KENNEWICK – The Spokane Chiefs started the Western Hockey League regular season with a bang.
The other 57-plus minutes were a dud.
Nolan Yaremko compiled two goals and two assists Saturday to ignite the Tri-City Americans’ 6-1 win over the Chiefs to inaugurate the 2018-19 season at Toyota Center.
Yaremko’s assists came during the first period, including Kyle Olson’s winning goal at 15 minutes, 7 seconds.
Yaremko added second-period goals less than 10 minutes apart for a 4-1 lead.
The Chiefs needed just 2:20 for their first goal of the season, on a 5-on-3 power play. Nolan Reid and Eli Zummack assisted on Riley Woods’ goal.
Although shots on goal were nearly equal, with the Americans holding a 26-25 edge, the Chiefs never got the puck past T-C goaltender Beck Warm the rest of the way.
Chiefs goalie Dawson Weatherill stopped 20 of 26 shots.
The Chiefs, ranked No. 6 in the Canadian Hockey League’s preseason poll, are without a handful of key players who are at National Hockey League camps. T-C was mostly at full strength.
Spokane’s next two games are against the Kootney Ice. The Ice will host Spokane on Friday in Cranbrook, B.C., then travel to the Arena on Saturday for the Chiefs’ home opener.
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