The Portland Winterhawks (34-30-6-0) clinched a playoff spot, but fell 5-4 in overtime to the Spokane Chiefs (33-29-5-4) Friday at the Moda Center in front of 9,121 fans.
By gaining a point with the game going to overtime, the Hawks clinched their seventh consecutive playoff berth. Spokane’s win moves them one point ahead of Portland for third in the U.S. Division, while the Hawks currently occupy the second wild card spot, but with a game in hand on the Chiefs and the tiebreaker advantage.
Spokane’s Hudson Elynuik scored in the extra frame to give the visitors the overtime win.
The Hawks opened the scoring with three goals in a span of 1:29 late in the first period to jump out to a 3-0 lead. First it was Keegan Iverson scoring from the top of the left faceoff circle on a power play at 15:34 to take a 1-0 lead. Forty seconds later Alex Overhardt scored from a sharp angle to make it 2-0, followed quickly by Rihards Bukarts slipping behind the defense, taking a feed from Cody Glass and scoring from in close to cap the rally and make it 3-0.
Spokane got one back at 18:33 when Nik Andersen scored to cut Portland’s lead to 3-1 heading into the second.
The Chiefs got back within one 8:25 into the second on a power play when Keanu Yamamoto scored to cut the Hawks’ lead to 3-2, the lone goal of the period.
Spokane tied the game 2:43 into the third when Presten Kopeck scored shorthanded to even the contest at 3-3, then took a 4-3 lead at 12:39 on a goal by Matt Sozanski.
Late in the third after the Chiefs hit the post, Dominic Turgeon picked up the puck and brought it up the ice. He went end-to-end, skating through several Chiefs defenders and beat netminder Lasse Petersen to tie the game at 4-4 at the 16:30 mark to force overtime. Elynuik scored 1:37 into the extra frame to give Spokane the win.
Adin Hill made his 64th appearance of the season in net tonight, setting a franchise record for games played in a season. Hill made 25 saves in the loss.
The Hawks will be back in action tomorrow in Seattle when they take on the Thunderbirds at 7 p.m. in a game televised live on Portland’s CW 32.