December 31, 2011 in Sports

Tri-City gets early lead, tops Spokane

The Spokesman-Review

KENNEWICK – Tri-City jumped out to an early 2-0 lead and the U.S. Division-leading Americans beat the rival Spokane Chiefs 4-1 in Western Hockey League action Saturday night at the Toyota Center.

The loss was Spokane’s fourth to Tri-City (29-7-0-0) in five meetings this season.

The Americans have won 10 in a row.

Michael Plutnar and Patrick Holland scored first-period goals to give T-C the advantage. The Chiefs’ Marek Kalus scored late in the first for Spokane’s lone goal.

Tri-City’s Jordan Messier scored in the second and Justin Freser capped the scoring with an unassisted third-period goal.

Spokane failed to score on five straight power-play opportunities in the second and third periods.

The Chiefs (17-12-2-4) wrap up their four-game road trip at Kelowna (14-18-2-3) on Wednesday. Spokane beat the Rockets 4-1 last Tuesday.

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