KENNEWICK – A trip to the Tri-Cities was just what the Spokane Chiefs needed to get back to their winning ways.
A night after having their six-game winning streak snapped at U.S. Division-leading Portland, the Chiefs defeated the last-place Tri-City Americans 6-4 Saturday at Toyota Center.
Spokane defenseman Filip Kral scored on a wrist shot from between the top of the faceoff circles midway through the third period to break a 4-all tie. Adam Beckman added an empty-netter with 10 seconds remaining, his Western Hockey League-leading 41st goal of the season.
Beckman, Eli Zummack and Luke Toporowski each had a goal and two assists for the Chiefs (31-18-4-1), who improved to 7-2 against the rival Americans this season. Ty Smith and Leif Mattson also scored for Spokane.
Chiefs goaltender James Porter Jr., a native of Bonners Ferry, made 27 saves to improve to 6-2-0 since being acquired from Kelowna.
Spokane built a 4-1 lead early in the second period before the Americans (16-32-4-1) rallied to tie the score.
Smith opened the scoring 4:27 into the first period, and Mattson made it 2-0 on the power play at 11:18. After Tri-City’s Edge Lambert scored with the man advantage, Toporowski tallied a short-handed goal with 59 seconds left in the period to make it 3-1.
Zummack made it 4-1 at 4:54 of the second before the Americans bounced back on goals by Sasha Mutala, Samuel Huo to make it 4-3 after two periods.
Tri-City’s Jadon Joseph tied the score at 3:12 of the third.
Americans goalie Talyn Boyko stopped 28 of 33 shots.
The Chiefs continue their five-game trip Wednesday at Lethbridge.
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