Spokane, WA- Don Nachbaur’s 1,000 WHL game went just the way he pictured it.
The Spokane Chiefs (17-7-1-0, 35 pts) got off to a quick start and held on late to earn a 5-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans (16-8-1-1, 34 pts) at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Spokane.
Spokane redeemed their loss from last night, and has won four of five against Tri-City this season. Spokane is now 12-2 at home this season. The teams combined for 101 penalty minutes.
The game started off the same as last night, as Spokane scored first on some good puck movement to set up a Blake Gal wrist shot into the goal to earn the 1-0 lead. The Americans would strike back as Jesse Mychan scored on a wraparound shot to tie the game with 17 seconds left in the period. Spokane had two power plays and a 9-5 shot advantage in the period, but both teams had about the same amount of good scoring chances and went into the second period tied at one.
Todd Fiddler started off the second period the way Spokane wanted, as he scored 1:16 in to give the Chiefs the lead again 2-1. Spokane had two power plays in the period, but couldn’t capitalize on either. The Chiefs outshot the Americans again 9-5 in the period. The Americans found themselves in a similar position as last night, faced with overcoming a one goal deficit heading into the third period.
Tri-City tied the game early in the third period as Parker Bowles fired a wrist shot into the goal from the left faceoff circle. Spokane retook the lead on an Eric Comrie mistake as he left the net to play the puck. He shot it around the glass right to Mitch Holmberg, who shot it into the net before Comrie could get back to the net to make it 3-2. The Americans pushed hard in the final minutes of the game, but didn’t have the same magic as last night. Liam Stewart scored a goal in the final two minutes and an empty net goal in the final minute to seal the victory for Spokane.
With an assist tonight, Justin Feser moved into 11th alone on the Americans all-time assist list. He also tied Dylan Stanley for 9th on the Americans all-time points list.
Nachbaur coached almost half of his 1,000 career WHL games with the Tri-City Americans. From 2003 to 2009, coaching in 423 games and wins in 229 of those games.
Comrie made 24 saves in the loss, while Spokane goalie Eric Williams made 19 saves in the win.
The Americans have a few days off before they head to British Columbia for three games. They take on the Kelowna Rockets (14-8-1-1, 30 pts) in the first of the three games on Wednesday, November 28. Game time is at 7:05 p.m. Tri-City defeated Kelowna 3-2 in both meetings at the Toyota Center this season, coming from behind in the first game after being down 2-0 after two periods. NewsTalk 870 will broadcast the game beginning at 6:45 p.m. with the pregame show. WHL Live will stream the game online starting at 7:00 p.m.
Jack in the Box Three Stars:
1. Mike Aviani, Spokane
2. Zachary Yuen, Tri-City
3. Liam Stewart, Spokane