Chiefs attempt to close out Chilliwack on Saturday
Hockey: The Spokane Chiefs hope to be closer to full strength tonight when they try to wrap up their Western Hockey League playoff series with the Chilliwack Bruins at the Arena.
The Chiefs, who lead the best-of-7 series 3-1, won the last game despite playing without leading scorer Tyler Johnson, who was injured in Game 3, and Anthony Bardaro, who was suspended.
When asked if Johnson, who had 115 points in the regular season with a league-leading 53 goals, would be back, Spokane coach Don Nachbaur said, “I have no idea. It’s day-to-day when you take a head shot like that.”
Chilliwack’s Tyler Stahl was suspended for the elbow he delivered to Johnson and will serve the second game of a two-game penalty tonight. Bardaro will return for tonight’s game.
Johnson had two goals in the first three playoff games, but balance has been the key as 11 players have accounted for the 15 Spokane goals. Steve Kuhn has two goals and Darren Kramer has three.
The other three series in the Western Conference were wrapped up in four games. If the Chiefs win, they’ll have home-ice advantage against Tri-City starting a week from today and Kelowna will face Portland. Should Chilliwack rally, the Bruins would face Portland.
Vandersloot earns Lieberman Award
Women’s basketball: The Rotary Club of Detroit announced Friday that Gonzaga senior point guard Courtney Vandersloot has been selected as the Nancy Lieberman Award winner, which recognizes the nation’s top point guard in women’s NCAA Division I basketball.
The award is based on the floor leadership, playmaking and ball-handling skills that personified Hall of Famer Lieberman during her career. Sportswriters from across the country determined the award winner and finalists.
The other finalists were Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame; Jeanette Pohlen, Stanford; and Danielle Robinson, Oklahoma.
The 5-foot-8 Vandersloot is the first in NCAA Division I history, male or female, to accumulate more than 2,000 points and 1,000 assists. She finished with 2,073 points and 1,118 assists. Averaging 19.8 points per game, Vandersloot led the nation in assists for the second year in a row by averaging 10.2.
She broke the NCAA single-season assist record with 367 this year. The record had stood since 1987.
She also became Gonzaga’s single-season scoring leader with 712, breaking the record established in 1985.