KENNEWICK -- The Spokane Chiefs did what no other team has done in three months -- beat the Tri-City Americans at Toyota Center.
Brendan Kichton scored the game winner and Mac Engel made 37 saves to lead the Chiefs to a 3-1 victory Friday and knock the Americans out of the first place the Western Hockey League.
"Engel played outstanding, and we didn't have the frame of mind to do everything to win the game," said Tri-City coach Jim Hiller, whose team's 13-game home winning streak came to an end. "We got what we deserved. We didn't play with enough respect for our opponent."
The Americans (34-11-0-0, 68 points) are one point behind Kamloops (33-10-1-2), which beat Seattle on Friday. The Blazers are at Toyota Center tonight.
Spokane (23-14-3-3, 52 points), which scored all three of its goals in the third period, won for the first time in Kennewick this season after three previous losses.
"We could have played better," Spokane coach Don Nachbaur said. "I don't think it was our best game, but we've beat them two times in a row now."
Americans are 19-3-0-0 on home ice. Before Friday, their last home loss was to Victoria on Oct. 25.
"We're not happy with that performance," Americans captain Mason Wilgosh said. "We know we have to be better. Spokane is a great team. If you don't come and show up, you aren't going to win."
Trailing 1-0 entering the third, the Chiefs needed a break, and they got it in the form of a Tri-City turnover to the left of goalie Eric Comrie.
Connor Chartier picked off the puck and sent it to the net. Comrie got the first stop, but Collin Valcourt was there to tuck the puck in at the left post to even the score at 5:08.
Kichton scored on the power play at 10:56, and Dominik Uher gave Spokane a 3-1 lead at 17:20 with a short-handed goal.
"It sucks to lose to Spokane," Wilgosh said. "We need to work on the things -- like turnovers -- that caused us to lose. As a team, we need to get back to good habits."
In a fast-paced first period, the Americans took a 1-0 lead, turning a fast break into Brian Williams goal.
Jordan Messier sent the puck up to Jesse Mychan, who carried it into the Spokane zone. When he got to the bottom of the right circle, Mychan backhanded the puck toward the net. The puck slid across the crease where Williams got his stick on it and buried it behind Engel for his sixth goal of the season.
The Americans had two golden opportunities to score in the second as Patrick Holland and Brendan Shinnimin had a 2-on-1 rush at 5:50, but Holland missed the net on a feed by Shinnimin.
Justin Feser had a short-handed breakaway at 17:50, but Engel got his right pad out to stop the puck.
"It's awesome," said Engel, who is 7-1-0-0 since returning from Christmas break. "It's always good to come into another team's building and get a win. The boys did a good job in front of me blocking shots and made it easy on me. They were throwing everything at the net, it just went our way."
NOTES: With the assist on Williams' goal, Messier scored his 150th point. ... Holland had his 12-game point streak come to and end. He had nine goals and 19 assists in the run. ... The Chiefs lead the 23-year series 142-122-1-5 with 13 ties.