Kennewick, WA- Tri-City played hard but in the end, it wasn’t enough.
Blake Gal scored the winning goal 34 seconds into overtime to lift the Spokane Chiefs (44-25-2-0, 90 pts) to a 3-2 win over the Tri-City Americans (40-26-2-3, 85 pts) in front of 5,987 at the Toyota Center regular season home finale.
Spokane won the season series against the Americans, earning wins in seven of the 12 games.
Tri-City has lost four straight, including their second loss to come after regulation during the streak.
The game started out going back and forth, as each team kept trading shots with both teams coming close to scoring. Tri-City broke up the scoreless tie with less than six minutes remaining in the first. Drydn Dow chipped the puck into the zone and Connor Rankin skated into the zone, grabbed the puck and flipped it over the right shoulder of Garret Hughson for a 1-0 lead. Spokane had the shot advantage 11-7 in the period, but it was the Americans with the one goal lead.
Spokane was able to tie the game midway through the second period. Jeremy McIntosh fired a shot from the slot that found the back of the net for his first goal of the season to tie the game at one. Tri-City outshot Spokane in the period 13-9 but it was the Chiefs that were able to score in the second to make it interesting going into the third period.
Spokane took their first lead of the game early in the third on the power play. Dylan Walchuk fired a slap shot from the top of the left faceoff circle into the net to give the Chiefs the lead. Tri-City charged back as Jesse Mychan threw the puck at the net, with the rebound bouncing right to Justin Feser on the back door to flick a backhand shot into the goal to tie the game at two. Neither team could net a winner in regulation which meant overtime.
It didn’t take long for the game to end in overtime. Brenden Kichton fired a shot on goal which Trombley stopped, but the rebound bounced right to Gal in front of the crease, putting it into the net for the game winner.
The Americans and Chiefs were both 1-of-4 on the power play tonight.
Trombley made 33 saves in the loss while Garret Hughson made 24 saves in the win.
Tri-City will finish their regular season on the road against the Everett Silvertips (24-40-3-4, 55 pts) tomorrow night. Game time is at 5:05 p.m. Tri-City has the edge in the series with wins in seven of the nine meetings this season, including a win in the most recent meeting 6-2 in late February. Everett has already locked up the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. NewsTalk 870 will broadcast the game starting at 4:45 p.m. with the pregame show. WHL Live will stream the game online starting at 5:00 p.m.
Jack in the Box Three Stars:
1. Blake Gal, Spokane
2. Dylan Walchuk, Spokane
3. Justin Feser, Tri-City