March 23, 2013, Spokane, WA (ISN) – Spokane and Tri-City played a physical hard fought game that everyone predicted Game 1 would be.
Spokane scored three goals in the first period, including two goals from Mitch Holmberg to lead the Spokane Chiefs (1-0-0, 2 pts) to a 4-1 win over the Tri-City Americans (0-1-0, 0 pts) in Game 1 of their First Round Western Conference Series.
The Chiefs have won three in a row going back to the regular season.
Spokane scored the first goal of the series 1:08 into the game as Blake Gal scored to help the Chiefs jump out to a 1-0 lead. The Americans tied the game five minutes later as Brandon Carlo scored his first career WHL goal, firing a shot from the right point through traffic into the net. The Chiefs retook the lead midway through the period as Alessio Bertaggia deflected the puck past Troy Trombley to make it 2-1 Spokane. The lead increased to two about two minutes later as Holmberg was waiting at the right post on the power play as the puck bounced right to his stick, burying a shot to make it 3-1. Shots were 12-8 in favor of Spokane in the first period, giving them momentum heading into the second.
Both teams had opportunities in the second period with the Chiefs outshooting the Americans 13-7. Tri-City almost cut the lead to one late in the period as Brian Williams appeared to score on the power play, but the officials waved off the goal to keep the score at 3-1 heading into the third.
Tri-City tried to come back in the third period, throwing 11 shots at Eric Williams, but with no positive results. Spokane capped the scoring midway through the third period as Holmberg scored, skating up the right side and firing a shot through Tombley’s legs into the goal, finishing off the 4-1 win.
Spokane captain Brenden Kichton and Reid Gow tallied two assists in the win. Connor Rankin and Brian Williams earned an assist on the Americans only goal of the game.
Tri-City did not perform well on the power play tonight, going 0-of-4 while allowing one power play goal on two Spokane chances.
Trombley made 28 saves in the loss while Williams made 26 saves in the win.
The Americans will try to bounce back as these two teams will come back to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum tomorrow night for Game 2 of the 2013 WHL 1st Round Series between the Chiefs and Americans. Game time is at 7:05 p.m. NewsTalk 870 will broadcast the game starting at 6:45 p.m. with the pregame show. MeTV 42.2/Charter 280 will broadcast the game on television beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Jack in the Box Three Stars:
1. Mitch Holmberg, Spokane
2. Brenden Kichton, Spokane
3. Eric Williams, Spokane