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Chiefs try to solve Winterhawks at Arena tonight

Junior hockey: If the Western Hockey League season ended today, the top-seeded teams for the playoffs would be Everett, Kelowna, Medicine Hat and Swift Current.

The Spokane Chiefs (17-8-0-1) are a combined 5-0 against those teams this season.

What has kept the Chiefs’ season from being spectacular is their 0-4 record against the Portland Winterhawks.

Spokane’s next shot at the Winterhawks (18-5-2-1) is at 7:05 tonight at the Arena. Counting last year’s postseason, the Chiefs have lost 12 consecutive games to Portland.

Spokane and Portland won’t meet again for seven weeks.

The Chiefs also host Seattle (13-9-1-3) at 5:05 p.m. Sunday. The U.S. Division rivals haven’t met this season, but will play three times over seven days.

Broncos coach Fox returning to work Monday

NFL: Jack Del Rio had a big Thanksgiving Day surprise for his team.

Head coach John Fox joined the players and coaches for their post-practice huddle on the football field Thursday. Amid hails, hugs and handshakes, he told them how thankful he was for his health, their hard work and his good friend Del Rio for running things while he was recovering from open-heart surgery.

“I believe there couldn’t have been a better message on a better day,” safety David Bruton said.

Of course, Fox also took the opportunity to do some coaching, imploring his players to focus on beating Kansas City this weekend so that when he officially returns to work Monday, he’ll have a first-place team awaiting him.

It hasn’t been determined whether Fox will coach from the sideline or the booth for his first game back, when the Broncos host Tennessee on Dec. 8.

Associated Press