January 21, 1998 in Sports

Leeb Nets Whl Honors Spokane Chiefs Scoring Star Makes Statistical Gains, Too

By The Spokesman-Review

Greg Leeb, one of six Spokane Chiefs in tonight’s Western Hockey League all-star game, is the league’s Western Division player of the week.

The first of the Chiefs to receive the honor this year, Leeb had five goals and four assists in Spokane’s final regular-season road swing through the East. The Chiefs won three of the four games with Leeb moving into sixth place on the club’s career assists ladder.

The 20-year-old center from Red Deer, Alberta, moved ahead of Bryan McCabe on Spokane’s all-time list with the 147th helper of his major junior career. McCabe, captain of the New York Islanders, assisted on 145 goals with the Chiefs.

Next in line for Leeb is Valeri Bure, now with the Montreal Canadiens. He’s fifth in assists as a Chief with 163.

Leeb has 14 goals and seven assists in his last dozen games for a club that continues to hound Portland for the lead in the WHL West. With 10 regular-season games remaining on the road and 13 at home, coach Mike Babcock’s club has a scheduling advantage down the stretch.

“We played our best game by 10 miles in Brandon (a 5-3 win Friday night),” Babcock said. “We haven’t been at that level all year. It was fun to be there. Both teams came in prepared and went at it hard.”

Approaching Friday’s trade deadline, the Chiefs have asked Jeff Temple if he’s interested in coming to Spokane.

Temple, 19, had 18 points and 18 assists with Medicine Hat before his trade 10 days ago to Red Deer. The forward refused to report to Red Deer, and Medicine Hat sent Henry Kuster to Red Deer instead.

Contacted Tuesday at his home in Brandon, Manitoba, Temple said he was “kind of burned out” and planned to attend the University of Brandon.

The door to Spokane may still swing open, however.

Chiefs GM Tim Speltz, in Regina for the all-star game, said he has planned to meet with Temple today.

Chiefs notes

Tonight’s all-star game will be carried on KGA (1510) at 5:05 p.m… . Spokane’s 19-year-old right wing Josh Maser is the son of Medicine Hat Tigers owner Darrell Maser… . Ex-Spokane defenseman Adam Magarrell, who had the game-winning goal in Spokane’s only victory over Brandon two years ago in the WHL finals, has left the Providence College hockey club but may revive his collegiate career next season at the University of Manitoba… . Spokane is the fifth stop for newly acquired forward Cam Severson. Prince Albert’s leading scorer when he was traded to Spokane, Severson had prior stints in Kamloops, Swift Current and Lethbridge.

Around the WHL

Regan Darby - traded with Frank Evans by the Chiefs last fall to the Tri-City Americans - has become a physical presence for the Americans, who nonetheless continue to lose. The Ams, winless in their last 15 games against West Division teams, haven’t won at home since Nov. 16, a stretch of 10 games. Darby, his bothersome ankle healed, has a pair of assists to go with 79 penalty minutes in 17 games since Jan. 3… . Evans, who centers a checking line in Tri-City, has 39 points in 50 games… . Americans GM Bob Brown told the Tri-City Herald he has no respect for the Seattle Thunderbirds after the T-Birds beat the Americans 4-1 on Monday night. In a pre-game story, the Tri-City paper referred to some Seattle players as a motley crew of trash-talking bashers.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo

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