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Thunderbirds hold off Chiefs as Western Hockey League returns from Christmas break

KENT, Wash. – Sami Moilanen scored with 7 minutes, 48 seconds left Tuesday to give the Seattle Thunderbirds a 3-2 win over the Spokane Chiefs at ShoWare Center as Western Hockey League teams returned from Christmas break.

Moilanen’s rebound goal, assisted by Ethan Bear and Scott Eansor, came less than 2 minutes after the Chiefs (14-14-5-1, 34 points) tied the game on Tyson Helgesen’s fourth goal of the season.

The Chiefs finished with a 43-24 advantage in shots on goal, including 20-5 in third period, but the Americans (18-13-2-1, 39 points) never trailed after Bear’s goal midway through the first period.

Spokane’s Jaret Anderson-Dolan tied the game at 1 at 15:50 of the first period with his 18th goal of the season and seventh consecutive game with at least one point.

Kailer Yamamoto assisted on both goals, giving him assists in seven consecutive games. Keanu Yamamoto’s streak of 14 consecutive games with at least one point ended.

The Chiefs had won their previous two games in Kent.

The season series is 2-2 heading into Wednesday’s rematch in Spokane.

  • The Chiefs added to their roster 20-year-old forward Alex Mowbray, who appeared in 32 games this season with the Camrose Kodiaks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound winger played the previous three seasons with the Medicine Hat Tigers.

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