Chiefs Shut Out Tri-City 4-0, Move Into First Place Tie

SPOKANE – Dustin Tokarski had 24 saves to help lead the Spokane Chiefs to a huge 4-0 win over the Tri-City Americans Friday night at a sold out Spokane Arena.

The win moves the Chiefs into a first place tie with Tri-City in the Western Hockey League’s U.S. Division at 98 points, with six games remaining for each team. The two teams are tied with the Vancouver Giants for the best record in the WHL, which means home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Giants, who lost to Seattle 5-2 at home Friday night, have played two more games than Spokane and Tri-City.  The Chiefs also game a game in hand with the Americans.

The Chiefs got their first goal on the power play, a problem area against the Ams. Nineteen seconds into a 5-on-3 power play, Ondrej Roman scored to put Spokane up 1-0. That is how it would stay going into the first intermission.

The second period was scoreless until just under three minutes remaining. Rutherford picked up a loose puck at the Americans blue line and put it past Tri-City goalie Chet Pickard to make the score 2-0. That would be the only tally of the period.

Spokane turned up the offense in the third period, and were rewarded 89 seconds into the third. Seth Compton scored to make it 3-0, and the Arena was at full voice, knowing that the win was at hand.

The Americans started getting a little rough as the third went on, and it cost them another goal. An incident that put two players from each team in the penalty box, but Spokane ended up with a power play. The Chiefs took advantage, as Bowman scored to make the final score 4-0.

The Chiefs had many chances during the night, but, as usual, their power play wasn’t all that great against Tri-City. Spokane went 2-10 with the man advantage, while the Americans went 0-7 on the power play.

Tokarski was solid in the nets to get his 24 saves, while Pickard had 26 saves for the Ams.

Spokane returns to the ice Saturday night, as they host the Chilliwack Bruins at 7 p.m. They finish the weekend on Sunday in Seattle, where they play the Thunderbirds at 5:05 p.m.