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Chiefs close season by rallying past Portland in shootout

UPDATED: Sun., March 18, 2018, 8:47 p.m.

Riley McKay scored in the fourth round of the shootout, and the Spokane Chiefs closed out the regular season by rallying for a thrilling 5-4 win Sunday over the Portland Winterhawks at the Moda Center in Portland.

Spokane (41-25-3-3) trailed 4-1 midway through the third period before Jake McGrew and Milos Fafrak scored 37 seconds apart to pull the Chiefs within one.

Spokane went on the power play in the final minute and pulled goalie Donovan Buskey, and they made the two-skater advantage pay off as Nolan Reid fired in the tying goal from the left side with 21 seconds remaining.

Buskey then made four stops in the shootout and McGrew shot between Winterhawks goalie Shane Farkas’ legs to finish it. It was the Chiefs’ first shootout victory of the season in four tries.

McKay opened the scoring halfway through the opening period for Spokane, but Portland netted three in the second and led 4-1 after Ryan Hughes scored two minutes into the third.

Portland (44-22-1-5) outshot Spokane 37-22, but Buskey made 33 saves to give the Chiefs a chance to rally. Spokane has now won three straight against the Winterhawks after losing the first five games of the season series.

The two teams open a best-of-7 playoff series Saturday in Portland.

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