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Chiefs charge back for overtime win

It didn't look like the Spokane Chiefs were going to rally for a home victory on Wednesday night. They did. It looked like Tyler King scored the winner. He didn't. Still, the bottom line was a 5-4 overtime win over Vancouver. Read story

It's possible that the Spokane Chiefs have played worse this season than they did during the second period against the Vancouver Giants on Wednesday night. Possible, but not probable.

The general consensus is that the Chiefs stood around lethargically during a second period in which they were outscored 2-0 and outshot 12-5, including 10-1 during the first 10 minutes.

“We were turning pucks over too much and we needed to change and keep it simple,” said Tyler King, who was originally credited with the winning goal during the 5-4 decision but was later noted as assisting Carter Proft on the winner. “I think after they scored the fourth goal (early in the third period), that’s what we did.”

“We’ve always prided ourselves on our work ethic and compete level and I don’t think we did that for 50 minutes, (except) maybe in the first (period),” Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur said. “Too many plays where we didn’t compete, didn’t work hard and didn’t pursue the puck.”

The Chiefs led 2-1 after Connor Chartier's fourth goal of the season, assisted by Cole Wedman and Liam Stewart, at 14:18 of the first period. Vancouver then held Spokane scoreless for nearly 31 minutes while assuming a 4-2 lead.

Momentum shifted back to Spokane with 15 minutes left when Mitch Holmberg (who else?) deked Giants goalie Payton Lee for his league-high 26th goal, assisted by (who else?) Mike Aviani. The two Chiefs stalwarts have combined for 46 goals and 47 assists this season.

“I thought once we made it 4-3 that we were definitely going to have some guys step up,” King said. “(Jeremy) McIntosh had a great shot to tie it up (with 5:30 left) and I thought in the overtime period we did really good.”

“Mitch got us going in the third there and we got some secondary contributions,” McIntosh said. “We started rolling from there.”

Spokane improved to 6-2 against teams from the B.C. Division and 10-5 against Western Conference opponents.

Chiefs left wing Adam Helewka, with an assist on the first goal of the game, recorded his 15th point in the last 11 games.

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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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