The Spokane Chiefs are almost always rough and tough. They’re usually not undisciplined and stupid.
But there they were Friday night, playing an important game with the hockey IQ of magazine buffoon Alfred E. Neuman.
It made for an awful, long night in the Arena.
The Seattle Thunderbirds pumped four goals - two on the power-play - past two Spokane goaltenders in a mind-numbing 58-minute first period on the way to a 7-1 drubbing of the Chiefs.
T-Birds Torrey DiRoberto and Patrick Marleau peppered the Chiefs, who tried to intimidate and learned a lamentable lesson:
You can’t hit what you can’t catch.
DiRoberto had three goals and an assist, Melarea a goal and three assists.
Now Spokane (33-33-4) has to defeat Prince George in front of a sellout here tonight, or somehow find a way to win Sunday’s regular-season finale in Seattle in the jockeying for third place in the WHL West.
Should the Kelowna Rockets do the expected and defeat Kamloops at home tonight, the Chiefs would have to win twice to finish third.
And even if they do get third, and the home-ice advantage in the first-round of next week’s playoff with Kelowna that goes with it, they’re going nowhere playing like this.
Spokane averted the shutout when Brad Ference scored on the power play, assisted by Greg Leeb and Marian Cisar. , DataTimes