Spokane, WA- Coming toward the final stretch of the season, the Tri-City Americans (29-36-0-3, 61 pts) came up short of earning a valuable two points, falling to the Spokane Chiefs (34-29-3-1, 72 pts) 5-2 in front of 8,721 at Spokane Arena on Saturday night.
The first period saw both the Americans and Chiefs have scoring chances, with Spokane outshooting Tri-City 14-8 in the period. Neither team was able to score a goal in the first period.
Early in the second, the Chiefs broke the scoreless tie as Kailer Yamamoto redirected a shot into the net to put Spokane ahead 1-0. Spokane added a goal midway through the period on a shot from Calder Brooks to increase the lead to 2-0. The Chiefs again had the shot lead in the period, giving the Americans a large mountain to climb in the third period.
Tri-City tried to get something going in the third, but the momentum was immediately in Spokane’s favor as Yamamoto scored his second of the game to increase the lead to 3-0. The Americans fought back and answered a few minutes later, as Maxwell James was able to find the back of the net to cut the lead to two goals. Spokane answered with a power play goal from Liam Stewart to push the lead back to three goals. Tri-City fought back and answered once again, as Beau McCue slapped home a rebound, bringing the score to 4-2. The Americans never gave up, but didn’t have enough to complete a comeback, as Brooks scored an empty net goal late, helping the Chiefs earn the victory.
The Americans and Blazers lost tonight, still tied with 61 points for the final wild card spot. Prince George earned two points with a shootout win against Portland, placing them third in the B.C. Division and two points ahead of Kamloops and Tri-City overall.
Tri-City has lost three straight games to Spokane.
Spokane spent 15 minutes in the penalty box and was 3-of-7 on the power play. Tri-City recorded 31 penalty minutes and was unsuccessful with four power play opportunities.
Eric Comrie stopped 27 shots in the loss while Garret Hughson made 23 saves in the win.
The Americans will return to Kennewick for a couple of days before hitting the road this Tuesday, March 17, to meet the Seattle Thunderbirds (34-25-4-5, 77 pts) at ShoWare Center. Game time is at 7:05 p.m. The Americans won the last meeting between the two teams, 4-0, at Toyota Center on Jan. 23. Listen to the game on NewsTalk 870 or watch the game through WHL Live or at Kimo’s, your Americans home away from home.
Jack in the Box Three Stars
1. Kailer Yamamoto, Spokane
2. Jason Fram, Spokane
3. Liam Stewart, Spokane
WHL Box Score: CLICK HERE