The Chiefs used a Mitch Holmberg goal midway through the third to take the lead for good as they skated past U.S. Division rival Tri-City 5-2 in front of 8,310 fans at the Spokane Arena Saturday night. Liam Stewart finished with two goals and Eric Williams stopped 19 shots as Spokane improved to 12-2-0-0 at home and 17-7-1-0 overall.
The first 10 minutes of the game were dominated by defense as both teams looked unsuccessfully for a weakness in their opponents' blue liners. The Chiefs eventually managed to find a soft spot in the Americans’ defense at 12:02 as Blake Gal went top shelf for a goal with assists from Mike Aviani and Todd Fiddler.
Spokane had a chance to extend their lead with power plays at 14:39 and 17:22 but failed to score on either.
Tri-City took advantage of the Chiefs' missed opportunities as they tied the game at 19:42 with a wraparound goal from Jesse Mychan. Spokane outshot the Americans 9-5 for the period.
Todd Fiddler put the Chiefs back on top at the 1:16 mark of the second as he beat Tri-City goalie Eric Comrie five-hole with assists from Aviani and Brenden Kichton. Spokane's defense kept the Chiefs ahead for the rest of the second, thwarting an Americans' power play at 4:02 and holding Tri-City to just five shots in the period.
The Americans knotted things up again at the 2:10 mark of the third with Parker Bowles firing one past Williams glove-side and into the back of the net. Bowles’ score proved to be the last for Tri-City as Williams and the Chiefs defense held stout for the remainder of the night.
Holmberg scored the game-winner at 8:00 as he stole an errant pass from Comrie and rifled it in for the unassisted score. Stewart sealed the contest with a score from the left circle at 18:22 on assists from Collin Valcourt and Dylan Walchuk and then provided an exclamation point with an empty net goal at 19:06 on an assist from Reid Gow.
Williams finished 19 of 21 on save opportunities while Comrie was 24 of 28. The Chiefs went 0 for 6 on the power play and 2 for 2 on the penalty kill.
The Chiefs embark on a six-game road trip starting with a game at Swift Current on November 30th before returning to the Spokane Arena on Friday, December 14th for a 7:05 PM matchup with the Seattle Thunderbirds.