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Quick start allows Chiefs to take big step

The Spokane Chiefs defeated Prince George 6-4 on Tuesday night despite a third-period outburst by the Cougars that put Spokane back on its heels. Spokane now leads Tri-City by two points in the chase for fourth place and home-ice advantage in the playoffs. Read story See photo gallery

The Chiefs won for the eighth time in nine games. The hot streak started Feb. 22, when they called upon backup goalie Garret Hughson. During this streak, Hughson is 5-0 and Williams is 3-1.

“You obiously want to play as many games as you can, but at the same time it was good to get a couple of games off the get some rest,” Williams said. “Having two goalies hot in the playoffs is what we need. It's nice for Garret to get in and play strong.

“We're going to push each other in the playoffs to make each other better.”

Helewka, who has 10 goals this season, hadn't scored since Feb. 18 and had gone more than a month with just one goal.

“It's been quite a while since I got my last goal, but it's just a matter of shooting the puck,” he said. “I just wanted to take as many shots as I could because some are bound to go in.”

Helewka, who assisted on Bechtold's first career goal, said he remembered his first career goal clearly.

“It was in Seattle and it was a lucky one. It bounced off the goalie's back,” he said. “It was really fun to play with Markson. He's a good player and I'm happy for him that he got his first goal.”

Nachbaur was able to somewhat overlook the bad 8-minute stretch because the Chiefs gave themselves an edge over Tri-City.

“I'm happy, but the underlying theme here is that you want to develop good habits going into the first round of the playoffs,” he said.

Spokane is 24-10-1-0 at home going into its final regular-season game at the Arena.

Spokane did most of its damage against former Chiefs goalie Mac Engel, who was pulled early in the second period.

Kichton earned his team-leading 81st point, two more than Holmberg.

Spokane won the season series 3-1. The teams hadn't met since late October.

The Chiefs' win allowed Seattle to clinch a playoff spot. Prince George still has a narrow chance at catching Everett for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference.

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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.

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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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Sean Kramer Sean Kramer 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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