(ISN) – Spokane, WA- In the first game following the winter break, the Tri-City Americans (17-16-0-1, 35 pts) started the second half of the season on a sour note, falling to the Spokane Chiefs (19-12-3-0, 41 pts) 5-1 in front of 9,311 at Spokane Arena on Saturday night.
It didn’t start well for Tri-City, as Spokane was able to score 43 seconds into the game on a backhand shot from Dominic Zwerger to make it 1-0 Chiefs early. Midway through the first, Calder Brooks made it 2-0 on a shorthanded goal to give Spokane a two-goal lead after one period.
The Americans fought to get a goal, but Spokane broke through first in the second period, as Jackson Playfair scored to make it 3-0. Later in the period, Kailer Yamamoto scored a power play goal to make it 4-0. Spokane dominated the period in shots, 13-5, and had all the momentum going into the third period.
Tri-City pressed on the forecheck to try and create a chance to get on the board. But Spokane was able to score again, as Liam Stewart scored the Chiefs second shorthanded goal of the game to make it 5-0. The Americans got on the board from the power play midway through the third, as Richard Nejzchleb put home a nice feed from Parker Bowles to cut the lead to 5-1. But that’s all the Americans would get, as the Chiefs cruised to the win after the goal.
The loss extends the Americans losing streak to three games and puts them six points behind the Chiefs in the U.S. Division. Tri-City has lost two straight games to Spokane and the Americans drop to 1-4 against the Chiefs this season.
The Americans were 1-of-6 on the power play and had 17 penalty minutes, while the Chiefs were 1-of-5 with a man advantage and recorded 19 penalty minutes.
Spokane’s Garret Hughson stopped 18 shots in the win, while Evan Sarthou made 30 saves in the loss.
Tri-City will drive back to Kennewick and have no time to rest, as the Americans are back in action on Sunday, Dec. 28 against the U.S. Division leading Everett Silvertips (21-9-3-1, 46 pts) at the Toyota Center. Game time is at 5:05 p.m. The Americans have lost four of the three meetings against the Silvertips, including a 4-3 shootout loss in the previous meeting on Dec. 9 in Kennewick. Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster locations, including the Toyota Center Box Office, any Fred Meyer outlet or online at Ticketmaster.com.
Jack in the Box Three Stars
1. Kailer Yamamoto, Spokane
2. Garret Hughson, Spokane
3. Calder Brooks, Spokane