KENNEWICK, Wash. - On a night when they could have helped themselves to the U.S. Division title, the Tri-City Americans will now need a little help from their rival Spokane Chiefs to make it happen.
James Reid stopped 37 of 41 shots for Spokane to hand the Americans a 5-4 loss Saturday night in the Western Hockey League.
Tyler Johnson, Brett Bartman, Corbin Baldwin, Anthony Bardaro and Kenton Miller all scored for Spokane (44-22-5).
Justin Feser, Kruise Reddick, Neal Prokop and Adam Hughesman supplied the offence for Tri-City (47-22-3), while Alex Pechurskiy had 30 saves.
The Chiefs must beat the Everett Silvertips Sunday for the Americans to win their third straight division title and the Western Conference title.
If the Silvertips should win, they would capture the division and conference titles and Tri-City would be third in the conference.
Spokane earned home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.