SPOKANE, Wash. – The Spokane Chiefs jumped out to a 4-0 lead and held on late to beat the rival Tri-City Americans in front of over 9,800 fans at Spokane Arena on Saturday night. Ethan McIndoe led the Chiefs with two goals.
Spokane struck early in the first period, taking advantage of two quick penalties by the Americans to score with a 5-on-3 advantage at the 2:28 mark. Team-leading scorer Kailer Yamamoto snapped in his 31st of the season on a second attempt from the left circle, sneaking the puck just under the cross bar with assists going to Riley Woods and Keanu Yamamoto.
Tri-City experienced déjà vu just 41 seconds later as a Yamamoto – this time Keanu – sniped in a power play goal from the left circle, beating goaltender Rylan Parenteau for for his 21st of the season, with assists to younger brother Kailer and rookie defenseman Ty Smith.
Ethan McIndoe earned a greasy goal at the 7:55 mark, taking advantage of a scrum in front of the Tri-City net to push in his 13th of the season. Woods picked up his second point of the night, joining Czech forward Ondrej Najman with assists on the play.
Just over two minutes later, forward Hayden Ostir skipped a pass from behind the Tri-City net to a streaking McIndoe, who chipped in his second of the night to push the Chiefs’ margin to four goals.
The Americans came to life in the third period, scoring three-straight goals beginning with Brett Leason’s third of the season at the 1:40 mark. Team captain Tyler Sandhu beat starting goaltender Jayden Sittler to the short side at the 10:24 mark, followed by Finnish defenseman Juuso Valimaki powering a one-timer into the net from the right point with 7:04 left in regulation.
The Chiefs were able to hold on late, moving back within eight points of Portland for the second and final wild card position in the WHL Playoffs race.
Spokane outshot Tri-City 29-24 overall. They went 2-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
Sittler finished with 16 saves on 19 shots faced in 52:56 while Dawson Weatherill turned aside all five shots faced in 7:04 in relief. Parenteau made 25 saves on 29 shots faced in 57:49.
The Chiefs hit the road for back-to-back games in Prince George on Monday and Tuesday. Monday’s game will be an early 2 p.m. puck drop as part of B.C. Family Day. Mike Boyle will have the radio call on 1510 KGA NW Sports Talk beginning 1:30 p.m.
Spokane returns home on February 25 for Mike’s Hard Pink Lemonade Breast Cancer Awareness Night & Helmet Giveaway at the Arena as they host the Tri-City Americans. The Chiefs will wear special pink-accented jerseys to be auctioned off for charity. Tickets for the 25th and all Chiefs home games are available in-person at the Chiefs’ Ticket Office, over-the-phone at 509-535-PUCK and online at ticketswest.com or spokanechiefs.com.