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Lanigan makes big saves to thwart Chiefs

Cam Lanigan, the reigning Western Hockey League Goaltender of the Week, stopped 55 shots and chalked up two rare assists Saturday night during the Medicine Hat Tigers' 4-3 win over the Spokane Chiefs at the Arena. Spokane outshot the Tigers 22-7 in the second period and 22-8 in the third. Read story

Lanigan said his first assist was just the kind of rebound that goalies get once in a while. For the second assist, he saw an opportunity to send a pass up the middle during a line change, hoping to catch the Chiefs off-guard.

“I like to play the puck, so I guess it was a long time coming,” he said. “It was a feather in the cap and one to laugh about with the guys.”

Lanigan, 20, said he'd never won at the Arena in five years with Edmonton and Kamloops.

It must have felt like old times to Lanigan when Fiddler scored 8 seconds into the third period.

“To spring like that in 8 seconds and capitalize, it just shows how offensive (the Chiefs) can be and how dangerous they can be,” he said. “That was just one of many chances they had.”

“I can't say I did that all by myself,” Fiddler said of his two-goal, one-assist night. “We have good chemistry and obviously it's a team effort out there.”

Nachbaur could only shake his head about the Chiefs' latest home loss. Spokane began the season 13-2-0-0 at home and is 3-6-1-0 since.

“I think we knew (Medicine Hat's) game plan, but it's not about the other team,” he said. “It's about how we play. … The effort is not there. Shift in and shift out we're not competing, we're not skating.”

Nachbaur has, of course, noticed how other WHL teams are jockeying for postseason. Tri-City and Victoria lurk right behind Spokane, which stands fourth for points in the Western Conference.

“To me, other teams have picked up the pace, but not us,” Nachbaur said. “We're getting left behind. … If you look at what's going on in the league, everyone's competing for a playoff spot and I think our guys haven't figured that out yet.”

“Victoria and Tri-City are catching us and we have to find our game,” Fiddler agreed. “We have a week off to prepare for that.”

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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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