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The Spokane Chiefs crushed Everett Wednesday night with a dominating performance, highlighted by Levko Koper's second hat trick of the season. Suprisingly, linemate Tyler Johnson only picked up one assist to drop to second to fall to second in the Western Hockey League scoring race. Jared Cowen was an amazing plus-6 in the 7-2 romp. The Chiefs have three more road games, keep an ear to the radio for the return of goalie James Reid, who was dressed as the backup, but it's obvious that Mac Engel is coming around as a solid backup with his 11 straight starts.
For a great review of former Chief Jared Spurgeon, a rookie with the Minnesota Wild, read on.
The Spokane Chiefs have upgraded goalie James Reid’s status to day-to-day and returned backup goalie Adam Iwan to the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
Reid, Spokane’s all-time leader in wins with 79, has missed the last 10 games after being injured Jan. 23 in Portland. Mac Engel has taken over as starter.
Iwan appeared in one game, allowing six goals on 15 shots in a 10-5 loss to Portland last week.
The Chiefs are in Everett tonight, the second of five straight on the road.
As if we didn't know this already, but Spokane native and Spokane Chiefs star Tyler Johnson is Best of the West.
Johnson was voted Top Defenive Forward, Best Over-Age Player, Best Skater and Best Faceoff man in the Best of the West 2011 poll compiled by the Tri-City Herald and released Sunday morning.
A total of 43 representatives from the 12 Western Hockey League teams in the Western Conference voted in a variety of categories but could not vote for anyone in their own organization.
Besides Johnson, who is having a MVP season, a reason the Chiefs are in the chase with for the top seed in the fast-approaching playoffs are because captain Jared Cowen was voted Best Stay-at-Home Defenseman and Don Nachbuar Best Coach.
A number of Chiefs were high up in other categories, including goalie James Reid and defenseman Brenden Kichton, plus Johnson and Cowen, along with general manager Tim Speltz.
After giving up an easy early goal, the Chiefs took command with a pair of power play goals and then Tyler Johnson finished with off with a pair of late goals as Spokane dumped Tri-City 7-2 before a sold-out crowd of 10,475 at the Arena Saturday night.
Three stars, 3, Johnson, 2, goalie Mac Engel, 1, Koper.
A disaster of epic proportions for the Spokane Chiefs, starting with a dubious record of allowing five goals in 1:59. With those five goals league-leading
The only silver lining was Tyler Johnson getting a pair of goals early in the second period, giving him a league-leading 41 and tying him for the lead in the scoring race with 88 points. But shortly after that Ty Rattie turned another turnover into a breakaway goal.
Three stars: 3, Craig Cunningham. 2, Ryan Johansen. 1, Brad Ross.
Long box below and six-picture slide show here.
Darren Kramer, 22, is one of the most popular Spokane Chiefs. He is also their protector. There's also another side to the Western Hockey League leader in fights and penalty minutes.
The team has a big week with U.S. Division and Western Conference leading Portland coming in Wednesday and rival Tri-City, just a point behind the second-place Chiefs, here Saturday. On Friday the Chiefs are at Everett and beginning Sunday play five games in eight days on the road.
Last weekend they lost in Tri-City 5-2, with Tyler Johnson's point streak ending, before rebounding to win 5-1 at Seattle, with Johnson getting three points to sit one-point back in the league scoring race.
Good Monday morning Chiefs fans … recovered from that wild 5-4 loss to Tri-City Saturday night? (Above, in a Dan Pelle photo, Drew Owsley stops Anthony Bardaro's shot.)Those nail-biting, last second games are killer on deadline, especially Saturdays when deadlines are a little earlier. But we got the Chiefs, but missed the Americans, although the Tri-City Herald took a call from the coach for a story and my ol' compadre Rene Ferran has this from the Americans. As an added bonus, columnist John Blanchette took a look at what makes the Chiefs tick. The Chiefs finally get some rest and practice time. They don't play until Friday at Tri-City with a Saturday game in Seattle. Then the schedule gets ugly again for the stretch run.
Mason Wilgosh was sitting on the doorstep for a tip-in with 37 seconds left to give the Tri-City Americans a wild 5-4 win over the Spokane Chiefs before a sell-out crowd of 10,474 fans at the Arena Saturday night.
It's the first of five straight weekend games for these rivals who are hot on the heels of Portland in the tight U.S. Division of the Western Hockey League. The Americans moved to within three points of second-place Spokane and have played 3 fewer games.
Stars 3 Wilgosh, 2 Hughesman, 1 Kuhn. Long box below. Here is the story.
It wouldn't qualify as a good hockey game but the Spokane Chiefs didn't back down from the physical and chippy play Chilliwack Bruins, who were in their face all night.
But after battling even in a 2-2 first period with goals from Steve Kuhn and Brenden Kichton and holding steady to take a 4-3 lead after two on goals by Darren Kramer and Matt Marantz, the Chiefs took control in the third period for a 5-3 win, the last goal coming on on Tyler Johnson's career-high and league-leading 37th that tied him for the scoring lead in the Western Hockey League with 82 points.
Mac Engel made 20 saves for his second win in a row.
3 stars: 3, Marantz, 2, Krame 1, Kuhn. long box below
Patrick King of Toronoto City News checks in with the Spokane Chiefs, pointing out the last players for the 2008 Memorial Cup team, are nearing the end of their junior hockey careers. Meanwhile, as Annie Fowler of The Tri-City Herald points out, things are heating up in the U.S. Division of the Western Conference in the Western Hockey League. The Spokane Chiefs entertain Chilliwack tonight and Tri-City on Saturday. Here's a tidbit for you … the Chiefs and Americans play every weekend for five straight weeks, every two weeks in Spokane, next Friday and then two weeks later on a Saturday in Kennewick.
