The Seattle Thunderbirds scored with 4:09 remaining in the third period to break a 3-3 tie and defeat the Spokane Chiefs by a 4-3 final on Friday night in the Spokane Arena. The Chiefs loss coupled with a Vancouver win over Kelowna makes Spokane the fifth seed in the first round of the WHL playoffs. The Giants will hold home ice advantage in the best-of-seven series.
Friday acted as the final regular season home game for the Chiefs. They will finish the regular season on Saturday night in Kennewick versus the Tri-City Americans.
Seattle didn’t waste anytime during their first power play as Luke Lockhart squeezed one by Eric Williams, the Chiefs’ starting goaltender, 15-seconds in for a 1-0 lead.
Midway through the first, Marek Kalus tallied his 20th goal of the season to bring the game to a 1-1 tie. Darren Kramer and Reid Gow both received assists on the goal. It would remain even for the rest of the period with Seattle leading the shot count 15-12.
Blake Gal would break the tie scoring his 15th goal on the season coming from a rebound shot from Walchuk during the Chiefs' second power play of the game at 6:22 of the second. Seattle's Seth Swenson made it a 2-2 tie at 10:56.
Spokane’s Walchuk threw a shot off of the face off and tallied his ninth goal of the season to regain the lead for the Chiefs, 3-2 at 13:08. Walchuk’s goal came just seven seconds into the Chiefs’ third power play of the night.
Seattle would tie the game again at 3-3 on a Colin Jacobs goal just 31-seconds left in the period.
The Thunderbirds scored the game winner at the 15:11 mark of the third period as Burke Gallimore scored his 100th career goal tipping in a Colin Jacob's shot.
Spokane will travel to Tri-City on Saturday night to close out the regular season.
Playoff dates will be released at a later date. Tickets for the first two Spokane home games will go on sale on Monday, March 19th at 9:00 a.m.