Kennewick, WA- Only one team can be in second place in the U.S. Division.
That title belongs to the Tri-City Americans (16-7-1-1, 34 pts), as Malte Strömwall stabbed the Spokane Chiefs (16-7-1-0, 33 pts) in the heart by scoring 43 seconds into overtime to lift them to a 5-4 win in front of 5,184 at the Toyota Center.
The win snaps a four game Spokane winning streak dating back to last season. Spokane had won three straight in Kennewick until tonight. The Americans have won four straight and snapped Spokane’s two game winning streak.
The Americans outshot the Chiefs early in the first period, but it was Spokane that scored first. Cole Wedman fired a shot through traffic into the left side of the net for a 1-0 lead. But the Americans would tie the game midway through the first period. Zachary Yuen picked up a loose puck next to a pile up in front of the net, which created a screen and allowed Yuen to shoot it into the goal. Tri-City had more chances and outshot Spokane 17-9 in the period, but the first ended tied at one.
Spokane came out shooting in the second period, and had two straight power plays early but couldn’t capitalize on the opportunities. The Chiefs would finally break the tie midway through the second, as Blake Gal would score from the slot to take the lead. Spokane would make it 3-1 as Jackson Playfair stepped out of the penalty box to set up Chiefs Captain Brenden Kichton with a goal. The Americans had a great chance on a Beau McCue breakaway, but he was denied by Eric Williams. Tri-City would get within one before the end of the period, as Mitch Topping shot a laser through traffic into the net for the goal. Ams held the shot lead 16-8 in the second, but went into the third down by one.
Tri-City would get the tying goal 8:44 into the third as McCue would avenge his miss on a breakaway by slipping the puck into the net. Both teams had the chance to take the lead, as McCue had a chance with a loose puck on the doorstep and Spokane had a rebound chance in front of the Americans net that the Chiefs almost put home. Spokane would retake the lead as Collin Valcourt would put home a rebound with 3:34 left in the game. The Ams pushed in the final minutes of the game and it paid off as Marcus Messier put home a rebound with 16 seconds left to tie the game and send the game to overtime.
In overtime, the Chiefs almost scored early in the overtime on a shot from the point. And the resulting skate down the ice towards the Chiefs goal would end the game, as Strömwall danced by a Spokane defender and shot the puck past Williams, and the Americans players flooded the ice to celebrate.
Tri-City finishes the eight game home stand at 7-1, with the lone loss coming against Everett on November 9.
With two assists tonight, Feser achieved 150 for his career and is tied with Bill Lindsay for 11th on the Americans all-time assists list. The two points also bring him within one point of tying Dylan Stanley for 9th on the Americans all-time points list.
Eric Comrie made 35 saves in the win, while Eric Williams made 37 saves in the loss.
Tri-City will try and increase the winning streak to five when they play the Spokane Chiefs tomorrow night in Veterans Memorial Arena. Game time is at 7:05 p.m. Spokane defeated the Americans 5-3 in the first meeting in Spokane and the Chiefs are 11-2 at home this season. NewsTalk 870 will broadcast the game starting at 6:45 p.m. with the pregame show. The game will be broadcast on local television MeTV 42.2 or on Charter 280, as well as WHL Live streaming the game online, with both broadcasts beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Jack in the Box Three Stars:
1. Malte Strömwall, Tri-City
2. Brenden Kichton, Spokane
3. Zachary Yuen, Tri-City