Chiefs win seventh in row
Special teams help Spokane beat Ams
KENNEWICK – Despite being outshot and having only one power play against the top team in the Western Conference, the Spokane Chiefs extended their winning streak to seven games with a 2-1 win over the Tri-City Americans on Saturday night.
Brady Brassart and Blake Gal scored third-period goals for Spokane, and James Reid made 32 saves, including 16 in the final period, for his 32nd win of the season. The Chiefs beat the Ams for the fourth straight time, and completed a 3-0 road trip.
The Chiefs didn’t capitalize on their one opportunity with the man advantage while killing 5 of 6 Tri-City power plays, including a 5-on-3 late in the second period.
“It was a great job by our penalty kill tonight,” Chiefs coach Hardy Sauter said. “The guys competed hard and gutted out another road win. I’m very proud of our guys.”
After combining for 10 shots in the first period, the Chiefs and Americans peppered the net in the second period, with Tri-City recording 13 shots and Spokane 12. Neither team found the back of the net, and the game went into the third period scoreless.
It wasn’t scoreless for long. Brassart broke the deadlock 1:43 into the third for a 1-0 Chiefs lead. Brassart got to the rebound of Jared Cowen’s shot, poked at the puck twice and got it by Ams netminder Alexander Pechurskiy.
Just 1:14 later, Gal made it a 2-0 game. On a rush, Gal went from his forehand to his backhand and shot it past Pechurskiy. Mitch Wahl and Stefan Ulmer earned the assists. Wahl’s assist was his 56th of the season.
Tri-City got on the board with Brett Plouffe’s power-play goal at 18:22 of the third.
Spokane (38-20-3-1, 80 points) remains in third place in the U.S. Division, two points behind Everett, which beat Seattle on Saturday and visits Spokane on Wednesday. The Chiefs moved to within five points of division-leading Tri-City.