Spokane Scores Late To Earn 2-0 Series Lead Over Tri-City


March 24, 2013, Spokane, WA (ISN) – Saturday night was a much closer game than Friday night’s game, but the result was the much same.

Blake Gal scored two goals, including the game winning goal with 3:29 left in the game to lift the Spokane Chiefs (2-0-0, 4 pts) over the Tri-City Americans (0-2-0, 0 pts) 6-4 in Game 2 of the 2013 Western Conference First Round Series.

Spokane has won four straight going back to the regular season and leads the series 2-0.

The Americans scored first and took their first lead of the series five minutes into the game. Malte Strömwall fed Drydn Dow at the top of the right faceoff circle, firing a shot into the net to earn a 1-0 lead. It didn’t take long for Spokane to tie the game as a loose puck bounced right to Liam Stewart in the slot, one-timing a shot into the net. About 30 seconds later, Spokane took the lead as Tyler King fired a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle, beating Troy Trombley glove side to make it 2-1. Tri-City answered a minute later as Zachary Yuen fired a shot, and the rebound found the stick of Parker Bowles, scoring to tie the game at two. The lead changed just over two minutes later as Lucas Nickles dropped off a pass to Marcus Messier in front of the net, burying the shot to take a 3-2 lead. Tri-City only had four shots in the first, three of those finding the back of the net while the Chiefs had 15, but it was the Americans with the lead after one.

Spokane tied the game early in the second as Blake Gal waited at the left post as a Mitch Holmberg pass found Gal, firing it into the net to make it even at three. Todd Fiddler gave the Chiefs the lead with six minutes left in the second, as Matthew Gelinas turned it over in the Americans zone to Fiddler, beating Trombley with a shot to make it 4-3. Tri-City only got four shots on net in the second period compared to the Chiefs 10, with the Americans looking to come back in the third period.

Spokane took an interference penalty midway through the period, which opened the door for the Americans. Strömwall skated into the Chiefs zone and fed a pass to the front of the net, where Jesse Mychan was waiting for the pass and slapped the puck past Eric Williams to tie the game at four. It looked like the game might go into overtime but Gal was in the right place as Trombley spit out a rebound right to Gal at the right post, putting it into the net to give Spokane the lead with 3:29 remaining in the game. Spokane finished the Americans off on a mistake by Trombley, as he came out of his net to play the puck. Mike Aviani snuck up behind Trombley, stole the puck and put it into the open net to seal the win for the Chiefs.

The scoring was spread out on the Americans, as 10 players recorded a point including Drydn Dow and Michal Plutnar recording multi-point games. Three Spokane players recorded multi-point games.

Tri-City performed better on the special teams tonight, going 1-of-4 on the power play and killing off the only Spokane power play.

Trombley stopped 24 shots in the loss while Eric Williams made 15 saves in the win.

Both teams will travel to Kennewick for Game 3 of the 2013 Western Conference First Round Series between the Chiefs and Americans on Tuesday, March 26. Game time is at 7:05 p.m. The Americans were 3-2-1 at home during the regular season against the Chiefs, losing the last meeting of the season in overtime 3-2 on March 16. NewsTalk 870 will broadcast the game starting at 6:45 p.m. with the pregame show. WHL Live will stream the game online beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are still available at the Toyota Center Box Office, at any Fred Meyer outlet, at any Ticketmaster location or online at Ticketmaster.com.

Jack in the Box Three Stars:

1. Blake Gal, Spokane

2. Drydn Dow, Tri-City

3. Liam Stewart, Spokane