San Jose Sharks prospect Jake McGrew scored his third career hat trick to lead the Spokane Chiefs to a 5-3 win over the Tri-City Americans on Friday night in Kennewick. Spokane will finish their regular season schedule at home on Saturday night against the Americans.
McGrew opened the scoring just 1:30 into regulation, blasting a one-timer from the left circle inside the far post for his 28th goal of the season. The power play goal came off assists from Filip Kral and Adam Beckman.
After goals from Tri-City’s Roman Kalinichenko and Parker AuCoin – AuCoin’s 42nd of the year – made it a 2-1 game for Tri-City, McGrew struck again, capping a wild flurry in front of Americans’ netminder Talyn Boyko to pot his second of the night. Beckman earned another assists on the play along with veteran defenseman Nolan Reid. The two teams entered the first intermission tied 2-2.
NHL draft prospect Luke Toporowski corralled a high-arcing pass down the middle of the ice before beating Boyko between the pads for his 21st goal of the year for the only goal of the second period. Reid picked up his second helper of the night as Spokane headed into the second break up 3-2.
Czech forward Krystof Hrabik scored on a power play for Tri-City at 2:35 of the third to make it a 3-3 game before fellow countryman Filip Kral regained the lead for Spokane, ripping the puck through traffic for his 10th of the season with only 1:48 remaining.
McGrew sealed it with an empty netter late, completing the hat trick with his 30th goal of the year, giving Spokane the 5-3 win.
With the victory, the Chiefs are now one point behind Portland for second place in the U.S. Division with one game remaining. The Winterhawks have two games remaining in a home-and-home series versus Seattle on Saturday and Sunday. Spokane and Portland will face each other in the first round of the playoffs, with home ice yet to be determined.
Spokane’s Reece Klassen started in goal and made 25 saves on 28 shots faced. Boyko finished with 39 saves on 43 shots. The Chiefs went 1-f0r-5 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.
The Chiefs were without forwards Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Eli Zummack and Riley Woods along with defenseman Ty Smith, who received a rest day as the 2019 WHL Playoffs approach next week.
The Chiefs close out their 2018-19 regular season schedule versus the Tri-City Americans on Saturday, March 16 at Spokane Arena. It will be Miller Lite St. Paddy’s Day Jersey Night at the Arena, with the Chiefs wearing special St. Patrick’s Day jerseys which will be auctioned off to benefit Second Harvest. Fans will also have the opportunity to win a customized jersey at the game with a free enter to win drawing.
Tickets for Saturday night are available online, via TicketsWest outlets and from the Chiefs’ Ticket Office at Spokane Arena, in-person or over the phone at 509-535-PUCK.