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Mike Aviani's goal on a 4-on-4 play midway through the first period Friday allowed the Spokane Chiefs to tie the Portland Winterhawks at 1 after 20 minutes of their WHL Western Conference semifinal opener at Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Aviani's goal was his fourth of the postseason. Taylor Leier scored for Portland at 5:46.
The Spokane Chiefs face a tall task in the second round of the Western Hockey League Western Conference playoffs. The Chiefs begin the best-of-seven conference semifinals tonight at Portland's Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Portland had the best record in the WHL and was 7-2 against the Chiefs this season, outscoring Spokane 45-20. The Chiefs haven't defeated Portland since Jan. 23. But Spokane won 10 of its last 12 regular-season games and blitzed Tri-City 4-1 in the first round of postseason. Game time is 30 minutes away.
As the first Western Hockey League Western Conference team to clinch a second-round berth, the Spokane Chiefs had plenty of time to wait and see who their next opponent would be. It turned out to be the Portland Winterhawks, but the Chiefs spent their off time preparing for any possibility. Read more
It took four days to find out, but the Spokane Chiefs' next postseason assignment will be the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL Western Conference semifinals. The Chiefs wrapped up their first-round series against Tri-City on Saturday night, but they had to wait until Wednesday night to discover their opponent. Kelowna's Game 7 overtime win over Seattle set up a Spokane-Portland second-round series. The first two games are Friday and Saturday nights in Portland. Spokane will host Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Wednesday. Read story
The Kelowna Rockets, who lost the first three games of the series, forced a Game 7 in their Western Hockey League opening-round playoff against Seattle by beating the Thunderbirds 4-3 in overtime Tuesday night in Seattle. The second-seeded Rockets and seventh-seeded Thunderbirds will play the deciding game Wednesday night in Kelowna, British Columbia. The outcome will determine the Spokane Chiefs' opponent for the WHL Western Conference semifinals. If Seattle wins, the Chiefs will open Friday and Saturday at Kamloops, B.C. If Kelowna completes the major comeback, the Chiefs will open Friday and Saturday at Portland. Either way, the Chiefs will host Games 3 and 4 on April 9 and 10. Read story
Alessio Bertaggia came to the Spokane Chiefs in January in a trade with Brandon. An injury sidelined him for four weeks, but the Chiefs have won 15 of 20 games overall since his return. Unfortunately for Bertaggia fans, the 19-year-old Swiss native has signed a pro contract to play in Switzerland next year. Read story
The Western Hockey League Western Conference semifinals are 75 percent set after Portland and Kamloops won Monday night to polish off their opening-round series. The Spokane Chiefs clinched their semifinal berth on Saturday night in Kennewick. The last remaining series to be decided is second-seeded Kelowna against seventh-seeded Seattle. Seattle leads 3-2 heading into Tuesday night's game in Seattle. If Seattle holds on to win the series, Spokane would open the semifinals at Kamloops on Friday. If Kelowna comes back to win the series, Spokane would open the semifinals at Portland on Friday. Read Portland story. Read Kamloops story
Captain Brenden Kichton had one goal and one assist and Eric Williams stopped 36 shots Saturday night as the Spokane Chiefs defeated the Tri-City Americans 3-1 in Kennewick to clinch their best-of-seven Western Hockey League series 4-1. The Chiefs advance to the second round. Spokane won't know its second-round opponent until the other Western Conference series have ended.
Brenden Kichton's power-play goal at 7:50 of the second period Saturday night has given the Spokane Chiefs a 2-0 lead over the Tri-City Americans with 20 minutes left in Game 5 at Kennewick. Spokane had been 0 for 5 on the power play until Kichton's goal. Kichton also assisted on Mike Aviani's first-period goal. The Chiefs are one period away from winning the best-of-seven series.
Mike Aviani's goal has given the Spokane Chiefs a 1-0 lead over Tri-City after one period of Game 5 of their WHL first-round series.
The Spokane Chiefs are one win away from advancing to the second round of the Western Hockey League playoffs. The Chiefs lead the Tri-City Americans 3-1 with Game 5 ready to begin in 30 minutes at Toyota Center in Kennewick. The Americans will have to make due without goaltender Luke Lee-Knight, their Game 3 winner. Lee-Knight made 41 saves Thursday during Game 4 before he suffered a shoulder injury in overtime during a collision with the Chiefs' Adam Helewka. Troy Trombley, who lost Games 1 and 2, replaced Lee-Knight and allowed Blake Gal's winning goal in overtime. Trombley will start tonight. All four Western Conference first-round series stand at 3-1 and could end tonight. The Eastern Conference has completed its first-round series. In the next round, Calgary will play Red Deer and Edmonton will meet Medicine Hat.
