The Chiefs put on one of their finest displays of hockey this season as they blanked the Americans 6-0 in front of a sold out crowd of 10,367 fans at the Spokane Arena Friday night. Eric Williams recorded his fourth shutout of the season and Carter Proft scored a pair of goals as the Chiefs improved to 25-10-1-0 at home and 43-25-2-0 overall. The win guaranteed the Chiefs home-ice advantage in the first round of the WHL playoffs against Tri-City which begins next Friday in Spokane.
The first 10 minutes of the game saw plenty of physical play but few scoring opportunities as both teams clamped down defensively. Spokane went on the power play at 12:04 but it was Tri-City who nearly scored the game’s first goal after Justin Feser stole a pass and headed down the ice with just Williams to beat. The Chiefs netminder proved up to the challenge as he made a brilliant pad save on Feser’s shot to keep the game scoreless.
Spokane struck just moments later with Alessio Bertaggia beating Troy Trombley at the 12:45 mark on assists from Brenden Kichton and Reid Gow. The Chiefs and Americans each recorded 8 shots in the period.
It was all Carter Proft in the second as Spokane’s enforcer scored a pair of goals to stretch the Chiefs’ lead to 3-0. His first came on the power play at 3:12 with an assist from Gow and Proft followed with his second, again of the power play variety, at 14:13 on assists from Kichton and Todd Fiddler. Williams stopped all seven shots he faced in the period to keep the Americans scoreless after 40 minutes.
Mitch Holmberg pushed Spokane’s lead to 4-0 with his 39th goal of the season at the 7:24 mark of the third as he beat Trombley top shelf with an assist from Bertaggia. Tyler King added a power play goal at 13:44 with assists from Fiddler and Jason Fram and Jackson Playfair capped the scoring at 18:29 with his second goal of the season on an assist from Mike Aviani.
Williams was a perfect 20 of 20 on save opportunities while Trombley was 22 of 28 for Tri-City. Spokane went 3 for 7 on the power play and 2 of 2 on the penalty kill.
Tonight’s three stars: Carter Proft (1st), Eric Williams (2nd) and Alessio Bertaggia (3rd).
The Chiefs wrap up the regular season with games on the road at Tri-City and Portland before returning to Spokane on Friday, March 22nd to host the Americans for game one of the first round of the WHL playoffs.
Tickets for all home games are available by calling the Chiefs office at (509) 535-PUCK or TicketsWest at (800) 325-SEAT.