Latest from The Spokesman-Review
The Spokane Chiefs and Gonzaga women's basketball team are No. 1.
The Chiefs are No. 1 in a Yahoo poll of junior hockey teams worth checking; as usual, the Bulldogs are favored to win the West Coast Conference again … but it's only the fourth straight time they're favored but they're going for their eighth-straight title.
For the Zags, Kayla Standish and Katelan Redmon, all-WCC as juniors, were voted to the preseason all-league team.
For the Chiefs, not surprisingly, Blake Gal was given a three-game suspension for a boarding major and game misconduct against Tri-Cities on Saturday. He'll miss the Chiefs home games on Saturday and Sunday and the first of back-to-back games at Portland the following weekend.
Another quick hockey update.
The Spokane Chiefs dropped a 3-1 decision at Tri-City on Saturday. The Tri-City Herald had this report. They have a week to prepare to face the Americans at the Arena on Saturday. The loss ended their seven-game winning streak but they'll take an eight-game home winning streak into the rematch. Unfortunately I'll miss that game because I'll be covering state cross country in Pasco (too bad the games weren't reversed, then I would be down there.)
The Chiefs could be without Blake Gal, who could be facing a suspension after getting a boarding major and game misconduct late in the first period after he scored the tying goal. On television it looked like the hit wasn't as bad as it appeared and the TC player made a mistake the way he went into the corner. A game misconduct should be enough of a penalty but the league isn't working that way these days. As they attempt to clean up danagerous hits, they put all the responsiblity on the offending player and none in trying to educate players that taking a hit and protecting yourself is part of the deal.
Tanner MacMaster, the Chiefs first-round pick in the Bantam Draft, scored the first goal and added two assists as Alberta cruised to the gold medal in the Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup. MacMaster finished the tournament with 2 goals and 5 assists to tie for second in scoring.
A couple of hockey items I missed because I spent the previous two days taking a class.
* Spokane Chiefs defenseman Brenden Kichton was named to the WHL team for one game of the Subway Serires with Russia next month.
* Liam Stewart made the WHL Plays of the Week for his first career goal.
* Kenton Miller was traded again. That makes it two trades each for the two 20-year olds the Chiefs couldn't keep this season (the other is Matt Marantz). Going from Calgary to Moose Jaw is a step up in the standings for Miller, though not nearly as big as Marantz getting out of Lethbridge.
* Chiefs' prospect MacMaster has a pair of assists in Canada's U16 propsect tournament.
*There was a story of the Chiefs' doing charity work.
The streaking Chiefs are in Tri-City on Saturday night, riding a seven-game winning streak. However, all those games were at the Arena, the Chiefs have yet to win on the road. They return home a week from Saturday with an eight-game home winning streak.
Spokane Chiefs, from left, Collin Valcourt, Mac Engel and Tanner Mort prepare lunch Oct. 18 at the House of Charity in Spokane. The hockey players spent parts of three days volunteering and interacting with homeless people. SR photo/Dan Pelle
We've got a little bit of everything in today's Valley Voice. Reporter Pia Hallenberg went along when the Spokane Chiefs hockey team visited the House of Charity recently to visit, give away hats and serve lunch. The team got a warm reception from the shelter's clients.
The Spokane Valley City Council unanimously approved the city's new Bike and Pedestrain Master Program on Tuesday, which was a bit of a surprise since it has been so heavily scrutinized. There's also an update of several other actions the council took, but the meeting was so long I couldn't fit everything in. Expect to see another story on the council meeting in Saturday's Valley Voice.
Correspondent Jill Barville has a great story on grandparents who raise their grandchildren and the unique challenges they face. I also checked in at the open house held Monday to present the Urbran Growth Area boundary adjustment alternatives that are being considered. Several areas in Spokane Valley are being considered for addition to the boundaries, which allow denser development. This will be on ongoing issue over the next several months.
The Spokane Chiefs scored early and often, rolling to a 6-1 win over the Victoria Royals in a Western Hockey League game Wednesday night, completing a perfect seven game homestand.
However, it was the first time since that first game the Chiefs scored first and didn’t have to come from behind in the second period or later, including three-straight third-period wins.
This time Mitch Holmberg, with his fourth goal, and Marek Kalus, his third, scored 34 seconds apart before the game was four minutes old. Later in the period Dominik Uher got his fifth and Connor Chartier his first 40 seconds apart to close out the first period to make it 4-1.
That all but assured the Chiefs of an 8-0 start at home this season, the second-best such streak in team history. Spokane started 10-0 at home a decade ago.
