In a familiar setting against a familiar opponent, the Chiefs' visit to Tri-City played out in familiar fashion, with a 3-2 overtime win over the Americans.
The teams played to a 2-2 tie after 60 minutes, marking the 12th time in their last 17 postseason meetings that the teams went to OT.
Mitch Holmberg scored his seventh postseason goal of 2012 1:06 into the extra session to give Spokane a 1-0 series lead.
Game 2 is Saturday at 7:05 p.m. in Kennewick.
After trailing 1-0 after the 1st period Mike Aviani scored on a wrap-around to even the tally at one a piece. Darren Kramer put the Chiefs ahead 2:39 into the 3rd period. Mason Wilgosh answered with 5:26 left in regulation to knot it back up.
Kramer and Aviani both finished with a goal and an assist.