March 11, 2014 in Sports

Chiefs’ Chartier looks for good finish

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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Connor Chartier acknowledges that he’s had an up-and-down season, so now would be the perfect time for one of his hot streaks.

Chartier and the Chiefs have entered the final week of the Western Hockey League’s regular season. The Chiefs have qualified for the postseason, but what they do in their final three games will determine their seeding in the Western Conference and first-round opponent.

Chartier also needs to make an impression with the Chiefs’ brass if he wants to play in Spokane next season. The Chiefs have six players, including Chartier, who will be 20 years old next year. WHL teams are limited to three 20-year-old players on their roster.

“It’ll be tough because all the guys coming back (Liam Stewart, Marcus Messier, Carter Proft, Reid Gow and Cole Wedman) are pretty good players,” Chartier said. “I guess it depends on how the season finishes off. Obviously, I’m hoping to be here next year.”

Chartier has more than doubled his goal scoring this season, from six to 13, and has tended to score in bunches. He scored three goals in the Chiefs’ first five games and has tallied goals in back-to-back games three times.

“I think I’ve had a pretty good regular season,” Chartier said. “A few ups and downs, for sure, but I think I’m finishing strong here.”

Chartier has recently played on a line with midseason acquisition Messier and Spokane native Keanu Yamamoto. The line has shown some spark despite recent struggles by the Chiefs’ offense.

“We’re a small line, but quick on the puck and with a little offensive flair going,” Chartier said.

Chartier’s family lives in Cochrane, Alberta, just outside Calgary. Father Mike, an electrical engineer, and mother Susan stay busy following hockey-playing sons Connor, Colby and Grant. Colby, 17, drafted by the WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes in the eighth round in 2011, just finished his rookie season with the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Calgary Mustangs.

Connor’s cousin Robbie, now a musician in Victoria, British Columbia, influenced him to start playing hockey at age 6. His uncles on his mother’s side also played hockey.

“When I was younger I played a lot of lacrosse and was big into baseball as well,” Chartier said.

The Chiefs drafted Chartier in the second round in 2009. He played two seasons with the UFA Bisons of the Alberta Midget Hockey League before making his Chiefs debut on March 20, 2011, and scoring a goal against Portland.

Chartier has 24 goals and 45 assists in 194 games with Spokane.

The Ferris High graduate is taking an online psychology course this year. His post-hockey plans, though admittedly in flux, may include taking business classes.

Chartier worked for a landscaping company during his offseason last summer. His family owns a cabin in Sandpoint, perfect for his summer hobbies of wakeboarding and water skiing.

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