KENNEWICK, Wash. – The Spokane Chiefs sealed a season series win and confirmed their first round playoff date with the Portland Winterhawks on Saturday night in Kennewick, beating the Tri-City Americans, 4-3. Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored his 40th goal in the win.
Anderson-Dolan got the scoring started 17:14 into the first period, snapping his career-best 40th goal of the season past Tri-City netminder Beck Warm on a power play. Jake McGrew earned his 35th point with an assist, backhanding the puck from between the circles to the approaching Anderson-Dolan.
Tri-City responded midway through the second period as Jordan Topping beat Bailey Brkin blocker side for his 38th of the year, deflecting a Juuso Valimaki shot with the man advantage to make it 1-1.
The tie was short-lived as Riley Woods put the Chiefs back on top just nine seconds later, firing his 25th of the year far post from the left circle to make it 2-1. Sean Gulka, signed by the Chiefs a week ago, earned his first career WHL point with an assist.
Spokane extended the lead to 3-1 with Filip Kral’s ninth goal, scored with just 50 seconds left in the middle frame. Forward Eli Zummack dropped the puck off for Kral on the left wing and the Czech blueliner wristed a seeing eye shot past the screened goalie and inside the right post.
Tri-City would not go away, cutting the lead to 3-2 with team captain Michael Rasmussen’s 31st goal of the year on a rebound with a delayed penalty at 13:21 of the third.
The Chiefs seemingly sealed the victory with 1:36 left in regulation as forward Jake McGrew tapped one in off a perfect cross-crease feed from Woods to make it 4-2.
The Americans made it interesting late as Morgan Geekie hit the 30-goal mark with the extra man on, scoring with 36 seconds left, but the Chiefs held on for the win.
Spokane finished the game 1-for-4 on the power play and 0-for-1 on the penalty kill, outshooting the Americans 29-21. The win sealed a season series win over the Americans as Spokane finished 7-3-1-1 in the 12 head-to-head contests.
The win also confirmed a first round matchup for the Chiefs against the Portland Winterhawks, beginning on Saturday, March 24. Details to be posted at spokanechiefs.com.