Chiefs Blank Americans 7-0

Gary Peterson

Spokane, WA – With a goal early in the first period, the Spokane Chiefs (33-20-3-2, 71 pts.) stormed out of the gates and never looked back, defeating the Tri-City Americans (27-26-3-3, 60 pts.) 7-0 at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday night.

It was the Americans' third loss in its last four games, dropping to 1-2-1-0 on the current five-game road trip through the Western Conference. With an overtime loss earlier in the night, the Prince George Cougars (24-29-2-5, 55 pts.) gained a point on Tri-City, sitting just four points back for the eighth and final playoff spot.

Keanu Yamamoto’s goal just 2:38 into the game gave the Chiefs the early 1-0 lead, giving Spokane all the momentum in the early stages of the period.

The Chiefs continued to pressure the Americans, out shooting them 8-3 in the first half of the period. Connor Chartier put the Chiefs up 2-0 at 13:16, finishing off a tic-tac-toe passing play with his 10th of the season.

Tri-City would gain momentum in the later stages of the opening frame, putting together several strong shifts in a row, pressuring to cut into the Chiefs lead. But, a too-many-men penalty with under 30 seconds remaining in the first period, would prove costly.

Coming into the second period, the Americans still had 1:39 to kill off of the penalty, but the Chiefs would need just 32 seconds, as Mitch Holmberg scored his 48th goal of the season to put Spokane up 3-0.

The Americans struggled to get any offense going in the middle frame, recording just three shots despite three man advantage opportunities, while the Chiefs continued to pour on the pressure with 13 shots on Comrie.

Adam Helewka gave the Chiefs a commanding 4-0 lead at 15:37, taking the pass from Reid Gow on the 2-on-1, and snapping the puck past Comrie.

Soon after Spokane’s fourth goal, Jessey Astles would be whistled for a five-minute major on a hit to the head of Carter Proft, putting Tri-City shorthanded for the remainder of the second period and into the third.

Tri-City would kill of Astles’ major penalty, but continue to get itself into penalty trouble as consecutive infractions by Josh Thrower and Justin Hamonic put the Americans down two-men. The two-man advantage would last just 10 seconds, as Holmberg's one-timer just ten seconds later put the Chiefs up 5-0, 5:18 into the final period.

Evan Sarthou entered the game with 7:55 remaining in the third period after the Chiefs had taken a 6-0 lead. The rookie net minder made six saves, allowing one goal on Dominic Zwerger’s 12th goal of the season at the 17:12 mark.   

The Americans will conclude its five-game road swing on Wednesday, when the team travels back into British Columbia to take on the Kelowna Rockets (46-8-0-4, 96 pts.) at Prospera Place for a 7:00 p.m. faceoff. Fans can catch the action live, via WHL Live, at the Americans’ official home away from home, Kimo’s in Richland.

Jack In Box Three Stars
1) Mitch Holmberg, Spokane
2) Connor Chartier, Spokane
3) Eric Williams, Spokane

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Playoff Stats

Goalie GP W SO GAA SV%
Eric Comrie 5 1 0 3.46 0.917
Evan Sarthou 0 0 0 0.00 0.000
Player G A PTS PIM
Jessey Astles 1 0 1 2
Parker Bowles 1 2 3 4
Brandon Carlo 0 1 1 8
Ty Comrie 0 0 0 0
Jordan Davies 0 0 0 0
Morgan Geekie 0 0 0 0
Matthew Gelinas 0 0 0 0
Justin Gutierrez 1 3 4 2
Justin Hamonic 1 0 1 6
Riley Hillis 0 0 0 0
Justin Marreck 0 0 0 0
Devon McAndrews 0 0 0 0
Beau McCue 0 1 1 0
Lucas Nickles 0 0 0 4
Jackson Playfair 0 0 0 2
Michal Plutnar 0 0 0 2
Braden Purtill 0 0 0 2
Rodney Southam 0 0 0 0
Josh Thrower 0 0 0 5
Mitch Topping 0 2 2 4
Philip Tot 3 4 7 0
Taylor Vickerman 0 0 0 0
Brian Williams 3 2 5 4
Parker Wotherspoon 0 2 2 2
Standings
  • B.C. Division |
  • Central Division |
  • East Division |
  • U.S. Division |
Team GP W L OTL SL PTS
Kelowna Rockets 72 57 11 0 4 118
Victoria Royals 72 48 20 1 3 100
Vancouver Giants 72 32 29 7 4 75
Prince George Cougars 72 27 37 3 5 62
Kamloops Blazers 72 14 53 2 3 33
Team GP W L OTL SL PTS
Edmonton Oil Kings 72 50 19 2 1 103
Calgary Hitmen 72 48 17 3 4 103
Medicine Hat Tigers 72 44 24 3 1 92
Kootenay Ice 72 39 28 2 3 83
Red Deer Rebels 72 35 32 1 4 75
Lethbridge Hurricanes 72 12 55 2 3 29
Team GP W L OTL SL PTS
Regina Pats 72 39 26 4 3 85
Swift Current Broncos 72 38 25 3 6 85
Brandon Wheat Kings 72 34 29 6 3 77
Prince Albert Raiders 72 35 32 3 2 75
Moose Jaw Warriors 72 21 42 3 6 51
Saskatoon Blades 72 16 51 2 3 37
Team GP W L OTL SL PTS
Portland Winterhawks 72 54 13 2 3 113
Seattle Thunderbirds 72 41 25 2 4 88
Everett Silvertips 72 39 23 7 3 88
Spokane Chiefs 72 40 26 3 3 86
Tri-City Americans 72 29 33 4 6 68