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Chiefs' offense needs a boost

The Spokane Chiefs are not scoring goals in general and not scoring power-play goals specifically. Read story

Wednesday night's 2-1 loss to Kelowna was the seventh time in their last 15 games that the Chiefs have been held to one goal or less. Five of those games were shutouts. In three other games during that 15-game period, the Chiefs were held to two goals.

The Chiefs have 189 goals this season, which ranks 13th in the 22-team Western Hockey League. Earlier this season Spokane was among the top five or six teams in scoring goals.

Spokane's power play went 0 for 3 on Wednesday. That means the Chiefs are 1 for 26 on power-play chances in their last seven games. Taken further back, Spokane is 5 for 63 on power plays in the last 17 games.

Not long ago, the Chiefs had the best power-play percentage in the WHL. Heading in to Wednesday's game, they had dropped to eighth.

Reliable scorers Mitch Holmberg and Mike Aviani have struggled in the last few weeks. Holmberg still leads the league with 47 goals, but he has just five since Jan. 14 and none in his last five games. Aviani, who has 31 goals on the season, has scored just one goal since Jan. 10.

Still, the Chiefs' play against top-ranked Kelowna on Wednesday shows the team has some life left in it.

"I thought we played a heck of a game," Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur said. … "Our team play is desperate against them and maybe we match up well against them."

The Chiefs are missing four regulars because of injuries, including two centers and one left wing.

"We can only play one game at a time until we get healthy," Nachbaur said. "We played 11 forwards tonight and we have three young guys on the back end."

 




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Chris Derrick
Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

















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