KENNEWICK - Hockey will remain in the Tri-Cities, for now.

The Western Hockey League Board of Governors on Thursday afternoon denied a bid from Americans' owners to move the Columbia Basin hockey franchise north of the border to Chilliwack, B.C.

The governors announced the decision after meeting Thursday in Calgary, Alberta. Unofficial reports say the rejection was due, in part, to the realignment of the league that would be necessary should the Ams move to Chilliwack.

Owners Darryl Porter, Brian Burke, Glen Sather and Bob Tory were not available for comment.

The hockey team has been in Kennewick since 1988.

The rejection of the move comes as the Ams are fighting to stay alive in the Western Hockey League playoffs.

The Ams face the Seattle Thunderbirds for Game 4 of a best-of-7 series at 7:05 p.m. today at Three Rivers Stadium.

The Ams trail the T-Birds 3-0 and are facing elimination.

On Wednesday, the T-Birds skated to a 3-2 victory behind the shooting of Aaron Gagnon.

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