KENNEWICK – Jake McGrew’s second career hat trick Friday helped keep alive the Spokane Chiefs’ goal of home-ice advantage in the playoffs.
Filip Kral and McGrew scored 51 seconds apart late in the third period to give the Chiefs a 5-3 win over the Tri-City Americans in Western Hockey League play at Toyota Center.
Despite resting its top three scorers, Spokane (39-21-2-5, 85 points) closed within one point of Portland for second place in the WHL’s U.S. Division. Spokane and Portland are set to meet in the first round, but the second-place team will have the home-ice edge.
Spokane has one game left in the regular season, Saturday night at home against Tri-City. Portland plays Saturday and Sunday.
McGrew, who has 30 goals on the season, scored twice during the 2-2 first period, on a power play at 1 minute, 30 seconds and with 45 seconds left in the period.
Luke Toporowski’s 21st goal of the season at 13:18 of the second period gave the Chiefs a 3-2 lead.
Krystof Hrabik of the Americans (34-27-5-1) scored early in the third period to tie the score. Kral’s winning goal, assisted by Cordel Larson and Jack Finley, came with 1:48 left. Noah King assisted on McGrew’s insurance goal, an empty-netter.
The Chiefs have won five of 11 games against T-C this season.
Spokane has won nine of its last 11 games.
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