The Spokane Chiefs evened their first round WHL Playoff series at two games a piece thanks to a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory on Wednesday night in front of 4,468 fans.
Mitch Holmberg provided the overtime heroics scoring with a wrist shot from the slot. Captain Darren Kramer assisted on the game winning play.
The win guarantees that game six will be played in Spokane on Sunday at 6 p.m.
The Chiefs made a strong defensive effort in the first, allowing Vancouver only three shots on goal in the period.
The strong defensive play translated to offense midway through the first when Holmberg created a turnover in the neutral zone which led to a rush my Mike Aviani and Darren Kramer. Kramer finished off a two-on-one at 8:26 for his first of the playoffs.
Both teams saw quality scoring chances in the second period however neither team was able to take advantage of it until Liam Stewart scored at 9:33. Stewart cleaned up a Tanner Mort shot that was taken off the face-off for his first career post season goal.
The momentum swung in favor of Vancouver in the third period with the Giants scoring two unanswered goals to force overtime.
Austin Fyten scored at 9:21 of the third and with his goaltender pulled Brendan Gallagher tied the game at two on a rush to the net with just 31 seconds left on the clock.
Holmberg’s overtime winner came on a snap shot from between the two faceoff circles beating Adam Morrison over his left shoulder. Kramer and Aviani were credited with assists on the play giving them each two point evenings.
The game featured excellent goaltending with shots on goal favored the Chiefs 26-23. Eric Williams and Morrison were awarded the game’s second and third stars respectively for the work on the evening.
The Chiefs finished the game 0-2 on the power play and were 1-1 on the penalty kill.