Medicine Hat scored the go-ahead goal at 7:54 in the third and held off a furious rally from Spokane as the Tigers defeated the Chiefs 4-3 in front of 7,910 fans at the Spokane Arena Saturday night. Todd Fiddler scored two goals and added one assist as the Chiefs fell to 16-9-0-0 at home and 30-18-2-0 overall.
The first period belonged to the net minders as the two teams combined for 30 shots but just one goal. Fiddler, who now leads the W.H.L. with 35 goals, provided that score at the 17:15 mark as he beat Cam Lanigan off a great feed from Mike Aviani.
Medicine Hat piled up 16 shots for the period but couldn't light the lamp as Garret Hughson excelled between the pipes in the early going.
The Tigers flipped the script in the second, scoring the period's only two goals despite being outshot 20-7 by the Chiefs.
Boston Leier scored Medicine Hat's first goal at 3:49 and Hunter Shinkaruk gave the Tigers a 2-1 advantage as he snuck the puck past Hughson five-hole at the 8:30 mark.
The final stanza was a back-and-forth affair with the two teams trading goals at a breakneck pace to start the period. Spokane struck first just 8-seconds into the period as Todd Fiddler raced down the ice after the Chiefs won the faceoff and fired a shot past Lanigan glove-side for the score.
Fiddler's goal, assisted on by Brenden Kichton and Dylan Walchuk, tied the mark set by Tony Horacek in 1988 for the fastest goal to open a period in Chiefs history.
Medicine Hat responded with a score at 2:29 from Miles Koules only to see Blake Gal notch the equalizer 11-seconds later on assists from Fiddler and Walchuk. The Tigers' Curtis Valk scored the game-winning goal on a power play at 7:54 and Lanigan kept Spokane off the board in a frenetic final minute of the game.
Garret Hughson finished 27 of 31 on save opportunities while Lanigan was 55 of 58 for Medicine Hat. Spokane went 0 for 3 on the power play and 1 for 2 on the penalty kill.
Tonight's three stars: Cam Lanigan (1st), Todd Fiddler (2nd), Boston Leier (3rd).
The Chiefs have road games next Friday and Saturday night at Kamloops and Portland before returning home to face the Kelowna Rockets on Wednesday, February 6th for a TicketsWest Player Magnet Giveaway.