The Portland Winterhawks, who had the best record in the Western Hockey League's Western Conference this season, rolled past Everett 11-4 Friday night in Game 4 of their best-of-seven, opening-round playoff series. Eighth-seeded Everett caught Portland by surprise by winning Game 1, but the series has belonged to Portland since. All four Western Conference series stand at 3-1 and could end Saturday. Seventh-seeded Seattle leads second-seeded Kelowna; third-seeded Kamloops leads sixth-seeded Victoria; and fourth-seeded Spokane leads fifth-seeded Tri-City. Unless one of the teams trailing 3-1 makes a big rally in the coming days, the second round of the playoffs would be Spokane against Kamloops and Portland against Seattle. Read story
The Spokane Chiefs have three shots at winning their best-of-seven opening-round series in the Western Hockey League playoffs. Spokane leads the Tri-City Americans 3-1 heading in to Saturday's game at Toyota Center in Kennewick. The next two games, if necessary, would be in Spokane, but the Chiefs would be fine with clinching the series on the Americans' ice. Read story
Blake Gal scored 5:10 into overtime Thursday night to give the Spokane Chiefs a 4-3 win over the Tri-City Americans in Game 4 of their WHL series. Spokane leads the series 3-1 and can clinch Saturday at Kennewick.
Mitch Topping and Drydn Dow scored in the final 5:10 of regulation Thursday night to allow the Tri-City Americans to force overtime with the Spokane Chiefs in a 3-all game. Brenden Kichton's goal at 6:35 of the third had given Spokane a 3-1 lead. Topping's power-play goal came a minute after a kneeing penalty on Riley Whittingham. T-C beat Spokane 5-4 in overtime on Tuesday. Sixteen of the last 25 Chiefs-Americans games have gone into OT.
The Spokane Chiefs will carry a 2-1 lead into the final period of Game 4 of their WHL playoff with the Tri-City Americans at Kennewick. The Chiefs killed three Americans power-play opportunities during the scoreless second period. Spokane hasn't been on the power play. Shots favor the Chiefs 26-19.
The Spokane Chiefs' offense, quiet for the equivalent of 60 minutes stretching back Tuesday's game, woke up during the final 4:22 of the first period Thursday in Kennewick. Adam Helewka and Todd Fiddler scored to give the Chiefs a 2-1 lead over the Tri-City Americans in Game 4 of their best-of-seven WHL series. Spokane outshot the Americans 14-8 to overcome Justin Feser's early score for T-C. The Tri-City crowd booed lustily after Helewka's goal, convinced that Spokane's Blake Gal should have been called for goalie interference for being on top of T-C goalie Luke Lee-Knight shortly before the shot. Replays showed an Americans player pushing Gal into Lee-Knight.
There's a definite sense that Game 4 of the Western Hockey League playoffs between the Spokane Chiefs and Tri-City Americans could be a tipping point. After tonight's game at Kennewick's Toyota Center the Chiefs will either hold a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series or the Americans will add to the momentum from their Game 3 victory and tie the series. The teams have just begun warming up on the ice. The weather in the Tri-Cities was anything but winterlike today, with temperatures in the high 60s. Tri-City will again start Luke Lee-Knight in goal after he stopped the Chiefs for 44 consecutive minutes Tuesday night during the second and third periods and overtime. Eric Williams will start in goal for the Chiefs, as he did for the previous three games.
After Game 3 slipped away from them on Tuesday night in Kennewick, the Spokane Chiefs are hoping to get their offense roaring again for Game 4 on Thursday, also at Toyota Center. Read story
The Spokane Chiefs couldn't protect a 4-1 lead Tuesday night during Game 3 of their Western Hockey League playoff series against the Tri-City Americans at the Toyota Center in Kennewick. The Americans tied the game with a 7-minute outburst in the second period, then held Spokane in check during the third period and more than 10 minutes of overtime for a 5-4 win. The Chiefs lead the best-of-seven series 2-1. Games 4 and 5 are Thursday and Saturday nights in Kennewick. Read story