Update: Spokane Chiefs forward Tyler Johnson is on the WHL radio show.
The Spokane Chiefs got goals from Matt Marantz and Jared Cowen less than a minute apart early in the second period and Mac Engle made that stand up for his first Western Hockey League win. Levko Koper added an empty net goal to complete the 3-0 win over Everett. Tyler Johnson, who assisted Koper, ran his point streak to 15 games.
Stars, 3, Cowen, 2, Engle, 1, Marantz. Long box below, here is the story.
In photo above, Chiefs Steven Kuhn and Brady Brassart (right) battle Everett defenders Rasmus Rissanen (8) and Ryan Murray (27) along with goalie Kent Simpson.
With James Reid out with a sprained ankle, Mac Engel gets the start in net tonight for the Spokane Chiefs.
Want a Tyler Johnson tripleheader and another mention of Spokane Chiefs' scoring leader? Go to the Western Hockey League website.
Despite two losses, including in Portland Sunday night, the Chiefs have the WHL Player of the Week, Tyler Johnson, who was the Player of the Month for December. His mug shot is on the WHL home page twice, once for each award.
Johnson had 10 points in four games last week, pulling him into a tie in the league scoring race, which earns him another mug shot. He has matched his career high with a league-leading 36 goals as part of his career high 79 points.
The WHL is also running a poll, asking who among the league leaders, is likely to lead the league in goals when all is said and done. Johnson is second in the voting behind Brendan Gallagher of Vancouver. Johnson has a 14-game point streak with 13 goals and 16 assists.
For the first time since before Santa Claus made his rounds the Spokane Chiefs lost at home.
In fact, Halloween candy hadn't even been dished out the last time the Spokaen Chiefs lost at home in regulation.
It happened again on Saturday night when the Kelowna Rockets out-hustled the Spokane Chiefs for a 5-3 win at the Arena.
Brett Bulmer scored his second goal with 3:32 left, racing around the Chiefs to beat Mac Engle and the streaks were over, after an empty net goal with 40 seconds left.
While Engle remained winless despite facing just 15 shots, the suffered their first Arena loss since falling to Seattle 5-4 in overtime Dec. 15 and failed to pick up a home point for the first time since Red Deer won 4-2 on Oct. 23.
Three stars: 1, Bulmer, 2, Levko Koper, 3, Kelowna goalie Adam Brown. Long box below.
The Spokane Chiefs scored the last three goals to defeat the Kootenay Ice 5-2. Dominik Uher had two goals and an assist to earn first star, Tyler Johnson (above) had a goal and two assists for the second star and trade deadline pickup Cody Eakin, in his first game for the Ice, was third star. His goal in the first minute of the third period tied the game 2-2.
I'll get to the records in a moment. The Chiefs have won three straight since a 6-2 loss at Kootenay last Friday, which they avenged with an 11-2 romp over the Ice Saturday in the outdoor game. Now the teams collide Friday indoors at the Arena - you don't suppose the Ice will be hot.
The Chiefs last lost at the Arena on Dec. 15, in OT. The last time they lost in regulation at home Oct. 23, 4-2 to Red Deer.
Don't look now but the Spokane Chiefs are in first place in the U.S. Division of the Western Hockey League. Well, they're tied with the Portland Winterhawks, but the Chiefs have played two fewer games in addition to having the head-to-head tiebreaker. I don't have the information at my fingertips and my memory isn't what it used to be, but I know it wasn't that long ago they were double-figure points behind and it may have been pretty darn close to 20 points back.
The Chiefs, who should have been exhausted, jumped on the Everett Silvertips early on Sunday for a 4-1 win, which was also the 77th career win for goalie James Reid (above), tying him with Dustin Tokarski for the most in team history. Read on.
Wrapping up theSpokane Chiefs outdoor hockey game … it seemed everyone enjoyed the Rockstar Outdoor Hockey Classic, according to columnist John Blanchette, and the Chiefs made it better with an 11-2 thrashing of the Kootenay Ice at Avista Stadium … with Jesse Tinsley providing the pictures.
The Rockstar Outdoor Classic was a wild success off and on the ice for the Spokane Chiefs.
Not so much for the Kooteany Ice.
The first-ever Western Hockey League game to be played outdoors, before a standing room only crowd of 7,075 at Avista Stadium, was an 11-2 romp by the home team, just hours after the Ice had registered a 6-2 in in Cranbrook, B.C., to start this little home-and-home showtown between two of the best teams in the league.
Next Friday's game in Spokane should be a dandy game.
The three stars were all Chiefs, 1, Steve Kuhn (goal, 2 assists); 2, Tyler Vanscourt (2 goals) , 3, Blake Gal (2 goals, assist).
On this beautiful spring morning all thoughts turn to an outdoor hockey game.
Of course it's a little hard to get in the spirit of an outdoor hockey game when the biggest concern is how it's going to turn out with the suddenly balmy weather.
Things started to go south for the Chiefs on Friday, when they went to Cranbrook and the Kootenay Ice handled them 6-2 to end their seven-game winning streak. Their power play was below snuff with a 1-6 performance and the league-leading penalty killers gave up three goals in six chances. Then there were the fights. The complete run-down is here, including why the game started an hour late.
The teams meet again today at 1 at Avista Stadium. There will be no tweeting or blogging from the game because we won't be taking our computer but will make a quick post as soon as we can after the game.