3 stars: 3, Brenden Kichton (2 assists). 2, Mike Aviani (2 assists). 1, Marek Kalus (2 goals)
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Spokane fell behind for the fifth straight game but this time it didn’t take a last minute rally for the Chiefs to run their winning streak to six. The Chiefs, after allowing Everett the first two goals, stormed back to defeat the Silvertips 3-2, for the seventh-straight home win to start the Western Hockey League season. Ten years ago Spokane won its first 10 games. For the second-straight game and third time in the last five, Dominik Uher scored the game winner. Steven Kuhn and rookie Liam Stewart also scored for the Chiefs.
Stars: 3, Lotz, 2, Stewart, 1, Kuhn
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For the third straight game the Spokane Chiefs entered the third period trailing and came up with a win. Friday night they scored three goals in the third period - the second straight game they've done that - to defeat the Saskatoon Blades 5-3.
Consider it a Czech-mate, with Czech Republic imports Marek Kalus and Dominik Uher providing the tying and winning goals.
Stars: 3, Connor Cox, Sas, 3 assists; 2, Mike Aviani, 2 assists; 1, Kalus.
Long box below.
About ready to drop the puck at the Arena with the Saskatoon Blades, one of the strongest teams in the Eastern Division, taking on the Spokane Chiefs.
The scratches are Hambling, King, Wedman and Nelson for the Chiefs. Mac Engel is in goal.
Jared Spurgeon's hometown newspaper, The Edmonton Sun, visits with the former Spokane Chief, who went from free agent to the National Hockey League in less than a season.
Former Chiefs prospect Josh McEwan is now involved in fighting poverty in Cambodia. Here's what he wrote on his Facebook page: Getting down to crunch time, a couple days until we leave!! But for anyone that doesn't know… I will be biking 144km across Cambodia to break the cycle of poverty for Cambodian children. I will be voluntarily suffering both physically and emotionally for the ones who are suffering involuntarily. If you feel compassion towards this situation please do your part and take action by donating to the children. Something as little as $5 can buy a box of screws for the safe homes and a donation as much as $1000 will save a child's life. On behalf of the hundreds of deserving children, THANKS!!… Just click the link below for more info… http://teammcewan.com/break-th
Found a story about the Norfolk Admirals linemate of former Chief Tyler Johnson, who is succeeding despite diabetes.
Liam Stewart, visiting the House of Charity on Tuesday with his Chiefs teammates, listens to an improvised song by Jefferson Wes about the team winning this year's Memorial Cup. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)
Of all the opportunities Liam Stewart has had, the one he grabbed and held on to with an unmistakable passion is hockey. “The atmosphere around the room, stepping on the ice every day, I just love it,” the Spokane Chiefs’ rookie forward said. “I love scoring. I love the aggressiveness of it. It’s just a lot of fun. And it’s different from what both my parents did.” According to Stewart, his dad is a soccer guy and his mom is a rugby fan. That would be rock music icon Rod Stewart, who is from England, and supermodel Rachel Hunter, who is from New Zealand. They divorced in 2006. “I’m privileged to have parents like that,” their son said. “I’ve traveled the world, (but) I never thought of myself different than anyone in the room. I’ve never been too cocky about it, or talked about it”/Dave Trimmer, SR. More here. (AP file photo: Rod Stewart and Holly Hunter)
Question: Will you be more inclined to follow the Spokane Chiefs this year, knowing that rock star Rod Stewart's son, Liam, plays for them?
A visit with Liam Stewart (son of Rod) and his mother Rachel Hunter reveals nothing more than a passionate hockey player and a dedicated hockey mom. First impression:, good kid with a chance to make an impact during his career with the Spokane Chiefs and a supportive mom with a lovely accent. No. 11 for the Chiefs is bound and determined to make his own name.
Uh oh, Gonzaga isn't ranked as one of the 26th-40th best women's basketball programs in the country. Actually, I'm sure that means the Bulldogs are going to show up tomorrow on 11-25. Could they be a top 10 (which comes out Friday)? When you read about what went into making this list, it's possible. Stay tuned. But for now, look at the programs already mentioned. It just shows what rarified air Kelly Graves and the Bulldogs have risen to.
We're going to make this a 2-for-1 post … with a little hockey new. Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post has a story with twice-traded former Spokane Chief Matt Marantz.
It just seems like with a little news on both beats it's a waste of internet space to use up two blog posts. Wait, isn't internet space unlimited? Good question, but since I have both the women's basketball and hockey beats, and I'm working from home before covering high school cross country, one seems like plenty.
Sunday was a busy day in the Western Hockey League, off the ice.
There were a number of trades, none involving the Spokane Chiefs, though there were rumors over the weekend they were in the hunt for the Lethbridge goalie that went to Brandon.
It's not like the Chiefs shouldn't consider a move, but they're 5-2-0-1. One problem is all five wins are at home, along with the next three games. Winning might had the need to make a move, especially when teams are comfortable at home. However, the Chiefs have shown a disturbing inability to play well early in games. That said, they don't quit battling either. So it's a tough decision for general manager Tim Speltz, but neal or no deal, he's listening to offers.
