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Johnson reaches 50 goals, Chiefs roll

A couple of milestones and a thrashing of the Tri-City Americans, it doesn't get much better than that for the Spokane Chiefs … and we have pictures.

With Tyler Johnson and Blake Gal (10, above in Colin Mulvany photo) scoring a pair of goals, the Chiefs pounded Tri-City 5-1 before a crowd of more than 9,000 at the Arena Friday night.

Johnson picked up his league-leading 50th goal, while Gal and Anthony Bardaro both reached 20.

Better yet, the Chiefs are now 10 points ahead of the Americans with five games to play in the Western Hockey League season. That means no looking over their shoulder down the stretch to worry about beind the fourth seed in the Western Division but they can concentrate on Portland, one point ahead for the top seed.

Before the Spokane Chiefs honored the 3 20-year olds,  Johnson (check out this internet story), Levko Koper and James Reid. Also, former Chief and Spokane native Derek Ryan was league MVP for University of Alberta.

Long box below, 3 stars: 3, Gal, 2, Baldwin (3 assists), 1 Johnson.

Chiefs 5, Americans 1

Spokane – Friday

First period

1, TC, Schmidt 11 (Yuen, Shinnimin) 14:04.

2, Spo, Bardaro 20 (Mort, Baldwin) 16:19.

Penalties – Spokane bench (too many men on ice, served by Valcourt) 8:40; Grist, TC (charging) 10:50; Marantz, Spo (roughing) 19:59.

Second period

3, Spo, Gal 20 (Johnson, Kichton) 5:03, pp.

4, Spo, Johnson 49 (Baldwin, Vandane) 17:44.

Penalties – Feser, TC (tripping) 3:41; Valcourt, Spo (roughing) 12:40; Ashton TC (fighting major), Schmit, TC (double minor roughing, served by Fluter), Shinnimin, TC (elbowing), Koper, Spo (roughing), Mort, Spo (fighting major), 19:26.

Third period

5, Spo, Johnson 50 (Kichton, Koper) 2:50, pp.

6, Spo, Gal 21 (Baldwin, Cowen) 9:01.

Penalties – Schmidt, TC (unsportsmanlike conduct), Kramer, Spo (unsportsmanlike conduct) 4:46; Schmidt, TC (fighting major), Kramer, Spo (fighting major, 10-minute misconduct) 10:19; Grist, TC (fighting major), Valcourt, Spo (fighting major) 19:50.

Shots on goal by
Tri-City   12-4-4_20
Spokane  13-8-13_34

Goal (shots-saves) — Tri-City: Owsley (L, 33-16-1-1) 28-23; Driedger (4:46 of 3rd) 6-5. Spokane: Reid (W, 32-9-2-1) 20-19.

Power plays (goals-chances) — Tri-City 0-3; Spokane 2-4.

Referees — Chris Crich, Pat Smith. Linesmen — Jason Michelbook, Chris Sweeting.

Attendance – 9,156.

 Scratches – Tri-City: Lucas Nickles, Adam Hughesman, Mason Wilgosh, Neal Prokop. Spokane: Cole Hamblin, Malek Kalus, Reid Gow.

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Jim Allen Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Josh Wright Josh Wright is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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