KENNEWICK – The Spokane Chiefs at least made sure the Tri-City Americans could still see them when they checked their rear-view mirror.
Goalie Dustin Tokarski stopped 40 of 41 shots and Drayson Bowman scored the only goal in a shootout to lift the Chiefs to a 2-1 victory over the Americans in Western Hockey League action Saturday at the Toyota Center.
Spokane (27-14-0-3) pulled within eight points of the U.S. Division-leading Americans (31-12-0-3) with the victory.
The Chiefs increased their winning streak to a season-best five games.
Tokarski improved to 3-0 since he returned from the World Junior Hockey Championships where he led Canada to the gold medal.
In a game the Chiefs had to have, Tri-City drew first blood.
Brendan Shinnimin slipped the puck past Tokarski at the 8-minute, 54-second mark of the second period to put the Americans up 1-0. Brooks Macek and Petr Stoklasa were credited with assists on the score. It was Shinnimin’s sixth goal of the season.
Spokane bounced back to knot the score with 2:02 remaining in the period. Ondrej Roman found the net for the second time this season – with assists from Bowman and Brady Calla.
The game remained tied through the third period and 5-minute overtime.
Tri-City couldn’t solve Tokarski in the shootout. Adam Hughesman, Mitch Fadden and Jason Reese all came up empty.
Ams goalie Chet Pickard turned aside a Mitch Wahl shot to open the shootout for the Chiefs, but Bowman delivered.