Latest from The Spokesman-Review
We can't be that far from cloning humans, right? Actually I have no idea. I'm not with the times when it comes to science. If we ever do figure that one out, I'll be able to cover multiple events at once. But for now I'm in Rhode Island covering the Gonzaga women's basketball team in the NCAA tournament.
I did follow as much of the Spokane Chiefs high-scoring Western Hockey League playoff opener as I could last night. Here is a link to the game story that ran in our paper, a story from the Vancouver Sun and some observations and notes from the Vancouver Province's Steve Ewen.
The Chiefs and Giants are at it again tonight in Vancouver for Game 2 as the Chiefs look to even the series before the teams head to Spokane for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Spokane Chiefs have just four regular-season games remaining and will hit the road to take on the Seattle Thunderbirds on Tuesday night. They'll play all four games in five nights this week, and though they're locked into a first-round matchup with the Vancouver Giants, home-ice advantage is still up for grabs.
In case you missed it last week, here's our feature on ironman Steve Kuhn - who is on the verge of setting an unprecedented streak for Spokane.
Also: Defenseman Davis Vandane will miss the next two games after the league suspended him for his accumulation of kneeing penalties.
It’s official – the Spokane Chiefs will take on the Vancouver Giants in the opening round of the Western Hockey League playoffs.
There's more reading material below, and above is a throwback photo of Ondrej Roman jumping onto David Rutherford in the 2008 second-round playoff series between Spokane and Vancouver. At left is Jared Cowen and at right is Mike Reddington. Spokane won the series in six games and went on to win the Western Hockey League and Memorial Cup championship.
Also, in case you missed it, here's a feature on Chiefs import forward Dominik Uher - who came a long way to play hockey in America.
These guys played for the Spokane Chiefs.
SEATTLE - Spokane Chiefs goalie Mac Engel stopped 18 shots and the Chiefs ended a season-high four-game losing streak with their first shutout victory of the season – a 3-0 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds in Western Hockey League action Sunday.
Dominik Uher, Collin Valcourt and Liam Stewart all scored for the Chiefs (32-30-4-3, 71 points), who are fifth in the Western Conference standings behind Vancouver (35-22-1-3, 74 points). Stewart's line has been on a tear. The goal was the rookie's fourth in five games.
The Chiefs are Portland on Friday and return home to host Tri-City on Saturday. The Chiefs need to win the next three games against the Americans to go .500 against their U.S. Division rivals this season.
After losing 3-2 on Saturday night to the U.S. Division-rival Americans in Tri-City, the Spokane Chiefs have now lost four-straight games - their longest losing streak of the season.
Not ideal timing with the Western Hockey League regular season winding down.
The Chiefs had a chance to lock up a playoff spot tonight. All they needed to do was score a point against the Ams. If that didn't happen, Everett had to lose to Vancouver AND Prince George and Victoria couldn't go into overtime. Well, the Chiefs didn't earn a point, and Everett beat Vancouver in a shootout - so while they are getting close, the Chiefs don't yet have a spot in the playoffs.
The season-high four-game skid began with a home game against Tri-City, and continued with a disappointing missed opportunity against the Vancouver Giants on Thursday. On Friday night, the Chiefs fell at Kootenay.
If this was a preview of what’s to come, expect a first-round playoff series that could easily go the distance. The Spokane Chiefs, of course, will be looking for a different result than they got on Wednesday night if that’s the case.
Jackson Houck scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period and Vancouver goalie Adam Morrison made 32 saves as the Giants picked up a 2-1 Western Hockey League victory over the Chiefs in front of 4,011 fans at the Arena.
The win gave Vancouver (34-21-1-2, 71 points) sole possession of fourth place in the Western Conference standings, though Spokane (31-18-4-3, 69 points) still has two games in hand.
Here's a touch of irony for you. The Spokane Chiefs beat the Seattle Thunderbirds 7-3 on Monday night, and as you'll see in the game story, it wasn't the prettiest game. But the ugliest play of the night, well, that belongs to me. At the bottom of the article, you may or may not notice an error. I'm just going to call it out here, because I noticed and it bothers me. Anyway, in the Ice Chips, Dominik Uher's four goals came in a 5-3 win at Seattle, not Kamloops. Uher had the lone goal in a 4-1 loss to Kamloops. What a rookie mistake. I'm ashamed.
