Everything tagged

Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Former Chiefs on the move thanks to NHL Lockout

I got the chance to chat with former Spokane Chiefs and current Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock while he was at the Chiefs game on Saturday, and below you'll find an unedited version of the story that followed. The Chiefs (4-1-0-0) are back in action tonight in Kelowna and will take on Kamloops - ranked in the CHL's Top Ten - on Friday before returning to Spokane on Saturday to host Vancouver at the Arena.

Chiefs gear up for second weekend of WHL preseason action

Just a quick post since I haven't been able to do much on this year's Spokane Chiefs (yet). That ends soon, as I'm starting to transition into season preview mode. We'll have plenty for you next week. The Western Hockey League regular season begins in a few weeks, and preparation for the Sept. 22 opener at Tri-City continues tomorrow (Friday) morning for the Spokane Chiefs.

Cowen scores first; Chiefs make move

Former Spokane Chiefs captain Jared Cowen scored his first National Hockey League goal Tuesday night, a bittersweet moment because Ottawa's winning streak came to an end.

The Chiefs have reassigned 17-year old rookie Cody Nelson, who only played in three games.

Another story about Chiefs' rookie Liam Stewart.

Here's a video of the hit that got Blake Gal suspended … and 3 games are too many because the player getting hit made a wrong move and, fortunately, was not hurt. The responsibility goes both ways, as Spokane coach Don Nachbaur says.

Tyler Johnson scores in pro debut

UPDATE, 7 p.m. Tyler Johnson scores again, adds an assist and is the second star again as Norfolk wins again.

The Spokane Chiefs are going to play their second home game of the Western Hockey League season in about an hour, Kelowna Rockets are in the house, but first there is a bunch of news to catch you up on.

First, congratulations to former Chiefs star and Central Valley graduate Tyler Johnson for scoring a goal in his first professional game. He was second star of the game after former Tri-City American Carter Ashton, who had two goals, including the OT game-winner. … Ex-Chief Dustin Tokarski was in goal.

The NHL debut of former Chiefs captain Jared Cowen (OK, he played a late-season game two years ago after he was drafted and picked up a penalty, now he's part of the rebuilding programs) didn't go so well as the Detroit Red Wings clobbered the visiting Ottawa Senators. Despite the score, Cowen was only a minus-1. The Sens play the Toronto Maple Leafs as we speak.  (Cowen wears No. 2 when you get a rare chance to see Ottawa on the tube.)

On Friday the Chiefs fell 6-4 at Kamloops, a game that saw them in a big hole before a comeback. It's not really a good sign when Darren Kramer and two young D-men have the goals. However, captain Kramer has four goals in 3 games.

Defenseman Tyler Vanscourt, traded for goalie Luke Lee-Knight last month, had a hat trick for Prince Albert last night.

Cowen scores 2 for Ottawa

With the Western Hockey League season opening Thursday and the Spokane Chiefs playing their first gameon Saturday, it's time to pick up the pace.

Today I'll post capsules from the Eastern Division of the Eastern Conference, with the Central Division on Wednesday and the B.C. Division on Thursday, when we'll have our overview of the WHL. The caps for the U.S. Division are set for Friday.

A look at the Chiefs will be in Saturday's paper and then I'll head to Tri-City for the opener. It does't seem that long ago I was commuting to TC for the playoff games. The good news is that regular-season games only have 5 minutes of OT and a shootout so there should be no 2 a.m. arrivals.

At last report, only Brenden Kichton has returned of the four players the Chiefs sent to NHL camps, leaving the roster shy of Darren Kramer, Blake Gal and Dominik Uher.

One last thing, former Spokane captain Jared Cowen scored both goals, after getting into a scrap that cost him 17 minutes of ice time, for Ottawa last night in a 4-2 loss to the Maple Leafs.

Plenty of positives for Spokane Chiefs

Without a Memorial Cup championship the hockey season finishes in disappointment but there was nothing disappointing about the Spokane Chiefs' season, above, in a Colin Mulvany photo, celebrating an overtime win against the Tri-City Americans.

Chiefs dominate conference awards

The Spokane Chiefs dominated the Western Conference awards the Western Hockey League announced on Wednesday. Read on.

Chiefs romp on road

The Spokane Chiefs crushed Everett Wednesday night with a dominating performance, highlighted by Levko Koper's second hat trick of the  season. Suprisingly, linemate Tyler Johnson only picked up one assist to drop to second to fall to second in the Western Hockey League scoring race. Jared Cowen was an amazing plus-6 in the 7-2 romp. The Chiefs have three more road games, keep an ear to the radio for the return of goalie James Reid, who was dressed as the backup, but it's obvious that Mac Engel is coming around as a solid backup with his 11 straight starts.

For a great review of former Chief Jared Spurgeon, a rookie with the Minnesota Wild, read on.

Chiefs Johnson Best in four categories

As if we didn't know this already, but Spokane native and Spokane Chiefs star Tyler Johnson is Best of the West.

Johnson was voted Top Defenive Forward, Best Over-Age Player, Best Skater and Best Faceoff man in the Best of the West 2011 poll compiled by the Tri-City Herald and released Sunday morning.

