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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.
Spokane Chiefs forward Jarid Hauptman has left the team and returned home to Morinville, Alberta, the Chiefs announced Tuesday.
Keep reading for more details.
There’s really nothing gentle about hockey – and that includes honest feedback when a lackluster performance is turned in.
Two days after scoring an impressive victory over the Western Hockey League’s top team, the Spokane Chiefs went scoreless on six power-play opportunities and gave up a shorthanded goal late in the third period in a 3-2 loss to the Seattle Thunderbirds in front of 4,243 fans on Monday afternoon at the Arena.
Read on for the rest of my unedited game story…
After watching the Spokane Chiefs grind out a gutsy win Saturday night against the Tri-City Americans, I woke up this morning for my usual Sunday morning read of the Sports section. When I get to my story, I can't help but focus on anything I've missed.
In case you missed it, here's Saturday's game story from the 5-3 win over the Canadian Hockey League's top-ranked team and Spokane's biggest rival.
Below you'll find extras from the game and other Chiefs notes leading into tomorrow's 2 p.m. game against the Seattle Thunderbirds at the Arena. This will be the first time Spokane has hosted Seattle this season and the second time the U.S. Division teams have played each other. Spokane beat the Thunderbirds in Seattle on Jan. 7.
The Spokane Chiefs extended their win streak to four games tonight (funny - that's when I took over covering the team). Just kidding. But no joking matter - Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur picked up his 500th win with Spokane's 6-1 win over Everett. Here's the unedited game story.
The Spokane Chiefs were quiet on trade deadline day in the Western Hockey League. Quiet in the traditional sense, that is. They did make some noise though. My Chiefs notebook, which will appear in tomorrow's paper, is below.
And, hey, make a girl happy. Follow me on Twitter (@jbrown_srsports). Yes, that would make me happy. Sigh.
Also, how great is the photo I dug up in our archives for this post? As they would say in hockey, that one's a beauty.
This post is few days late and about 100 dollars short (anyone else ever have that feeling once in awhile?). I suppose I could blame it on the fact that I spent my first week back at The Spokesman-Review chiseling off the rust. I've been away from the sportswriting game for almost three years. That's a long time to be away from something you love, but really I'm just thrilled to have the opportunity to be back. I won't make any cliche innuendos about riding the bench, etc. The first week is over - and I'm as ready as ever.
Keep reading for information about the Spokane Chiefs' 5-3 win over the Everett Silvertips last night and a little stroll down Memorial Cup memory lane.
It didn’t take long to get the message.
Despite being in the middle of a stretch of four games in five nights – four of which are on the road – the Spokane Chiefs looked anything but tired on Friday night when they played their first game at the Arena since mid-December.
Corbin Baldwin and Mitch Holmberg each had a goal and an assist and the Chiefs kept their perfect record against teams from the East Division intact with a 5-2 Western Hockey League victory over the East Division-leading Moose Jaw Warriors.