KENNEWICK, Wash. - Judd Blackwater's second goal of the game 2:28 into double overtime lifted the Spokane Chiefs to a 4-3 win over the Tri-City Americans in Game 5 of the WHL's Western Conference final Saturday night.
The victory gives Spokane a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 6 goes Monday in Spokane, while Game 7, if necessary, will be played Tuesday in Kennewick.
Saturday's game was wild from the start, with Spokane scoring the opening goal of the game just 1:06 into the contest, as Blackwater buried a rebound of a shot by Chris Bruton.
Drew Hoff evened things up at 7:34, taking a pass from Colton Yellow Horn underneath a sliding Jared Cowan and burying the puck behind Spokane goalie Dustin Tokarski.
The Americans took the lead at 3:17 of the second with a goal by Jason Reese, but Spokane's Drayson Bowman responded with a pair of goals in a span of 1:20 for a 3-2 lead the Chiefs would cling to until the end of the period.
Radek Meidl scored the tying goal for the Americans at 13:10 of the third.
Bowman, looking for a hat trick, was pulled down from behind by T.J. Fast and was awarded a penalty shot at 7:51 of the first overtime. Bowman went straight down the slot on Tri-City goalie Chet Pickard, but shot the puck over the net.
Pickard finished with 34 saves.