Yellow Horn Nets Four as Ams Breeze Past Chiefs, 7-2 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yellow Horn Nets Four as Ams Breeze Past Chiefs, 7-2

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SPOKANE, WA - In his last Western Hockey League season, Colton Yellow Horn is going out with a bang.  Already the League-leader in goals scored, Yellow Horn is making a bid to win the WHL scoring title and certainly helped his cause on Saturday night.

Yellow Horn scored four goals in the final 40 minutes, as the Tri-City Americans (41-12-1-2, 85 pts) routed the Spokane Chiefs (39-11-1-4, 83 pts) 7-2 in front of 10,366 fans at Veterans Memorial Arena.  The win improved the Americans' record to 6-2 against their rivals this season and are 4-0 at Veterans Memorial Arena.  For Yellow Horn, it was his second four-goal night of his WHL career; his first coming as a member of the Lethbridge Hurricanes on February 18, 2005 against the Kootenay Ice.  It was also his third hat trick of the 2007-08 season as he led the Americans into the top spot in the Western Conference and WHL.

Not indicative of the overall competition in the Tri-City/Spokane series, the Americans dominated nearly every aspect of the game, and it began to go downhill early for the Chiefs.  Just 1:23 into the game, Taylor Procyshen let a shot go that ricocheted off the post and behind starting netminder Dustin Tokarski for the early 1-0 lead.  However, the Chiefs responded with over five minutes remaining in the first period, as Tyler Johnson beat Tri-City goaltender Chet Pickard high over the blocker.

But, the Americans used their lethal special teams to regain the game's momentum nearly one minute later.  Currently down a man after Kruise Reddick took an interference penalty, the Americans broke out on a 3-on-1 opportunity into the Spokane zone.  Blair Macaulay fed a perfect pass to T.J. Fast, who then beat Tokarski over his blocker, for Tri-City's 19th shorthanded goal of the season and a 2-1 lead.

The Americans increased their lead to 3-1 after Yellow Horn recorded his first goal of the night with an innocent slap shot from the top of the slot.  The shot, which may have been deflected by a Spokane defenseman, found the back of the net and sent Tokarski to the bench in exchange for Kevin Armstrong.  However, the Chiefs pulled back to within one, after Judd Blackwater banged in a Justin McCrae pass at the 9:09 mark of the second period.

However, special teams would doom the Chiefs for the remainder of the contest.  At the 14:51 mark of the second period, and having just killed off a Too Many Men on the Ice penalty, Yellow Horn beat Armstrong as part of a 2-on-1 breakaway for his second goal of the night, giving Tri-City a 4-2 lead headed into the third period.

The Americans blew the game open in the final period, as they registered three power play goals and outshot the Chiefs 16 to 4 to close out the game.  Yellow Horn picked-up the hat trick at the 4:56 mark as part of a Tri-City 5-on-3 power play opportunity.  Less than a minute later, Radek Meidl notched his fourth goal of the season on the backend of the same power play opportunity.  Yellow Horn capped the scoring with his fourth goal of the night at the 11:02 mark of the third period.  The Americans finished 3-for-9 on the power play and were a perfect 4 for 4 on the penalty kill.  Pickard collected 25 saves in picking up his 36th win of the season, while Tokarski and Armstrong combined for 37 saves in the loss.

With the victory behind them, the Americans will head right back home, where they will prepare to take on the Portland Winter Hawks tomorrow, Sunday, February 10.  Game time is 5:05 p.m. at Toyota Center.  Tri-City defeated the ‘Hawks just two days ago and is 5-1 against Portland this season.

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