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Chiefs find enough offense to win

The Spokane Chiefs' offense still needs some re-energizing, but Friday night's 3-1 win over Moose Jaw might be a good first step. Chiefs goalie Eric Williams was brilliant and allowed Spokane to rally. Read story

Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur said there's a simple solution when it comes to the team rediscovering its offense.

"Offensive opportunities come from hard work and your compete level to win battles," Nachbaur said. "To me, we didn’t work hard tonight. We dodged a bullet. ... I can count maybe four or five who played really well, but there were 15 guys who did nothing."

Spokane entered the game 10th in the league with 158 goals scored, but the team has generated just six goals in the last five games.

Goalie Eric Williams was Spokane's saving grace, playing at his best when Moose Jaw went on six power-play opportunities. Each one failed.

"You want to give your team the chance to win whether you’re scoring six or two goals a game," Williams said. "You want to have a shutout every game, but obviously that’s not the way it works."

"The best penalty killer was our goalie," Nachbaur said. "I can’t say enough about Eric’s game."

The Chiefs improved to 22-4-0-0 when Mitch Holmberg scores a goal, although Friday's goal came against an empty net with 10 seconds left.

Spokane's No. 2 scorer, Mike Aviani, continued his recent drought. Aviani, who has 30 goals and 30 assists this season, hasn't scored a goal in Spokane's last seven games. Aviani leads the league with 18 power-play goals. The Chiefs' power-play percentage led the league not too long ago, but three teams have passed the Chiefs since.

Spokane improved to 15-7-1-1 at home. Tonight's home game with archrival Tri-City, which has won seven of its last 10 overall, is Spokane's last game at the Arena until Feb. 5.

The Chiefs are 4-1-0-1 against Tri-City, which has compiled 52 points despite being in last place in the U.S. Division.

"We have 28 wins right now and we’re sitting third in the division, and we have the best division in hockey," Williams said.


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Chris Derrick
Chris Derrick joined The Spokesman-Review in 1990. He currently is a copy editor for the Sports Desk.

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