Also, if you didn't get a chance today, you can read my feature on Mac Engel and … Mac Engel right here. You'll see what I mean.
Spokane Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur wasn't too thrilled with his team's performance level on Friday night, but his team did pick up two points in the standings with a 6-5 shootout victory over the Victoria Royals to remain ahead of Vancouver for fourth in the Western Conference standings.
When I asked Cole Wedman, who scored his first Western Hockey League goal in the game, what it's going to take for the Chiefs to beat the lower-end teams the same way they've been beating the high-end teams, he pointed out that the team - as a whole - needs to “manage the puck better and put the same effort in against those teams as (they) do against teams like Tri-City and Portland.”
Spokane Chiefs defenseman Corbin Baldwin received a two-game suspension by the Western Hockey League after a major checking to the head penalty and a game misconduct in Wednesday night's 4-1 loss at Kamloops.
Baldwin, one of three 20-year-olds on the team, will miss the Chiefs' games this weekend when they host Victoria today and travel to Kootenay on Saturday.
The ailing Chiefs are already playing with limited reserves, as Tanner Mort (upper body, two weeks), Cole Wedman (upper body, one week) and Reid Gow (right hand, one month) are all sidelined with injuries.
The Spokane Chiefs picked up another two points in the standings on Saturday night after grinding out a 5-4 overtime victory over the visiting Kootenay Ice. My unedited story from the game is below. I'll follow up with some extras from the game tomorrow, so check back.
Don Nachbaur will be the first one to tell you his Spokane Chiefs are not a run-and-gun team.
The Portland Winterhawks, however, are – so when they forced their style of hockey upon the Chiefs on Friday night the result was a 3-2 Western Hockey League loss in overtime in front of 6,243 fans at the Arena.
The Spokane Chiefs return home this weekend to play the Portland Winterhawks and Kootenay Ice on Friday and Saturday night, respectively. You can read a quick advance that is running in tomorrow's section here. Last Sunday's game between Spokane and Portland at the Arena resulted in a few, well, altercations. I would expect Friday's game to be very intense.
The Chiefs trail fourth-place Vancouver by one point in the Western Conference standings.
Not to be a tease, but I thought I'd let readers know that I'm working on a piece on Chiefs goalie Mac Engel that will run next week. When it's done, you all will be the first to know.
The Spokane Chiefs wrapped up a solid weekend of hockey tonight at the Arena. After scoring on their first shift of the game, the Chiefs went on to a 6-1 win over the Portland Winterhawks. That's three wins in a row now for Spokane, which trails both teams it beat this weekend in the standings.
Sorry for the late post, I had some internet issues back at the Arena tonight. I'm home now and am happy to share the link to tonight's game story and photo album. Also, here's a link to the game sheet.
In the opening act of three straight home games against the Portland Winterhawks, the Spokane Chiefs proved that desperate hockey goes a long way - especially this time of year.
Below you'll find the unedited story I filed for tomorrow's section. There will be more later.
Beating the top team in the Western Hockey League on home ice is one thing. Doing it on the road is another.
Less than a week after beating the Tri-City Americans at the Arena, the Spokane Chiefs scored the encore they were looking for on Friday night as goalie Mac Engel made a season-high 37 saves and Colin Valcourt, Brenden Kichton and Dominik Uher made third-period goals to lead Spokane to a 3-1 victory at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.
Before a frustrating 3-2 loss to the Seattle Thunderbirds at the Spokane Arena on Monday put out the Spokane Chiefs' fire, they ingnited the ice last Saturday to defeat the top team in the Western Hockey League - the Tri-City Americans. New Chiefs' forward Dylan Walchuk - who I profiled in a feature that ran in Thurday's section - had the game-winning goal in the 5-3 win.
The Chiefs and Americans meet again for the seventh time of the season tonight (Tri-City leads the series 4-2) at the Toyota Center in Kennewick, so unfortuntately for Chiefs fans there won't be any home-ice action tonight. However, you can catch the live broadcast of the 7 p.m. game on Root Sports or listen to Mike Boyle's call on 1510 KGA.