The Spokane Chiefs overcame a 3-1 deficit to take a 4-3 lead Saturday night over Tri-City. But the Americans scored with 6 seconds left in regulation and took 55 seconds to win 5-4 in overtime.
The loss took a heavy toll on the Chiefs (6-6-4-1, 17 points), who played from behind all night long only to watch victory slip through their fingers at the end in front of 8,278 fans at the Arena.
“We deserved better,” Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur said. “We got the crowd into it and built up some adrenaline. We went after them in the third period.”
The Chiefs entered the final 20 minutes trailing 3-1 to their rivals to the south.
Some 3 minutes into the period, Tyson Helgesen fired a pass that Kailer Yamamoto deflected past Tri-City goalie Evan Sarthou.
And just more than a minute later, Jaret Anderson-Dolan fired a shot at Sarthou that bounced out to Yamamoto, who powered home his 13th goal of the season to tie the game at 3 with 15:53 left to play.
“It looks like we are riding his tails there,” Nachbaur said of Yamamoto. “When you are hot, you are hot. We just have him keep shooting the puck.”
With 6:02 to play, Hudson Elynuik got a pass to Keanu Yamamoto, who scored past Sarthou to make the score 4-3.
It stayed that way until Vladislav Lukin got a desperation shot past Spokane goalie Dawson Weatherill to tie the game with 6 seconds left. The Americans’ Juuso Valimaki scored less than a minute into overtime to take the 5-4 win.
“We were feeling really good” when Spokane got the 4-3 lead, Kailer Yamamoto said. “We were on top of the world. But at the end, it was an unfortunate bounce. It was a tough one.”
The loss was made worse that it came to the rival Americans (11-6-1-0, 23 points), who are leading Spokane in the U.S. Division.
“It’s always tough to lose to them especially,” Yamamoto said. “We’ve just got to get better.”
The goal of the night came in the second period with Tri-City leading 1-0.
Exactly 7 minutes into period during a Tri-City power play, Keanu Yamamoto and Taylor Ross got the puck on a fast break. Yamamoto’s shot bounced off Sarthou and Ross got it to go.
The short-handed goal energized the crowd and tied the game at 1. Ross said the goal was nice, but the team needs to learn how to finish.
“You can’t give it up late in the third period,” he said. “It gets us down, but we know we are capable. It will come.”
The Chiefs play Saturday at home against the Everett Silvertips.
Grand Forks 5, Spokane 4: Trey Mason scored on a power play with 33 seconds remaining and the Border Bruins (8-6) downed the Braves (4-15) 5-4 at Grand Forks, British Columbia. Luke Gallagher and Carter Jones each had a goal and an assist in the narrow loss.
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