Advertise Here


Giants beat Chiefs 2-1

If this was a preview of what’s to come, expect a first-round playoff series that could easily go the distance. The Spokane Chiefs, of course, will be looking for a different result than they got on Wednesday night if that’s the case.

Jackson Houck scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period and Vancouver goalie Adam Morrison made 32 saves as the Giants picked up a 2-1 Western Hockey League victory over the Chiefs in front of 4,011 fans at the Arena.

The win gave Vancouver (34-21-1-2, 71 points) sole possession of fourth place in the Western Conference standings, though Spokane (31-18-4-3, 69 points) still has two games in hand.


“It was a crucial game and we knew that coming into it,” Chiefs captain Darren Kramer said. “If I can take one positive out of this, that’s moving forward and knowing we’re going to have a challenge in the playoffs if this is the team that we’re going to play against.

“If we matchup in the playoffs, it’s going to be a long series, a tough series and we have to be ready for it.”

The Chiefs certainly seemed ready and had their opportunities to win on Wednesday night, as they outshot the Giants 33-22 – including a 17-5 advantage in the third period.

Goalie Mac Engel turned in a solid performance with 20 saves in net for Spokane – which was scoreless on three power-play opportunities, including the first five minutes of the second period after Marek Tvrdon received a match penalty for spearing Brenden Kichton at the end of the first.

“(It’s a) momentum-buster – we didn’t get it done,” Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur said. “We’ve struggled on the power play for the last month – maybe since Reid Gow (right hand, two weeks) has gone down. Just too fancy, not competing hard enough. Bottom line is you’ve got to get the puck to the net.”

The Chiefs didn’t capitalize on the power play, but at 5 minutes, 38 seconds in the second Liam Stewart got one past Morrison to give Spokane a 1-0 lead. The Giants tied the game later in the period – at 19:02 – when Cain Franson scored following a big save by Engel.

Houck scored the winner at 9:35 in the third, and Spokane came up empty on several opportunities down the stretch.

“They got to the net real hard and made a great play – nobody’s fault,” Nachbaur said. “When you get in playoff-type games, it’s magnified on simple plays. I think that we should have done a better job off the draw out of the corner.

“It’s a 1-1 game, we made a mistake, and they capitalized. It’s not like we didn’t have our opportunities to tie the game, because we did. We had a couple back-door feeds that our guys just shot blanks on. The compete level was there – we just didn’t get it done.”

The Chiefs, who have 16 games remaining in the regular season, hit the road for their next four games – beginning Friday at Kootenay. They play at Tri-City on Saturday and at Seattle on Sunday.


After the spearing penalty, Kichton returned to the ice in the second period. … The Chiefs were 4 for 4 on the penalty kill.

Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to SportsLink

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

SportsLink is your portal into sports news around the Inland Northwest and beyond. You'll find updates, notes and opinions, and plenty of reader feedback.


Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on SportsLink.


Jim Allen (@srjimallen) Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

Recent work by Jim

Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

Recent work by Jim

Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

Recent work by Chris

John Blanchette (@SRjblanchette) John Blanchette is a freelance writer who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

Recent work by John

Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
Advertise Here