SPOKANE, Wash. – In a sold out arena with 10,325 raucous fans, Mike Aviani sent the Spokane Chiefs to a thrilling 2-1 shootout win over the Tri-City Americans on Saturday night in the Spokane Arena on Washington National Guard Buck Night.
Aviani was the Chiefs’ fifth and final shooter in the shootout – which Spokane won 3-2 – after Mitch Holmberg and Hudson Elynuik each scored. Goalie Eric Williams made a pad save against Tri-City’s Lucas Nickels to secure the win.
The Spokane defense played one of its toughest games of the season, as the Chiefs held a 36-21 shot advantage throughout regulation and overtime. Williams stopped 20 of 21 shots, with the one Tri-City goal coming from a near-impossible angle from near the corner boards. The Americans didn’t net their goal until the 14:12 mark in the third.
Spokane Captain Reid Gow netted his second goal of the season, this one coming late in the game’s first period. Jason Fram – one night after nabbing his 50th career assist – and Adam Helewka earned assists on the goal.
After shutting out Moose Jaw on six power play attempts Friday night, Spokane was able to do the same to Tri-City as the Americans went 0 for 4 on the advantage. Spokane was only 1 for 7 on their own power play attempts.
Tri-City goalie Eric Comrie kept busy in net all night. He stopped 35 of the 36 shots fired his way, including many outstanding saves on shots sent from high-scoring areas.
Spokane heads to the road for their next four games, as the team will face Kamloops, Kelowna, Portland and Everett. The Chiefs will return to the Arena on Wednesday, February 5, to play host to the Seattle Thunderbirds.