For the 3rd straight season, the Tri-City Americans will open the WHL playoffs vs. their I-90 rivals, the Spokane Chiefs.  But it won't matter who finishes 4th or 5th in the Western Conference.Normally,  higher seeds get home ice advantage when it comes to the WHL post-season.  The format, like most other sports, pits 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, and so on.   Currently, Spokane has a two point lead over Tri-City, with three games left.  They are 4th in the West, Tri-City 5th.

Should the Americans beat the Chiefs Friday and Saturday, and Everett this Sunday,  they would clinch the #4 seed and normally would get home-ice in the first two games.

But due to the Women's NCAA Basketball tournament being played in Spokane (the West Region begins soon),   Spokane and Tri-City have finalized their first round series REGARDLESS of who finishes 4th or 5th.

According to the American's press release, the two clubs worked together to create a schedule that will work for both:

“Due to the city and Spokane Arena hosting the Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament, our availability for dates was limited,” explained Chiefs’ General Manager, Tim Speltz.  “We appreciate the Americans’ cooperation and flexibility in scheduling the dates to give us the opportunity to play in our building when we have it available to us.”

Americans GM Bob Tory added:

“Due to the situation of Spokane’s building availability, we were forced to become creative in finding solutions that met the needs of both teams.  With limited dates, and the cooperation of Tim Speltz and the Spokane Chiefs, we were able to come up with a solution that works well for both franchises considering the circumstances.”

So the breakdown of games is as follows:

2013 WHL Playoffs – Western Conference Quarter-Finals

Game 1: Friday, March 22, Tri-City Americans at Spokane Chiefs, 7:05 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Arena

Game 2: Saturday, March 23, Tri-City Americans at Spokane Chiefs, 7:05 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Arena

Game 3: Tuesday, March 26, Spokane Chiefs at Tri-City Americans, 7:05 p.m. at Toyota Center

Game 4: Thursday, March 28, Spokane Chiefs at Tri-City Americans, 7:05 p.m. at Toyota Center

Game 5: Saturday, March 30, Spokane Chiefs at Tri-City Americans, 7:05 p.m. at Toyota Center  *If necessary

Game 6: Tuesday, April 2, Tri-City Americans at Spokane Chiefs, 7:05 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Arena *If necessary

Game 7: Wednesday, April 3, TBD  *If necessary

Be sure to listen to all the action of the first round on Newstalk 870, and streaming here at our website...just click LISTEN LIVE on the homepage!