The Spokane Chiefs dealt the Tri City Americans their first opening day home loss since 2000 with a 5-2 win Saturday night in Kennewick. It was the Chiefs first opening night win since 2009 when Spokane opened with a win at Prince George.
Neither team was able to score in the first, as Chiefs goalie Mac Engel turned away all 15 Americans shots in the period. In the second, Spokane broke through as Todd Fiddler deposited a Mitch Holmberg pass at 9:26 of the period to give the Chiefs a 1-0 lead. Spokane then scored three goals in the last 2:22 of the stanza to take a 4-0 lead after two. Liam Stewart's rebound power play goal made it 2-0 at 17:38. Mike Aviani would score on another rebound at 18:34 to put the Chiefs up 3-0, then Holmberg would score at 19:26 to cap the 4 goal second. Holmberg finished with 3 points in the period on his way to earning first star honors.
Tri City would score goals at 11:53 and 17:48 to get within 4-2, but Engel turned away a Justin Feser breakaway to keep the Chiefs up 2 in the third. Carter Proft would seal the win with an empty netter at 18:32 to cap the victory for Spokane. Tri City outshot Spokane 31-30, although the Chiefs had a 17-4 shot advantage in the decisive second period. Engel finished with 29 saves to earn the win.
Spokane will return to the Spokane Arena to host Tri City in the Chiefs home opener Saturday night at 7:05pm. Mike Boyle will have the call on 1510 KGA beginning with the pre-game show at 6:30pm.