The Spokane Chiefs are 2-1 on their six game swing east after beating the Saskatoon Blades 3-2 - all three goals scored by defensemen. The complete box is posted below and with the story written by Cory Wolfe of the Star-Phoenix.
By Cory Wolfe
of The StarPhoenix
Chiefs 3, Blades 2
Jared Cowen has a mixed bag of memories when it comes to Credit Union
The defenceman wouldn¹t mind forgetting last January¹s overtime loss to the
United States. That heartbreaking result forced Cowen and Team Canada to
settle for silver at the world junior hockey championship.
The stakes certainly weren¹t as high when Cowen returned to CUC on Tuesday.
The towering blueliner was much happier with the result, though, as his late
first-period goal held up to give the Spokane Chiefs a 3-2 win over the
³It¹s always nice to come here and play a good game,² said Cowen, who grew
up in nearby Allan. ³But it¹s also good for our team right now. That¹s a
good win for us ‹ a good, hard win.²
The Chiefs (7-7-0-0) are the first team to beat the Blades (11-5-0-0) at
home this season. An announced crowd of 5,121 saw Saskatoon slip to 7-1 at
The visitors got all of its goals from defencemen.
Brenden Kichton scored the first two ‹ on Spokane¹s first two shots ‹ and
Cowen gave the visitors a 3-1 lead when his slapshot beat a screened Adam
Morrison with 37.7 seconds left in the opening period.
³They¹re a team with tremendous speed and they¹re a team that works
extremely hard,² said Blades coach-GM Lorne Molleken. ³We didn¹t counter
that in the early going.
³Their defenceman (Kichton) gets two goals from jumping into the play, so
our awareness wasn¹t as good as it needed to be.²
Jake Trask and Josh Nicholls scored to get Saskatoon back in the game and
then the Blades delivered a frantic effort in the third period. They came
close to tying the score a couple of times. Marek Viedensky and Trask both
fired shots off the post in the final three minutes of regulation.
Chiefs goaltender James Reid turned everything else aside in the final
frame. He finished with 20 saves. Blades netminder Adam Morrison shut the
door after the first period, making 19 of his 26 saves in the final 40
Earlier Tuesday, Molleken made one of those addition-by-subtraction moves.
Fed up with Curt Gogol¹s undisciplined penalties, Molleken shipped the
19-year-old winger and an eighth-round bantam pick to the Chilliwack Bruins
in exchange for 18-year-old forward Chris Collins.
³He did a good job for us here,² Molleken said of Gogol, ³but it was a
situation where his demeanour wasn¹t where it needed to be.²
The Blades acquired Gogol from the Kelowna Rockets last January. He
immediately bolstered their intimidation factor and he parlayed a solid
second half into a contract with the NHL¹s San Jose Sharks.
His tempestuous style was too often a liability this season, though. Gogol
rode the bench for much of Saskatoon¹s 5-3 win Sunday in Calgary, and
Molleken started shopping him before the Blades¹ bus had pulled away from
the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Chilliwack coach-GM Marc Habscheid was willing to part with Collins, a
centre/winger with some offensive upside. He registered a goal and four
assists in 13 games with Chilliwack this season, after a 32-point showing in
69 games last season.
Collins in expected to make his Blade debut tonight when Saskatoon visits
the Swift Current Broncos. The Broncos (9-8-0-0) sit second in the East
Division, four points behind Saskatoon.
BLADE BITS: Tuesday¹s attendance was boosted by about 1,000 minor hockey
players. The Blades sponsor the Saskatoon Minor Hockey Association¹s novice
division. . . . Blades G Steven Stanford continues to recover from a
concussion, so Adam Todd, a 16-year-old native of Courtenay, B.C., remains
with the club.
Chiefs 3 at Blades 2
1. Spokane, Kichton 2 (Uher, Johnson) 1:10
2. Spokane, Kichton 3 (Kuhn) 7:08
3. Saskatoon, Trask 1 (Zahn) 10:05
4. Spokane, Cowen 3 (Valcourt, Bardaro) 19:22
Penalties ‹ Johnson Spo (tripping) 7:30, Sutter Sas (hooking) 10:35,
Valcourt Spo (boarding) 13:22.
5. Saskatoon, Nicholls 7 (Dietz) 17:33
Penalties ‹ Kramer Spo, A. Elliott Sas (fighting majors) 3:03, Uher Spo,
Zahn Sas (fighting majors) 13:49, Sutter Sas (cross-checking) 14:22,
Viedensky Sas (tripping) 19:06, Johnson Spo, Dziurzynski Sas
(unsportsmanlike conduct) 19:19.
Penalties ‹ Brassart Spo (tripping) 17:42.
Shots on goal by
Spokane 10 14 5‹29
Saskatoon 8 5 9‹22
Goal (shots-saves) ‹ Spokane: Reid W, 7-6-0-0 (22-20); Saskatoon: Morrison
L, 4-4-0-0 (29-26).
Power plays (goals-chances) ‹ Spokane: 0-3; Saskatoon: 0-3.
Referees ‹ Adam Byblow, Cole Hamm. Linesmen ‹ Derek Flad, Jarett Gelowitz.
Attendance ‹ 5,121.