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Backup goalie Hughson guides Chiefs

Wed., Nov. 21, 2012, 10:44 p.m.

Spokane Chiefs logo (The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane Chiefs logo (The Spokesman-Review)

The Spokane Chiefs are accustomed to playing well at home, dominating the Everett Silvertips and, at least this season, getting offensive punch from Todd Fiddler.

They could grow accustomed to way goaltender Garret Hughson is playing in his role as a backup.

Hughson stopped 20 shots Wednesday night for his second win over Everett in the last two weeks as the Chiefs stopped the Silvertips 3-1 in Western Hockey League play at the Arena.

“It’s been good to get a couple of wins against them,” Hughson said.

Fiddler scored his team-high 16th and 17th goals, including an empty-netter with 57 seconds left, to give him six goals in his last four games.

Reid Gow had one goal and one assist for the Chiefs, including the winner in the third period just after Hughson had lost his shutout. Hughson’s other win over the Silvertips (Nov. 6) was by shutout. Hughson, who made his third start, is 3-1 this season while spelling Eric Williams.

“Every time I’ve been out there, the team’s been great in front of me,” Hughson said.

Spokane improved to 3-1 against Everett (9-15-0-2) this season, but there’s nothing new about that. Spokane went 8-1-1-0 against the Silvertips last season and is 29-8-2-1 against Everett in the last five seasons, including 19-2 at the Arena.

The Chiefs (16-7-0-0) are 11-2 at home this season.

Spokane outshot Everett 12-9 during the scoreless first period. Spokane had its best chances during a 3-minute span near the middle of the period, and Hughson made two good saves a few minutes later.

After a scoreless first period, the Chiefs entered the second period on the power play after a penalty for checking from behind by Everett’s Dawson Leedahl at the end of the first. Fiddler took advantage just 57 seconds into the period, gathering up Brenden Kichton’s rebound, with help from a tip by Gow, and beating Daniel Cotton.

Hughson made another good save with 4:20 left in the period, when shots favored Spokane 10-7.

Fiddler drew a 2-minute crosschecking penalty early in the third period. Everett took advantage of the power-play situation when Trent Lofthouse, situated out front, dribbled in his fifth goal of the season for a 1-all tie.

Gow’s winner came with 15:19 left in the game, on an assist from Kichton. Both teams were down one player.

Spokane will turn its attention to the Tri-City Americans for a road game Friday and a home contest Saturday.

With the WHL season at its one-third point, games between the Chiefs and Tri-City are gaining in significance. Both teams have 32 points and rank third in the conference, behind division leaders Kamloops and Portland.

Notes: Kichton is Spokane’s all-time leader for goals (53), assists (156) and points (209) for a defenseman. … Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur will coach his 1,000th WHL game on Saturday. … Injured Chiefs Marek Kalus (upper body) and Blake Gal (lower body) are listed as week-to-week. Tanner Mort (upper body) is listed as indefinite.



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