PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – The Spokane Chiefs can feel the Tri-City Americans creeping closer.
Brad Morrison snapped a 1-all tie with a backhanded goal 27 seconds into the second period Saturday and the Prince George Cougars defeated the Chiefs 4-1 in Western Hockey League play at CN Centre.
Spokane, in losing for the seventh time in 11 games, fell to 30-26-5-4 (69 points) with seven games left in the regular season.
The Chiefs’ hold on the Western Conference’s final wild-card spot was cut to four points over Tri-City (31-31-2-1, 65), which defeated Everett 5-3.
Spokane and Tri-City will meet two more times during the regular season, Friday and March 19.
The Chiefs tied Prince George (36-27-3-1) at 1 when Dominic Zwerger scored his team-leading 25th goal at 3 minutes, 14 seconds of the first period.
Morrison broke the tie by scooping up a puck off the wall and beating Tyson Verhelst.
The Cougars added late goals by Brogan O’Brien, with 2:20 left in the game, and an empty-netter by Kody McDonald.
Verhelst stopped 38 of 42 shots.
The Chiefs competed without six players on their injury list.
Spokane and Prince George split the four-game season series.
The Chiefs’ next three games are at home, starting Wednesday with Kamloops.
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