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WHL Roundup: Blake Gal scores winner as Chiefs down Americans 3-2

Sunday, 03.17.2013 / 2:34 AM / News

The Canadian Press

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WHL Roundup: Blake Gal scores winner as Chiefs down Americans 3-2

Blake Gal scored 34 seconds into overtime as the Spokane Chiefs edged the host Tri-City Americans 3-2 on Saturday in Western Hockey League play.

The victory gives Spokane eight wins in 14 games this season against Tri-City, outscoring them 50-44 in the season series.

If 14 regular-season games weren't enough for the two U.S. Division rivals, they will also meet in the first round of the playoffs as the Chiefs secured the fourth spot in the Western Conference and the Americans took fifth.

Dylan Walchuk had a goal and an assist for the Chiefs (44-25-2), who extended their win streak to five games, and Jeremy McIntosh had the other.

McIntosh's goal was the first of his WHL career in 64 games played.

Connor Rankin and Justin Feser scored for the Americans (40-26-5), who are winless in four contests.

Feser's goal was his 44th of the year and gives him 103 points in 71 games, which is good for fifth in league scoring. The 20-year-old is also just one of five players to reach the 100-point plateau this season.

Garret Hughson stopped 24 shots for the win as Troy Trombley made 33 saves in defeat.

Both clubs went 1 for 4 on the power play.

Spokane wraps up its regular season on Sunday in Portland against the Winterhawks while Tri-City will be in Everett to play the Silvertips. The two clubs will open round one of the post season on Mar. 22nd in Spokane.

Elsewhere in the WHL, it was: Brandon 2, Moose Jaw 1 (SO); Kootenay 5, Calgary 4; Edmonton 5, Red Deer 1; Prince Albert 4, Saskatoon 3 (SO); Swift Current 6, Regina 2; Medicine Hat 7, Lethbridge 2; Kamloops 7, Prince George 0; Victoria 4, Everett 3 (OT); Kelowna 5, Vancouver 2; Portland 6 Seattle 5 (SO).

At Kennewick, Wash., Rankin opened the scoring at 14:16 of the first period with a power-play goal.

McIntosh responded for the Chiefs at 12:34 of the second and Walchuk gave Spokane its first lead at 5:55 of the third while on the man advantage.

Feser forced overtime at 7:54 before Gal finished off a 2-on-1 with Brendan Kichton for the victory.

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Wheat Kings 2 Warriors 1 (SO)

At Brandon, Nick Buonassisi scored the shootout winner and Corbin Boes stopped 40-of-41 shots as the Wheat Kings (24-40-8) downed Moose Jaw (25-36-11), which lost for the first time in three outings.

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Ice 5 Hitmen 4

At Calgary, Jaedon Descheneau had two goals and an assist and Sam Reinhart scored the game-winning goal at 15:55 of the third period as Kootenay (35-35-2) ended the Hitmen's (46-20-5) six-game win streak.

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Oil Kings 5 Rebels 1

At Edmonton, Curtis Lazar had a goal and an assist and Tristan Jarry stopped 27 shots as the Oil Kings (51-15-6) beat Red Deer (39-26-7) for their eighth win in their last nine games.

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Raiders 4 Blades 3 (SO)

At Prince Albert, Sask., Anthony Bardaro scored once in regulation then added the shootout winner while Luke Siemens made 45 saves as the Raiders (37-28-7) beat Saskatoon (44-22-6), which has picked up at least one point in five straight games.

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Broncos 6 Pats 2

At Swift Current, Sask., Reece Scarlett had a goal and an assist and Eetu Laurikainen made 15 saves as the Broncos (36-29-7) defeated Regina (25-38-9) for their fourth win in a row.

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Tigers 7 Hurricanes 2

At Medicine Hat, Alta., Curtis Valk scored twice and added an assist and Hunter Shinkaruk had a goal and two assists as the Tigers (36-33-3) beat Lethbridge (28-34-10) for their first win in three outings.

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Blazers 7 Cougars 0

At Prince George, B.C., Cole Ully scored twice and Taran Kozun stopped 31 shots as Kamloops (47-20-5) blanked the Cougars (21-43-8), who finish their season with five straight losses.

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Royals 4 Silvertips 3 (OT)

At Everett, Wash., Joe Hicketts scored 1:57 into overtime and Michael Herrington stopped 36 shots for his first-career WHL victory as Victoria (35-30-7) slipped past the Silvertips (24-40-7), who fall to eighth in the Western Conference with the loss.

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Rockets 5 Giants 2

At Kelowna, B.C., Jordon Cooke made 29 saves and Tyson Baillie and Myles Bell each had a goal and an assist as the Rockets (52-16-4) extended their win streak to six games by defeating Vancouver (21-49-2).

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Winterhawks 6 Thunderbirds 5 (SO)

At Kent, Wash., Chase De Leo scored the shootout winner and Nicolas Petan had a goal and four assists as Portland (56-12-3) beat Seattle (24-38-10) for its fifth win in a row.

Quote of the Day

I came into a team that had 65 points, that was at the bottom of the basement, a team that everybody wrote off as never going to be good. My goal is to go from the very bottom to the very top.

— Forward Brandon Dubinsky on signing a six-year contract extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets