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Chiefs will face Giants in first round of WHL playoffs

It’s official – the Spokane Chiefs will take on the Vancouver Giants in the opening round of the Western Hockey League playoffs.

There's more reading material below, and above is a throwback photo of Ondrej Roman jumping onto David Rutherford in the 2008 second-round playoff series between Spokane and Vancouver. At left is Jared Cowen and at right is Mike Reddington. Spokane won the series in six games and went on to win the Western Hockey League and Memorial Cup championship.

Vancouver’s win over Victoria on Sunday night locked the Giants into either a fourth- or-fifth place finish in the Western Conference standings. The Chiefs locked themselves into the same position with an overtime loss at Prince George on Saturday.

The team that earns the No. 4 seed will have home-ice advantage in the best-of-7 series, which will begin either in Vancouver or Spokane on March 23. The fourth-seeded team would host four of a possible seven games if the series goes the distance.

Spokane and Vancouver are currently tied for fourth with 78 points. Vancouver holds the first tie breaker – wins – with two more than Spokane. 

The Chiefs have seven games remaining, five at home and two on the road, while the Giants have six left, four at home and two on the road. 

The meeting will be the third time the two franchises have met in the playoffs with each team winning one series.

The Chiefs defeated Vancouver in six games in the second round en route to the 2008 Memorial Cup Championship. The following season, Vancouver defeated Spokane in seven games, with the last three going into overtime.

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Jim Allen 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.

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

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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.

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Josh Wright Josh Wright is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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

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