Spokane clips Winterhawks, 6-3, but Portland reigns as divison champ
The Portland Winterhawks wrapped up the Western Hockey League U.S. Divison and Western Conference regular-season titles Saturday. So, Sunday's game was rendered meaningless.
Spokane (48-18-4-2) beat the Winterhawks (50-19-0-3) 6-3 in front of a sellout crowd of 10,947 at the Rose Garden.
The Winterhawks finish the regular season with 103 points and the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs, which begin next weekend. The Winterhawks will take on the Everett Silvertips in the first round, beginning with Game 1 at 7 p.m. Saturday and Game 2 at 5 p.m. Sunday, both games in the Rose Garden.
In Sunday's regular-season finale, the two teams combined for six goals in a wild first period, beginning with two from Ryan Johansen, his 39th and 40th markers of the season, to make it 2-0. After Spokane answered back a minute later with a power play goal by Marek Kalus, Riley Boychuk rifled a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle past Spokane netminder James Reid at the 16:24 mark to make it a two-goal game again, 3-1.
But the Chiefs bounced back with two goals 15 seconds apart, first from Anthony Bardaro followed by the first career goal by Conner Chartier to tie the game at 3-3 heading into the second period.
Spokane took their first lead of the game when Darren Kramer scored in front to make it 4-3 for the Chiefs at the 5:59 mark, which would stand as the lone goal of the period.
The Winterhawks buzzed the Spokane net through much of the third and generated numerous chances, but the Chiefs extended their lead when Bardaro scored his second of the game on a power play at the 14:12 mark to make it 5-3. They added with a late empty-net goal by Tyler Johnson to finish with the 6-3 win.