KENNEWICK – The second period was very, very good for the Spokane Chiefs in Western Hockey League action Saturday night.
The Chiefs found the net four times in the second and pulled away for a 6-2 road victory over the Tri-City Americans.
It was a huge win for the Chiefs. Spokane (37-16-4-2, 80 points) pulled four points ahead of third-place Tri-City (36-16-2-2, 76) in the U.S. Division of the Western Conference. The Chiefs remained one point behind front-running Portland (39-16-0-3, 81), which beat Chilliwack 6-3.
Blake Gal staked the Chiefs to a 1-0 lead with a goal 6 minutes, 18 seconds into the first period. Matt Marantz picked up an assist on the play.
The Americans evened the score 3:49 into the second period on an Adam Hughesman power-play goal, but after that it was all Chiefs.
Spokane regained the lead on a power-play goal by Brenden Kichton at the 7:46 mark. Tyler Johnson stretched the lead to 3-1 with a power-play netter – his 44th goal of the season – at 11:08. Corbin Baldwin continued the Chiefs’ onslaught with a power-play score just 36 seconds later. Kichton’s second score of the night put Spokane up 5-1. It was his 19th goal of the season and came at the 16:21 mark.
Johnson added his 45th goal of the season with a netter at the 11:44 mark of the third period. Chiefs goalie Mac Engel stopped 21 of 23 shots to pick up the win in relief of injured goalie James Reid.