Season End Looms Large As Chiefs Drop Another Playoff Game To Wi - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Season End Looms Large As Chiefs Drop Another Playoff Game To Winterhawks

After dropping Tuesday's game to the Winterhawks, the Chiefs have to win to keep their playoff dreams alive. After dropping Tuesday's game to the Winterhawks, the Chiefs have to win to keep their playoff dreams alive.

Portland took a 2-0 lead in the second period and held off a late charge from Spokane as the Winterhawks defeated the Chiefs 3-1 in front of 3,708 fans at the Spokane Arena Tuesday night. Eric Williams stopped 33 shots and Blake Gal scored his sixth goal of the playoffs as Portland took a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The two teams matched each other shot for shot in a highly competitive and physical first period. Spokane had a prime opportunity to seize the lead at the 9:30 mark but Mitch Holmberg's shot sailed wide of an open net. Williams sprawling save of a shot from Ty Rattie at 11:04 kept the scoreless tie intact.

Portland notched the game's first goal with just 47-seconds remaining in the period as Rattie turned a Chiefs' turnover into a top shelf score and a 1-0 lead for the Winterhawks. Portland outshot Spokane 13-12 for the period.

The Winterhawks defense proved to be a tall order for Spokane in the second period as they held the Chiefs to just five total shots. Portland's offense was just as efficient, stretching its lead to 2-0 at 8:01 as Nic Petan got free in front of the net and beat Williams with a backhand.

Spokane struck for a crucial power play goal at 16:24 with Gal firing a shot past Mac Carruth on assists from Reid Gow and Mitch Holmberg to cut Portland's lead to 2-1. Williams turned away 11 shots in the period to keep Spokane within striking distance.

The Chiefs valiantly tried to mount a comeback in the game's final period but couldn't beat Carruth a second time. Spokane and Portland each tallied 10 shots in the third, with Taylor Leier scoring an empty net goal at 19:45 to cap the scoring.

Williams finished 33 of 35 on save opportunities while Carruth was 25 of 26. Spokane went 1 for 4 on the power play and 3 of 3 on the penalty kill.

Tonight's three stars: Nic Petan (1st), Eric Williams (2nd) and Ty Rattie (3rd).

The Chiefs are home again tomorrow at 7:05 PM for Game 4 of the WHL Western Conference Semifinals against the Portland Winterhawks.

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