September 23, 2012, Kennewick, WA (ISN) – The Americans had a party on Saturday night as they showed off the 2011-12 US Division Champion banner. Spokane crashed the party however, scoring four goals in the second period, as Chiefs defeated Tri-City 5-2 in both teams season opener.
The Americans threw 15 shots in the first period at Spokane goalie Mac Engel, but couldn’t get one past. Philip Tot had a chance short-handed and Brian Williams almost put home a wrap-around attempt, but to no avail. Spokane had a shot ring off the post, but Comrie saved all 10 shots he faced.
Spokane owned the second period. Todd Fiddler put home a pass across the middle from Mitch Holmberg to break the tie. The Chiefs tallied three goals in the final three minutes of the period. It started with a Liam Stewart power play goal. Mike Aviani added a goal a minute later, and Mitch Holmberg put one in the back of the net with 34 seconds left in the period to give Spokane a 4-0 lead.
Tri-City attempted a comeback in the third period. Rookie Parker Bowles picked up a Spokane turnover and deked by Engel for the Americans first goal of the season, swinging the momentum to the Americans. A minute later, Feser had a breakaway chance that was stopped by Engel. But Tri-City would score again when Feser passed it from behind the net to Malte Strömwall, who banged it into the goal to bring the Ams within two with 2:12 left in the game.
Comrie was pulled with less than two minutes left. Mitch Topping had the puck behind the net, but let it slip away from him, right to Carter Proft who put it in the empty net to cap the 5-2 victory.
The loss snaps the 11-game home-opener winning streak for the Americans and a five game season-opener winning streak. It also snaps a two game home opening winning streak against Spokane.
Tri-City will look to rebound tomorrow when the Portland Winterhawks (1-1-0-0) come to the Toyota Center. Game time is 5:05 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the radio at NewsTalk 870 and on WHL Live. Tickets are available at the Toyota Center box office, Fred Meyer outlets, at any Ticketmaster location or online at Ticketmaster.com.
Jack in the Box’s 3 Stars:
1. Mitch Holmberg, Spokane
2. Liam Stewart, Spokane
3. Justin Feser, Tri-City