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Aviani’s OT goal boosts Spokane Chiefs

VICTORIA, B.C. – Mike Aviani scored his 29th goal of the season 3 minutes, 38 seconds into overtime to give the Spokane Chiefs their fourth straight win, 4-3 over the Victoria Royals in Western Hockey League play Friday night.

The win puts the Chiefs (38-24-2) in fourth place in the Western Conference, a point ahead of Tri-City. The Americans lost 3-1 to Seattle on Friday.

Backup netminder Garret Hughson made 29 saves for the victory. Brenden Kichton had three assists, including on Aviani’s game-winner.

The Chiefs opened the scoring just 3:30 into the game, when Mitch Holmberg connected on the power play for his 36th goal of the season. Victoria scored twice on power plays for a 2-1 lead, but Carter Proft scored a power-play tally at 12:56 of the second period to knot the game at 2.

Spokane regained the lead on Blake Gal’s goal at 6:12 of the third period, but the Royals tied the game at 3 at 13:24 to force overtime.

Logan Nelson scored twice for the Royals, who are sixth in the West.