The Spokane Chiefs had a pretty impressive hat trick this week – coming from behind to win three Western Hockey League games.
This time they broke through with three third-period goals against Everett to pull out a 3-1 win.
Stars: 3, Everett goalie Kent Simpson with 35 saves. 2, Anthony Bardaro with assists on first two Spokane goals, 1, Captain Darren Kramer, with tying goal, winning assist and Gordie Howe hattrick.
Long box below.
Anthony Bardaro scored with 1:50 left in overtime to lift the Spokane Chiefs to their second straight come-from-behind win over an Eastern Division visitor, a 3-2 Western Hockey League decision of Prince Albert Friday night. Story here.
The Chiefs trailed 2-1 entering the third period two days after beating Brandon 4-3 with a late goal after trailing 3-1 midway through the game.
Stars: 3, Baldwin. 2, Williams. 1, Bardaro.
Long box below.
The Spokane Chiefs are about 30 minutes away from puck drop with the visiting Prince Albert (how many times will I type Alberta) Raiders and there's a little catching up to do.
Former Chief Tyler Vanscourt is wearing No. 21 for PA but the goalie he was traded for, Luke Lee-Knight, who got his first WHL win Wednesday, is not in goal.
First, D Tanner Mort and F Liam Stewart are back in the lineup after missing four games, out almost two weeks. Getting scratched are a pair of rookies, D Tyler King, F Jarid Hauptman. D Cole Hamblin out with lower body injury - at least we know it's not a concussion. Rookie F Cody Nelson continues to be a scratch.
Former Chief Tyler Johnson has scored in his third straight game but it looks like the Norfolk Admirals are going to lose for the first time in three games. TJ also has an assist, so five points in three games to start his pro career (there were 4 minutes left in this one at last check).
For the second straight home game, the internet at the Arena kicked me off - and didn't let me back on - right at the end of a Spokane Chiefs victory. At least Saturday I got the blog done before I was stifled.
But, better late than never, Steven Kuhn set up Dominik Uher for an easy tap-in with 3:42 to play to give the Chiefs a 4-3 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings in a game they trailed 3-1 at the midway point.
3 stars: 3, Brandon's Stone, 2, Spokane's Kramer, 1, Uher.
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Mitch Holmberg scored his first two goals of the season and Anthony Bardaro added two power play goals to spark the Spokane Chiefs to a 5-1 win over Kelowna at the Arena Saturday night.
However, it was 16-year old defenseman Jason Fram who got the Chiefs going with the first goal and second in two nights.
Cody Chikie scored for the Rockets late in the second period after it was 4-1. The Chiefs out-shot the Rockets 45-12, including 18-3 in the first period, getting the first 15 shots.
3 stars: 3, Fram, 2, Bardaro, 1 Holmberg
Long box below
UPDATE, 7 p.m. Tyler Johnson scores again, adds an assist and is the second star again as Norfolk wins again.
The Spokane Chiefs are going to play their second home game of the Western Hockey League season in about an hour, Kelowna Rockets are in the house, but first there is a bunch of news to catch you up on.
First, congratulations to former Chiefs star and Central Valley graduate Tyler Johnson for scoring a goal in his first professional game. He was second star of the game after former Tri-City American Carter Ashton, who had two goals, including the OT game-winner. … Ex-Chief Dustin Tokarski was in goal.
The NHL debut of former Chiefs captain Jared Cowen (OK, he played a late-season game two years ago after he was drafted and picked up a penalty, now he's part of the rebuilding programs) didn't go so well as the Detroit Red Wings clobbered the visiting Ottawa Senators. Despite the score, Cowen was only a minus-1. The Sens play the Toronto Maple Leafs as we speak. (Cowen wears No. 2 when you get a rare chance to see Ottawa on the tube.)
On Friday the Chiefs fell 6-4 at Kamloops, a game that saw them in a big hole before a comeback. It's not really a good sign when Darren Kramer and two young D-men have the goals. However, captain Kramer has four goals in 3 games.
Defenseman Tyler Vanscourt, traded for goalie Luke Lee-Knight last month, had a hat trick for Prince Albert last night.
The Vancouver Giants picked up a new goalie and he was the difference in his debut, a 3-2 shootout win over the visiting Spokane Chiefs. The Vancouver Province also had a play-by-play of Adam Morrison's debut. There is also a slide show of game photos from The Sun, including the photo with Spokane's Steven Kuhn (above). As a lead-up to the game, The Province also chatted with Chiefs captain Darren Kramer about his role as a fighter.
Western Hockey League referees didn't get their man but league officials did when Marcus Messier of Tri-City was suspended for four games on Tuesday.
The infraction was a double-minor checking-from-behind penalty that injured Spokane's Liam Stewart in the Chiefs' 7-2 romp in their home opener on Satuday night.
Keep reading for thoughts on the matter.