is now five points back of Spokane for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Americans snapped a five game road losing streak.
Each team recorded 10 penalty minutes. Tri-City converted 1-of-4 power play opportunities while Spokane couldn’t score with four man advantage opportunities.
Evan Sarthou stopped 28 shots in the win while Tyson Verhelst made 18 saves in the loss.
Tri-City will drive home and begin a three game homestand, starting this Tuesday, Feb. 2, against the Kamloops Blazers (23-18-5-3, 54 pts). Game time is at 7:05 p.m. at Toyota Center. Tri-City lost the last meeting, 3-2 at Sandman Centre. Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster locations, including the Toyota Center Box Office, at any Fred Meyer outlet or online at Ticketmaster.com.
Jack in the Box Three Stars
1. Parker Bowles, Tri-City
2. Jordan Topping, Tri-City
3. Hayden Ostir, Spokane
Notes: Parker Bowles extended his point streak to eight games with a goal and assist tonight. Jordan Topping extended his goal streak to three games.
WHL Box Score: CLICK HERE