Hockey: Home ice has been kind to the Spokane Chiefs, now it’s time to see how they’ll fare in their second home-and-home series of the young Western Hockey League season.
After sweeping their pair of weekend games to remain undefeated at home in four games, the Chiefs (6-2-0-0, 12 points) – who, in terms of winning percentage (.750), are atop the U.S. Division standings – will play Seattle (4-3-0-0, 8 points) tonight in Kent, Wash., and host the Thunderbirds at the Arena on Friday.
Spokane has played only two games within the division – the season-opening home-and-home series with Tri-City (6-3-0-1, 13 points). The Chiefs won both games.
Portland (7-3-1-0, 15 points) and Tri-City are first and second in the division, respectively, but the Chiefs have three games in hand on the division-leading Winterhawks and two games in hand over the Americans.
• The Chiefs traded goaltender Mac Engel to the Prince George Cougars in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft.
Engel went 42-28-3-4 as a Chief in 88 career appearances. In 2011-12, Engel went 28-19-1-3. His 28 wins were 10th in the WHL.
Seattle arena gains approval
Facilities: The King County Council and the Seattle City Council have given their final approval to an agreement to build a new professional basketball and hockey arena in the city.
The votes came Monday despite a lawsuit threat from the Longshore union, which says the agreement violates state environmental law and would put good-paying maritime jobs at risk.
Hedge fund manager Chris Hansen is leading a group that wants to build the $490 million arena with $200 million in public financing. The public investment would be paid back with rent money and admissions taxes from the arena, and if that money falls short, Hansen would be responsible for making up the rest.