KENNEWICK, Wash. - Brenden Kichton had the game-winning goal and an assist as the Spokane Chiefs beat Tri-City 3-1 to eliminate the Americans from the Western Hockey League playoffs Saturday.
Spokane won the first-round series 4-1, with its only loss coming in overtime in Game 3. The Chiefs will have to wait for the results of the other Western Conference series to find out who their next opponent will be.
"The 4-1 victory was huge. It gives you a chance to rest," Spokane coach Don Nachbaur said. "We didn't want to go back home and play two more games. The fifth game to seal the deal is tough and they made it hard."
Malte Stromwall scored the Americans' lone goal, while Troy Trombley had 31 saves. Trombley also stopped a Bertaggia penalty shot at 9:29 of the third period.
It's the first time the Americans have ended the playoffs with a first-round loss since 2007.