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Americans get back into WHL playoff series

The Spokane Chiefs couldn't protect a 4-1 lead Tuesday night during Game 3 of their Western Hockey League  playoff series against the Tri-City Americans at the Toyota Center in Kennewick. The Americans tied the game with a 7-minute outburst in the second period, then held Spokane in check during the third period and more than 10 minutes of overtime for a 5-4 win. The Chiefs lead the best-of-seven series 2-1. Games 4 and 5 are Thursday and Saturday nights in Kennewick. Read story

Nachbaur agreed that Tri-City's home crowd energized the Americans in the second period, but he said there was a bigger factor.

“We did it to ourselves,” he said. “Give them credit. They took advantage of that and got right back into the game. It goes into overtime and it could have gone either way. We had enough chances to win the hockey game.”

Two shorthanded goals helped Spokane to its 4-1 lead.

“Maybe it was cosmetic because I think we got comfortable with the 4-1 lead, and when you get comfortable that's what you get,” Nachbaur said. “We didn't deserve to come out of that with a victory after we gave them all the momentum back.”

Mitch Holmberg is leading the postseason offense with three goals and two assists for five points. Blake Gal (four goals), Alessio Bertaggia (one goal, three assists) and Mike Aviani (two goals, two assists) all have four points apiece.

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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. 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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Sean Kramer Sean Kramer 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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