Spokane, WA- When the Americans and Chiefs meet to determine second place in the U.S. Division, it was guaranteed to be an exciting game.
The game lived up to expectations, as Malte Strömwall scored the game winning goal in overtime to give the Tri-City Americans (27-17-1-2, 57 pts) a big road win against the Spokane Chiefs (28-16-2-0, 58 pts) in Veterans Memorial Arena.
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Tri-City extends their road win streak to three and has won three straight against the Chiefs. Spokane has dropped their last three games.
Spokane set the tempo in the first period, throwing 19 shots at Luke Lee-Knight compared to the Americans eight shots. But Tri-City got on the board first as Parker Bowles grabbed a loose puck in the Spokane zone, toe dragged the puck across the crease and slipped it into the net for a 1-0 lead. Lee-Knight was solid in net, but gave up a goal at the end of the period as Brenden Kichton fed the puck to a wide-open Todd Fiddler on the back door to tie the game at one after the first period.
The Chiefs took the lead midway through the second period as Carter Proft would score from the slot to make it 2-1. Spokane outshot the Americans in the second period 8-6. The Americans had their chances in the second period, but Eric Williams held his own in the net, helping the Chiefs take the lead into the third period.
Tri-City would turn it on in the third period. Bowles would score his second goal of the game on a great feed from Brian Williams to tie the game at two. The Americans retook the lead midway through the third as Jesse Mychan would score by sliding it through Williams’ legs to make it 3-2. Spokane tied the game three minutes later on the power play as Dylan Walchuk would redirect the puck into the goal on the power play. Neither team could end the game in regulation, so the game would be decided in overtime.
It didn’t take long for the game to be decided in overtime as Strömwall would end the game 0:21 into overtime, firing a wrist shot into the net to give Tri-City the win.
Justin Feser had two assists tonight, bringing his point streak to eight games. Mychan’s goal makes it four straight games with a goal.
Lee-Knight had 39 saves in the win while Williams made 18 saves in the loss.
The Americans will come home for four straight games, starting on Tuesday, Jan. 22 when they welcome back the Seattle Thunderbirds (17-26-2-1, 37 pts) to the Toyota Center. Game time is at 7:05 p.m. The Americans have won two straight against the Thunderbirds, with the most recent game a 5-3 Tri-City win in Kennewick, with Feser scoring a natural hat trick. NewsTalk 870 will broadcast the game starting at 6:45 p.m. with the pregame show. WHL Live will stream the game online at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available at the Toyota Center Box Office, at any Fred Meyer outlet, at any Ticketmaster location or online at Ticketmaster.com.
Jack in the Box Three Stars:
1. Luke Lee-Knight, Tri-City
2. Carter Proft, Spokane
3. Malte Strömwall, Tri-City