Teddy Bears Fly, but Chiefs Fall to Americans 4-3 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Teddy Bears Fly, but Chiefs Fall to Americans 4-3

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The loss dropped Spokane to third in the U.S. Division, one point behind Everett and five ahead of Portland. The loss dropped Spokane to third in the U.S. Division, one point behind Everett and five ahead of Portland.

SpokaneChiefs.com

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Chiefs sent 6,384 teddy bears and stuffed animals onto the ice at Spokane Arena on Saturday night but fell to the visiting Tri-City Americans, 4-3. Riley Whittingham scored his seventh goal of the season to send the fur flying just 2:56 into regulation.

Whittingham’s goal came off a misplayed puck by the Americans deep in their own zone. Assisted by Keanu Yamamoto and Matt Sozanski, the overage forward swiped the puck after the defenseman whiffed on clearance attempt, took it hard to the net and slipped it under goaltender Evan Sarthou’s legs to put the Chiefs up 1-0.

Tri-City answered back on a power play midway through the second period – their first of three scores with a man advantage – as Vladislav Lukin sniped one in from a sharp angle on the right wing over Spokane netminder Tyson Verhelst’s left shoulder.

With only nine seconds remaining in the second period, Tri-City took their first lead of the game as Parker Bowles scored his first of two goals, again on the power play, slipping the puck past Verhelst off a rush down the left wing.

The Chiefs responded in kind 2:28 into the third period as Kailer Yamamoto tapped in his 10th of the season off a cross-crease pass from Markson Bechtold to tie the game at 2-2.

Older brother Keanu gave the Chiefs a 3-2 lead with a deflection on Jordan Henderson’s shot from outside the left circle just over three minutes later.

The Americans didn’t give up and utilized another power play barely one minute after the Chiefs’ go-ahead score to tie the game at 3-3. Team captain Beau McCue found the puck loose after a scrum in front of Verhelst and wristed it through a gap for his 10th of the year.

Bowles secured the game-winner – his team-leading 18th goal of the season – with 3:56 left in regulation of assists from Jordan Topping and Michael Rasmussen.

The loss dropped Spokane to third in the U.S. Division, one point behind Everett and five ahead of Portland.

The Chiefs finished 1 for 3 on the power play and 2 for 5 on the penalty kill.

The collected bears will be organized and donated to the Spokesman-Review Christmas Bureau to be distributed to families around Spokane.

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