VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Riley Whittingham and Dominic Zwerger scored less than 3 minutes apart in the first period Tuesday to launch the Spokane Chiefs toward a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Giants at Pacific Coliseum.
Spokane (32-29-3-1, 68 points) moved nine points ahead of Tri-City for the Western Conference’s No. 7 playoff seed. The Chiefs, 11 points up on No. 9 Kamloops, will clinch a playoff berth with a Blazers loss today.
Vancouver (26-38-1-2) has been outscored 32-9 while losing seven straight, including 7-0 at Spokane on March 3. The Chiefs swept the two-game season series from Vancouver for a second consecutive season and have five straight wins over the Giants.
Spokane shook off Thomas Foster’s goal 2:07 into the game to achieve a tie at 10:46 on Whittingham’s 14th goal of the season. Zwerger’s goal at 13:28, his 15th of the season, put Spokane ahead for good.
Jackson Playfair and Blair Oneschuk added second-period goals as the Chiefs built a 4-2 edge. The Giants’ Zane Jones cut the deficit to 4-3 early in the third, but Chiefs goalie Garret Hughson held tough. Hughson stopped 20 shots.
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