SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Chiefs withstood a late Tri-City comeback on Saturday night to beat the rival Americans in overtime, 5-4. Kailer Yamamoto scored the game-winning goal to cap a three-point night in front of a sold out crowd as Spokane Arena, extending his team-leading point streak to six games.
Ethan McIndoe cleaned up a Jaret Anderson-Dolan shot that deflected off of Americans’ goaltender Beck Warm to give the Chiefs their first lead of the game at the 4:39 of the first.
Jake McGrew checked in with his 11th of the season and his fourth goal in his last four games on a power play at 16:19. Yamamoto’s shot from the top of the right circle bounced off Warm and found its way to the far side of the net, where McGrew dove to put it home. The Chiefs headed into the dressing room up 2-0 after the first.
The Americans changed goalies in the second, opting to go with Patrick Dea the rest of the way. Zach Fischer increased the Chiefs’ lead to 3-0 under five minutes into the middle frame, firing home his 20th of the year off assists from linemates Hudson Elynuik and Riley Woods.
Tri-City bounced back midway through the second with two goals just 1:43 apart as defenseman Jake Bean and forward Isaac Johnson found the twine.
Rookie Luke Toporowski pushed Spokane’s lead back to two with his third of the season, corralling a Milos Fafrak pass and spinning around to beat Dea at 10:43.
The Americans would not go away, scoring two more goals in under two minutes to tie it at 4-4. Sasha Mutala scored his seventh of the year at 14:21 followed by Mitchell Brown with his second at 15:33.
It took just 47 seconds of overtime for Yamamoto to end it, forcing a turnover with a tenacious back check and going end-to-end before snapping the puck into the top-right corner. It was Yamamoto’s third goal and ninth point since returning from the World Junior Championship tournament earlier this month.
The Chiefs outshot the Americans 44-35, went 1-for-2 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. Bailey Brkin started in goal for Spokane and made 31 saves. Warm made 12 saves on 14 shots in the first period before replacement Dea stopped 27 of 30 in the remaining 40 minutes.
The Chiefs return to action Tuesday night when they host the Swift Current Broncos. It will be Souvenir Cup Giveaway with the first 500 fans in attendance receiving a souvenir cup featuring a Spokane Chiefs player!
Tickets to Tuesday night’s game and all Chiefs home games can be purchased online, in-person at the Chiefs Ticket Office, or over the phone at 509-535-PUCK.