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Chiefs’ streak well-timed

Wed., Jan. 28, 2009, midnight

Timing is everything, which makes the Spokane Chiefs’ latest winning streak – their longest of the season – even more meaningful.

They’ve won their past eight games and are looking to add a season-high ninth straight win tonight when they take on the Everett Silvertips on the road.

The game is Spokane’s eighth straight against a division opponent, a stretch that began when the Chiefs hosted the Silvertips on Jan. 10. Since then they have picked up two wins over Everett, they’ve beaten the cellar-dwelling Portland Winter Hawks twice, earned two victories against the division-leading Tri-City Americans and one over the Seattle Thunderbirds.

“We knew after the four on the road in our division and then (Saturday’s game against Tri-City), that if we happened to go 5 for 5 on the upside that we would gain some ground,” Chiefs coach Hardy Sauter said after the Chiefs beat the Americans 5-2 last Saturday night for their second win in as many weeks over their U.S. Division rivals.

“It happened that way and obviously we put ourselves right back in the race for first place,” Sauter said.

To be specific, the Chiefs trail the Americans by six points (they were behind by as many as 10 earlier this month) in the division race.

But they have three games in hand, and if they were to win those three games they would pull even.

“Obviously, it’s important to get the wins that we have in this winning streak we’re on,” defenseman Jared Cowen said following the Chiefs’ victory Saturday. “But it’s also important that all these games were within our division and have helped us gain a little bit of ground on Tri-City.

“That’s huge for us.”

Ice chips

Chiefs defenseman Mike Reddington (groin) will be a game-time decision tonight, while captain Justin McCrae (foot) could see action by this weekend. Forward Ryan Letts (shoulder) is week to week. … The Chiefs play three games this week. After tonight’s game in Everett, Spokane will host the Chilliwack Bruins on Friday and the Kootenay Ice on Saturday.

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