The Spokane Chiefs encountered a night of firsts on Friday, but not in a positive way.
Malte Stromwall scored 43 seconds into overtime to give the Tri-City Americans a 5-4 win over the Chiefs at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.
The game marked the first time the Chiefs (16-7-1-0) had played an OT contest this Western Hockey League season, the first time Spokane had lost to the Americans (16-7-1-1) in four meetings, and the first time in 12 games that the Chiefs lost after leading through two periods.
The outcome allowed Tri-City (34 points) to break a third-place tie with Spokane (33) in Western Conference points. Portland (39) leads both in the U.S. Division.
Spokane had outscored the Americans 13-7 in the other matchups, winning the previous two games in Kennewick.
The Chiefs had won five of their last six games, and seven of nine. The Americans are on a four-game winning streak.
Spokane appeared to have the game in hand after Collin Valcourt broke a 3-all tie with 3:34 left. Mitch Holmberg and Dylan Walchuk assisted on the goal.
The Americans pulled goaltender Eric Comrie for the final minute of regulation. The Chiefs had control of the puck but a botched pass found the stick of Tri-City’s Marcus Messier, who scored the tying goal with 17 seconds left.
Stromwall’s winning shot hit Chiefs goalie Eric Williams near his collarbone and deflected into the net.
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