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Chiefs’ winning streak, perfect home mark end

All good things must come to an end. Two good things ended for the Spokane Chiefs after Saturday's 4-1 loss to the Victoria Royals: their four-game winning streak and their perfect home record, which had been 4-0. A couple of good things didn't end, however. Western Hockey League scoring leader Mitch Holmberg assisted on Spokane's only goal, giving him at least one point in all 13 Chiefs games. Also, the Chiefs (10-3-0-0) continued to lead the WHL in points (20) and winning percentage (.769). Read story

The Chiefs pounded Victoria twice on the road a little more than three weeks ago, outscoring the Royals 12-3 during the quick two-game set in British Columbia. Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur said his team didn't overlook Victoria on Saturday.

“We put 42 shots on the board and we really didn’t make any plays at all,” Nachbaur said. “We respected them. We knew they were a good team and we caught some breaks up in Victoria. It can go either way. Some days those pucks go in the net and tonight they didn’t.”

No. 1 Royals goalie Patrik Polivka went the entire distance in the second game against Spokane in B.C. Backup Coleman Vollrath, Saturday's winner, spelled Polivka about halfway through the first game.

“What I learned is (the Chiefs) throw everything at the net,” Vollrath said. “They go hard to the net and just try to funnel everything into the crease. That’s what works for them.

Vollrath's other starts this season had been against Kelowna and Prince George.

Nachbaur gave Vollrath a tip of the hat after Spokane outshot Victoria in every period.

“We never really had a rebound that landed on our tape,” Nachbaur said. “We weren’t getting to the net like to normally do. … We weren’t positioned properly and we lost a lot of fundamentals because we got fatigued.”

Nachbaur said he would be “really whipping the donkey” if Spokane had to play another game this weekend.

“We made a lot of fatigue errors and we weren’t very sharp and it caught us,” he said.

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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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