KENT, Wash. – Keegan Kolesar scored in the fifth round of a shootout Tuesday to give the Seattle Thunderbirds a 5-4 victory over the Spokane Chiefs at ShoWare Center.
Seattle, after giving up leads of 2-0 and 3-2, overcame the Chiefs’ three-goal second period and held Spokane scoreless for the final 23 minutes, 14 seconds of regulation.
The Thunderbirds (21-16-2-3, 47 points) closed within three points of second-place Spokane (23-15-3-1, 50) and within two points of third-place Portland in the Western Hockey League’s U.S. Division.
Spokane is 3-3-1-1 against Seattle this season with two games left, including Jan. 25 at home.
Ryan Gropp and Kolesar – on a power play – scored first-period goals to fuel Seattle’s early lead. Riley Whittingham and Liam Stewart, with his career-high 16th goal just 22 seconds into the second period, allowed Spokane to briefly tie the game.
Keanu Yamamoto’s power-play goal at 9:23 and Adam Helewka’s team-best 25th goal at 16:46 gave the Chiefs a 4-3 lead heading into the final period. Helewka has a goal-scoring streak of eight games.
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