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TCH: Americans fall to Chiefs 6-2 in WHL opener

By Annie Fowler | Tri-City Herald

Mitch Holmberg has played his share of games against the Tri-City Americans during his first four seasons in the Western Hockey League, and it never gets old.

With his career coming to a close, Spokane’s veteran forward started his final season with a bang Saturday, scoring three goals in a 6-2 victory as the Chiefs spoiled the Americans’ home opener at Toyota Center.

“It’s such a battle between the two teams,” said Holmberg, who also had an assist. “I don’t think it gets old, I think it gets to the point where you know each other a little bit more. It’s a good thing and a bad thing. You learn how to read them.”

It was the second consecutive year the Chiefs spoiled the Americans’ home opener. Tri-City, which had a long history of winning their home openers, saw the streak end at 11 last year when the Chiefs skated away with a 5-2 win.

“I thought we were overhelmed early, but when we got back to 4-2, I thought we were pushing a bit,” Tri-City coach Jim Hiller said. “The fifth goal, then the air went out of the tires. I think it was a rude awaking for some of our players — the veterans too. Some have bigger roles than they had last year and with that comes a great responsibility. I don’t think we lived up to that today. The only good thing about today, is there is always another day.”

The Americans will try to get back on track tonight when they host the Prince George Cougars.

 

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