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Pickard backstops Tri-City to 5-1 win, stopping 33 against the rival Chiefs

NHL.com @NHL

On Thursday night, Spokane's Jared Cowen and Tri-City's Chet Pickard were celebrating as teammates after Team WHL knocked off the Russian Selects in the final game of the ADT Canada-Russia challenge.

On Friday night, Pickard was the one celebrating after making 33 saves against Cowen and the Chiefs to backstop the Americans to a convincing 5-1 victory in the Western Hockey League.

The win was Pickard's third in a row, and the fourth in a row for Tri-City (18-7-0-2). It was also the 400th victory for Americans coach Don Nachbaur. He is only the 10th coach in WHL history to reach the milestone, and it came on a night where his team took a three-point lead in the U.S. Division over Spokane, their biggest rival.

Steve Kuhn opened the scoring five minutes into the second period with the lone goal for the Chiefs (16-8-0-3). Five minutes later, Johnny Lazo's penalty shot goal for the Americans tied the game at 1-1.

Taylor Procyshen had three assists for Tri-City to bring his season point total to 33 (12 goals, 21 assists).

Elsewhere in the WHL, it was: Calgary 9, Swift Current 7; Everett 3, Portland 0; Kamloops 8, Regina 5; Lethbridge 4, Brandon 2; Red Deer 4, Moose Jaw 2; Saskatoon 3, Prince Albert 1; Seattle 4, Kootenay 1; and Vancouver 5, Chilliwack 1.

At Kennewick, Wash., the Americans added goals by Kruise Reddick, Mitch Fadden, Adam Hughesman and Jarrett Toll to even the season series with the Chiefs at two games apiece. The two teams face off next in Spokane on Dec. 27.

Chiefs goaltender Dustin Tokarski stopped 32 shots.

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Hitmen 9, Broncos 7

At Calgary, Keith Seabrook's third-period goal stood up as the game-winner in a wild game as the Hitmen beat Swift Current.

Kyle Bortis had two goals and two assists, Brett Sonne had a goal and two assists, and Jason MacDonald, Michael Stone, Cody Sylvester, Bostjan Golicic and Carson McMillan all scored for Calgary (23-4-1-0). Brandon Kozun had three assists.

The Broncos (16-11-0-1) got goals from Grant Toulmin, Matt Tassone, Taylor Vause, Christian Magnus, Derek Claffey and two from Geordie Wudrick.

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Silvertips 3, Winter Hawks 0

At Everett, Wash., Shayne Barrie earned his first career shutout, making 22 saves to lead the Silvertips over Portland.

Jesse Burt, Byron Froese and Graham Potuer scored goals for Everett (14-10-3-0), which has beaten Portland 13 straight times.

Kurtis Mucha stopped 24 shots in goal for the Winter Hawks (7-20-0-0), who lost their sixth straight.

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Blazers 8, Pats 5

At Kamloops, B.C., Kenton Dulle scored twice and added an assist as the Blazers scored five unanswered goals to knock off Regina.

Nick Ross, Jimmy Bubnick, Brendan Ranford, Tyler Shattock, Giffen Nyren and Brady Calla scored for Kamloops (12-14-0-3).

Matt Strueby, with two, Mitch Czibere, Graham Hood and Brett Leffler replied for the Pats (15-11-1-3), who were opening a five-game B.C. road trip.

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Hurricanes 4, Wheat Kings 2

At Lethbridge, Alta., Zach Boychuk had two assists and added an empty-netter to lead the Hurricanes past Brandon.

Colton Sceviour, Dan Iwanski and Cam Braes added goals for Lethbridge (13-12-0-1). Mitch Versteeg had three assists.

Brayden Schenn scored shorthanded in the second period and added another goal with less than a minute remaining in the third to pull the Wheat Kings (14-10-1-1) within one before Boychuk iced the game.

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Rebels 4, Warriors 2

At Red Deer, Alta., Landon Ferraro scored twice as the Rebels doubled up on Moose Jaw.

Cody Esposito and Carter Smith added single goals for Red Deer (9-16-0-5).

Joel Broda scored both goals for the Warriors (7-17-0-1).

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Blades 3, Raiders 1

At Saskatoon, Milan Kytnar had a goal and an assist as the Blades cruised to victory over Prince Albert.

Derek Hulak and Curtis Hamilton also scored for Saskatoon (18-7-2-0), which outshot Price Albert 38-21.

Dustin Cameron had the lone goal for the Raiders (13-19-0-0) 18 seconds into the third period.

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Thunderbirds 4, Ice 1

At Seattle, Thomas Hickey scored a second-period power-play goal to win the game as the Thunderbirds ended Kootenay's six-game winning streak.

Jonathan Parker, Devon LeBlanc and Chris Cloud had the other goals for Seattle (11-13-1-2).

Andrew Bailey countered for the Ice (15-10-2-3).

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Giants 5, Bruins 1

At Chilliwack, B.C., Craig Cunningham scored twice as Vancouver put on another dominating performance, outshooting the Bruins 48-17.

Casey Pierro-Zabotel opened the scoring in the first period and added two assists for the Giants (21-1-0-3). Lance Bouma and Jonathon Blum had a goal and an assist each.

David Robinson scored the only goal for Chilliwack (9-14-2-2).

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