SPOKANE, WA. -- Despite 47 saves by James Reid, including 23 in the first period, the Spokane Chiefs dropped a 2-1 decision to the Portland Winterhawks in game three of the first round of the playoffs.
The Chiefs still lead the series 2-1 and will host games four and five on Friday and Saturday in the Spokane Arena.
Spokane put 11 shots on goal in the first period, but Reid and Portland’s Mac Carruth were perfect in net through 20-minutes. 5:22 into the second Nino Niederreiter put the Winterhawks on the board after one-timing a cross ice pass from the left circle.
Kyle Beach tied it at 12:10 after a Portland turnover at the blueline ended up on his stick. The 19-year-old scored his third goal of the series with a wrist shot that went stick side on Carruth.
With just four-minutes left in the game Troy Rutkowski’s hesitation move in the right circle pulled the defense out of position enough for him to snap home the game winner.
Spokane’s second and final power play of the night began at 17:24 of the third and after they pulled Reid the Chiefs enjoyed a six-on-four advantage but couldn’t find the equalizer. The Chiefs ended up outshooting Portland 14-7 in the third and finished the night with 31 shots.
The game featured just 10 penalty minutes, six for Portland and four for the Chiefs. Spokane was 0-2 on the power play and 1-1 on the penalty kill.