Riley Whittingham had his first two-goal night as a member of the Spokane Chiefs on Saturday during a 5-2 win over the Tri-City Americans at the Arena. The Chiefs led 2-0 after two periods, both goals courtesy of Whittingham. The night started with the Chiefs in sixth place in Western Hockey League Western Conference standings and Tri-City in fifth. Spokane moved up to tie Victoria for fourth and sent the Americans into sixth. Read story
The Chiefs and Americans have met nine times this season and will meet three more. Spokane is 5-2-2-0 against Tri-City, but the Americans had won the three previous matchups. The Chiefs hadn't defeated T-C since Nov. 24.
"There are no secrets and there's no lack of passion on either side," Nachbaur said. "It's always been good hockey and I thought the fans were entertained."
Both teams have faced injury problems, but the Americans had won 11 of their previous 17 games while the Chiefs had dropped nine of 13.
"They had guys hurt, we had guys hurt," Nachbaur said. "That's pretty much the way it is now, late in the season."
Both teams have 17 games remaining in the regular season, Victoria has 18.
Victoria visits the Arena on Sunday night. The Royals are riding a four-game winning streak and have won seven of 10.
The only previous meeting between the teams this season came Oct. 5, a 5-3 Spokane home win. The Chiefs and Royals will also play back-to-back games at Victoria, March 1 and 2.
"They're a desperate team and they've been winning lots," Nachbaur said. "They have some excellent personnel, and they have lots of skill and size. It'll be a tough game for us."