The final 52 minutes of Wednesday's showdown between the Spokane Chiefs and host Portland Winterhawks favored the Chiefs 3-2. The problem was the first 8 minutes, when the Winterhawks unleashed four goals during a 5-minute span to ignite a 6-4 Western Hockey League victory. Spokane (4-1) lost a chance at the first 5-0 start in franchise history . Read story
Keanu Yamamoto, the Chief from Spokane, notched his first point with the team as he and Mitch Holmberg set up Jason Fram's late power-play goal to cut Portland's lead to 5-4. The Chiefs pulled goalie Garret Hughson with about 90 seconds left, leading to an empty-net goal by the Winterhawks.
Earlier in the day, Holmberg was named the Canadian Hockey League's player of the week for recording 10 points in three games during the week ending Sept. 29. Holmberg, with three assists on Wednesday, leads the league with 17 points, three more than Portland's Oliver Bjorkstrand.
Also earlier in the day, the Chiefs were tabbed for fifth place in the third edition of the CHL's top 10 rankings. Spokane hadn't been ranked this season, but a 4-0 start caught the voters' eyes. Portland maintained its No. 6 ranking in the poll. The Blainville-Boisbriand Armanda (6-0) lead the poll. Prince Albert (4-0), in second, is the highest-ranked WHL team.