Tri-City Clinches Playoff Berth With Win Over Spokane - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tri-City Clinches Playoff Berth With Win Over Spokane

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 Kennewick, WA- The Tri-City Americans (31-37-0-3, 65 pts) clinched the final playoff spot in the Western Conference on Friday night, defeating the rival Spokane Chiefs (34-33-3-1, 72 pts) 2-1 in front of 4,729 at Toyota Center.

Tri-City came out and established physical play early and got the momentum on its side. It paid off late in the first period, as Brandon Carlo fired a slap shot that found its way through traffic for a 1-0 Americans lead after the first period.

Spokane fought to get back into the game and finally got on the board midway through the second period, as Keanu Yamamoto was able to bury a shot to even the score at one. Tri-City fought to get a goal to regain the lead, and scored late in the second on a nice feed from Richard Nejezchleb to Brian Williams at the side of the net, finding the twine to put the Americans up 2-1 after two periods.

The game was its most physical in the third, as both teams wanted to end the season series with a win. Spokane tried to tie the game, outshooting Tri-City 13-5 in the period. But Eric Comrie was up to the task, and stopped every shot fired his way to lead the Americans to the big victory.

The Americans locked up the final wild card spot with the win, and will play the top seeded Kelowna Rockets in the first round of the WHL Western Conference playoffs, with games 1 and 2 in Kelowna set for Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28.

Tri-City has won two straight games. The Americans earned the win against Spokane, but the Chiefs won the season series 8-4.

Spokane was unsuccessful with four power play opportunities and spent 10 minutes in the penalty box. Tri-City was 1-of-5 with the man advantage and recorded eight penalty minutes.

Eric Comrie made 29 saves in the win while Garret Hughson stopped 25 shots in the loss. 
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