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.
Matt Zenzola stopped 30 shots and Brycen Fisher had two goals and one assist to lead the Spokane Braves (9-14-1-1) to a 5-0 win over the Chase Heat (7-16-2-1) at Eagles Ice-A-Rena.
Paxton Bell added one goal and one assist for the Braves.