Spokane clings to fourth in Western Conference.
KENNEWICK – Troy Trombley stopped 33 shots and Connor Rankin finished with two goals and one assist Saturday night as the Tri-City Americans rolled past the Spokane Chiefs 6-0 in Western Hockey League play at the Toyota Center.
Trombley recorded his second career win and first shutout. The Americans (33-22-1-2, 69 points) tied Victoria for fifth place in the Western Conference, one point behind fourth-place Spokane (34-23-2-0, 70). The Chiefs were shut out for the third time this season, all in the last 11 games.
Rankin scored his 21st and 22nd goals of the season during a 4-0 first period that chased Spokane goaltender Eric Williams. Rankin’s second goal came on a power play at 16:07 for a 3-0 lead. Marcus Messier added a shorthanded goal with 15 seconds left in the period.
Rankin assisted on Brian Williams’ goal at 6:00 of the second period for a 5-0 lead. Parker Bowles also assisted on the score, and scored his 18th goal of the season at 15:42.
Spokane leads the season series 5-3-2-0 with two games left.
The Chiefs will play at Western Conference-leading Portland (47-9-1-2) at 3 p.m. Monday. Portland leads the season series 5-2-0-0.
The Chiefs have 13 regular-season games left as they attempt to hold on to fourth place and home-ice advantage in the WHL playoffs.