SPOKANE -- After twice squandering a two-goal lead, Tri-City helped itself to a Spokane turnover, and Mason Wilgosh scored the game-winning goal with 37 seconds remaining as the Americans beat the Chiefs 5-4 in front of 10,474 fans at Spokane Arena.
"It was a pretty exciting hockey game," said Tri-City coach Jim Hiller. "Anybody who was in this building left a hockey fan if they weren't already."
The Americans (31-13-2-1, 65 points), who beat U.S. Division-leading Portland on Friday, moved within three points of the second-place Chiefs (31-13-4-2, 68 points).
"There is good hockey in this league," Hiller said. "You have to play really well to win with the quality of teams in this league."
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After taking a 4-2 lead with less than 5 minutes left in regulation, the Americans allowed goals by Tyler Johnson and Steven Kuhn -- his third of the night -- to let Spokane back in the game.
With less than a minute to play, the Chiefs turned the puck over in their zone. Patrick Holland picked up the puck and slid it over to Justin Feser, who fed Wilgosh for the game-winner. Feser finished with three assists.
After a scoreless first period, the Americans jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals by Brendan Shinnimin and Holland. Shinnimin, who also had an assist, ran his point streak to 19 games.
Kuhn scored a pair of power-play goals for the Chiefs to tie the game at 2 at the end of the second.
Adam Hughesman and Connor Rankin scored third-period goals to give Tri-City a 4-2 lead.
Tri-City goalie Drew Owsley recorded 28 saves in picking up his 28th win of the season.
Mac Engel, getting his third straight start in place of injured starter James Reid, had 26 saves for the Chiefs.