SEATTLE – Bryan Bridges made 22 saves for his league lead-tying 10th shutout of the season Sunday as the Seattle Thunderbirds downed the Spokane Chiefs 3-0 in Western Hockey League action.
Bridges, 19, lowered his goals-against average to 1.83 – second-best in the league – while picking up his 31st victory of the season for the Thunderbirds (38-20-2-2), who have already clinched the U.S. Division title.
Jim Watt stopped 29 shots in a losing cause for the Chiefs (22-30-8-2).
With the loss, Spokane fell one point behind the Tri-City Americans in the race for the final U.S. Division playoff berth. Tri-City (23-31-6-3) earned a 3-3 tie at Everett Sunday night after dropping a 4-2 decision at Spokane Saturday night.
Mitch Fadden’s second-period goal stood as the game-winner, while Matthew Hansen and Derek Couture added empty-netters late in the third.
Seattle’s Zack Fitzgerald had received a four-minute penalty for high-sticking with 4:46 remaining in the game and the Thunderbirds clinging to a 1-0 lead.
Spokane opted to utilize an extra skater and pulled goaltender Jim Watt. The move backfired, however, when Hansen and Couture were able to score into Spokane’s empty net.
The Chiefs play at Kelowna on Wednesday. The Rockets haven’t lost at home since November.
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