It’s a rivalry as old as time and a battle fit for the ice. For the second time this season the Tri-City Americans and the Spokane Chiefs met on Tri-City home ice. Also, for the second time this season, the Americans took the W, though the game was far closer than either team would have liked.
Spokane came to play tonight; there was no doubt about it. Five minutes into the game, the gloves were dropped between Chiefs forward Ty Cheveldayoff and Americans defenceman Andrej Golian. The fight kicked off the game, getting everyone into the spirit of the rivalry, which has been brewing for years. With six more games on the horizon between these two teams, the animosity will only get stronger.
PKs, PPGs, and Shorties
Through most of the game, each team was evenly matched, trading goal for goal. The Americans’ Achilles heel, however, is continually taking penalties. Six penalties were taken tonight, though; only one netted a goal for the Chiefs. Another netted a shorthanded goal, scored by the Richmond, British Columbia native Samuel Huo.
Tri-City needs more discipline on the ice. The penalties were lazy and unfocused; five of the six penalties could have been avoided with a little more mindfulness. It could have cost them the game. Indeed it has cost them in previous games.
While Tri-City outshot Spokane 32 to 22, there was no clear runaway team in this game. The pace was evenly matched, with both teams working hard to keep the puck moving. Tri-City struck first in the scoring, but Spokane responded, a goal for a goal twice to push it to OT.
Short and sweet
Five minutes of three-on-three hockey was hardly needed, though. Eighteen seconds into the extra period, Luke Zazula, captain of the Tri-City Americans, scored his first goal of the season and the game-winner. The Tri-City Americans beat the Spokane Chiefs 3-2 in overtime.
Luke Zazula wasted no time securing a victory tonight in overtime!
Assisted by Huo and Daniel. pic.twitter.com/C5Yv3mItmg
— Tri-City Americans (@TCAmericans) April 4, 2021
The Americans have won both of their games against the Spokane Chiefs so far, and only time will tell if they can make it three for three. The next time these two teams will meet will be in Spokane on April 7th. Before that, however, the Americans will face the Seattle Thunderbirds, again on home ice, on Tuesday, April 6th. Puck drop for that game is 7:05 pm PDT.