Chiefs Force Game Six With Stunning OT Win
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Spokane Chiefs trailed the Portland Winterhawks with under a minute remaining in regulation in a win-or-go-home game five in the Rose City on Saturday night.
Enter Nolan Reid.
The 19-year-old defenseman, playing in his fifth career playoff game, snapped a wrist shot from the left point that found its way into the Winterhawks net, tying the game with 30 seconds left to force overtime.
The Chiefs dominated much of the extra time before finally capitalizing and forcing game six as Edmonton Oilers prospect and Spokane native Kailer Yamamoto one-timed his first goal of the playoffs past Portland netminder Cole Kehler at the 9:19 mark.
Saturday’s battle was a back-and-forth affair, though the Chiefs never led as Portland struck first with rookie Mason Mannek’s goal midway through the first.
The Chiefs tied it at 1-1 just over three minutes later as Jake McGrew fed Riley Woods on a power play for Woods’ second goal and fifth point in the series.
The Winterhawks regained the lead on an odd-man rush at the 16:10 mark of the opening frame as Vegas Golden Knights prospect Cody Glass fired it past goalie Dawson Weatherill to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
Carolina Hurricanes draft pick Hudson Elynuik tied it at 2-2 with his team-leading third goal of the series at the 12:38 mark of the second, but the Winterhawks answered quickly, as Ryan Hughes scored 19 seconds later to re-take a one-goal lead into the second break.
McGrew scored his first career playoff goal on a rebound at 5:05 of the third, squeezing the puck near post from the left side to make it 3-3.
Dennis Cholowski scored his series-best fourth goal for the Winterhawks with just 6:27 left in the third to give the home team a 4-3 lead and potentially the series.
Reid’s goal at 19:30 tied it up to force overtime and Yamamoto’s winner with 10:41 left in the extra twenty minutes forced the series to return to Spokane.
The Chiefs finished the game 1-for-6 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill. Spokane outshot Portland 54-44. The 5-4 result marks the fourth game in the series decided by only one goal.
Game Six of the best-of-seven series will take place on Monday, April 2 at Spokane Arena. Game Seven, if necessary, will return to Portland on April 3.
Tickets for game six are available now online at spokanechiefs.com and via TicketsWest outlets. They will also be available via the Chiefs’ Ticket Office on Monday at 9 a.m.