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Chiefs nip Thunderbirds

Wed., March 4, 2009, midnight

Drayson Bowman scored a pair of goals, including the winner, and the Spokane Chiefs held on for a 4-2 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds in Western Hockey League play Tuesday at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash.

The victory allows the Chiefs (42-20-0-3) to move three points ahead of the Kelowna Rockets in the race for the third seed in the Western Conference.

Spokane trails U.S. Division-leading Tri-City by 10 points. The Chiefs have seven games remaining in the regular season, including two against the Americans.

Spokane plays at Kelowna at 7 tonight.

Seattle, one point ahead of Kamloops for the fifth seed in the conference, took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by Jim O’Brien with 1 minute, 19 seconds remaining in the first period.

Bowman knotted the score at 1 when he scored 23 seconds into the second period. Ondrej Roman picked up an assist on the goal.

Mitch Wahl found the net for the 28th time this season to give the Chiefs a 2-1 lead 54 seconds later.

Justin McCrae notched an assist.

The Thunderbirds (31-30-1-4) rallied to tie it at 2-all on a goal by David Richard at the 18:38 mark of the second.

Bowman’s second goal of the contest and 42nd of the season put Spokane up for good at 11:24 of the third period.

Brett Bartman picked up an assist on the score.

Spokane’s final tally came when Levko Koper scored an empty-netter with 49 seconds left in the game.

Braves eliminated

The top-seeded Nelson Leafs scored seven times over the final two periods to rout the Spokane Braves 9-3 in a Kootenay International Junior Hockey League playoff series in Nelson, British Columbia.

Connor Olstad had a goal and two assists for the Braves, who lost the series 4-1.

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