SPOKANE - Eric Williams stopped the first 22 shots fired his way, but Ryan Gropp's slapshot - which looked as though was stopped by Williams - eked its way through his pads and slid into the back of the net with 44 seconds left in overtime to give the Thunderbirds a 1-0 victory over the Chiefs on Tuesday night.
The extra period was coming to a close after Spokane misfired on four shots, many of which were good opportunities to end the contest. But with just under a minute remaining, the Thunderbirds gained control of the puck as Gropp skated up the right side of the ice, stopping just past the blue line and firing his shot. It seemed as though Williams had stopped it with his body, but after a few seconds, the puck could be seen slowly slipping away and into the net.
Throughout the first three periods, Spokane and Seattle traded blows, as the two went scoreless on 24 and 22 shots, respectively. Both teams also had plenty of opportunities on the power play, but neither could take advantage. The Thunderbirds had five attempts, and Spokane's WHL-leading power play went 0 for 4 on the night.
Spokane's zero goals marks the first time they've been shut out this season.
The Chiefs will hit the road for a three-game trip, and will face Everett, Tri-City and Portland on back-to-back-to-back nights starting on Friday. The games can be followed live on the radio on 1510 KGA with Mike Boyle on the call.
The Chiefs will next return to the Spokane Arena Friday, January 24th, as they play host to the Moose Jaw Warriors