A total of 43 representatives from the 12 Western Hockey League teams in the Western Conference voted in a variety of categories but could not vote for anyone in their own organization.

Besides Johnson, who is having a MVP season, a reason the Chiefs are in the chase with for the top seed in  the fast-approaching playoffs are because captain Jared Cowen was voted Best Stay-at-Home Defenseman and Don Nachbuar Best Coach.

A number of Chiefs were high up in other categories, including goalie James Reid and defenseman Brenden Kichton, plus Johnson and Cowen, along with general manager Tim Speltz.

Chiefs give Engel win and shutout

The Spokane Chiefs got goals from Matt Marantz and Jared Cowen less than a minute apart early in the second period and Mac Engle made that stand up for his first Western Hockey League win. Levko Koper added an empty net goal to complete the 3-0 win over Everett. Tyler Johnson, who assisted Koper, ran his point streak to 15 games.

Stars, 3, Cowen, 2, Engle, 1, Marantz. Long box below, here is the story.

In photo above, Chiefs Steven Kuhn and Brady Brassart (right) battle Everett defenders Rasmus Rissanen (8) and Ryan Murray (27) along with goalie Kent Simpson.

No moves for Chiefs


The Western Hockey League trade deadline passed Monday afternoon and the Spokane Chiefs didn't make a move, except to reassign defenseman Kyle Krzyzaniak, who was  a minus-2 in seven games with seven penalty minutes, to the Dauphin Kings of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. 

There were a couple of blockbuster deals in the las couple of day. The one the will have the most immediate impact on the Spokane Chiefs was the Kootenay Ice getting Cody Eakin from Swift Current. That's because The Chief and Ice play three times in eight days, including Saturday  in the outdoor game at Avista  Stadium. About 500 tickets remain for that game.

Weather channel forecast for Saturday: Cold until the end of the week, then above freezing, Saturday's previous cold temperatures and snow, now 37 degrees, rain and snow showers.

Cowen to play for gold

Spokane Chiefs captain Jared Cowen will play for a gold medal as Team Canada whipped Team USA 4-1 at World Junior Tournament in Buffalo. Team Canada plays Russia on Wednesday.

Good weekend for Chiefs, Cowen

Quick weekend update … Spokane Chiefs captain Jared Cowen and Team Canada face Team USA in the world junior semifinals on Monday … The Chiefs got an impressive Western Hockey League win at Kelowna on New Year's Day, led by Levko Koper's hat trick … The New Year's Eve tilt at Tri-City ended early in the second period because of bad ice (nice picture Rene, maybe I better get a this century phone to help with my reporting).

Cowen alternate captain for Team Canada

Back from a day off and a Christmas party to real news - Spokane Chiefs captain Jared Cowen named an alternate captain for Team Canada in the upcoming World Junior Tournament in Buffalo, N.Y., beginning the day after Christmas.

Correspondent Steve Christilaw brought home a winner at the Arena, the Chiefs headed to Christmas break with a 4-0 win over Vancouver. On Friday, all the Chiefs’ streaks, power plays, games with points, ended in a 2-0 loss at Everett, a tough break for backup goalie Mac Engle trying to get his first win.

Cowen on Team Canada, Chiefs romp

It’s official, Spokane Chiefs captain Jared Cowen is named to Team Canada for the World Junior tournament.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs hammered Seattle last night (box score below) with a rematch in the Arena tonight. There was some fisticuffs so it might be interesting to see how tonight’s game goes if the Chiefs get a big lead. Remeber, after this weekend there are 9 days off for Christmas and the first two games back - a home & home with the Thunderbirds. Not sure Seattle will react kindly to seeing a five-point deficit jump to 13 in such a short period of time. The emphasis for Spokane is team, eight players scored in the 8-2 romp … but it’s a perfect coach Nachbaur romp, it was close until the 5-goal third period, which gives him a chance to keep his team’s attention.

Chiefs add depth on defense

With captain Jared Cowen headed off to Toronto for Team Canada tryouts for the World Junior tournament after Friday’s game in Vancouver and young D Reid Gow slated to be gone after Christmas for a prospects tournament in Canada, the Chiefs picked up a defenseman on Thursday, Davis Vandane, who has played for the Saskatoon Blades. If Cowen makes the team, and he did last year - losing the gold medal game to teammate Tyler Johnson and Team USA - he could miss nine games. The Chiefs have won three in a row after Wednesday’s 9-3 rout of Portland. They are at the Arena on Saturday against Kamloops, a 10-1 loser here in their last visit.

Spurgeon called to NHL, Cowen by Team Canada

As first reported by Gregg Drinnan (see below), former Chief Jared Spurgeon could make his National Hockey League debut tonight for Minnesota. He’ll be wearing No. 26 at Calgary.

The question is, what’s bigger news, that or current Chiefs captain and defenseman Jared Cowen getting invited back to Team Canada tryouts for World Juniors? Cowen was on the silver medal team last year. Training camp in Toronto is Dec. 11-15, which means he is likely to miss six games in the nine days before the WHL Christmas break. That will be painful for the Chiefs.

Chiefs blitz Kamloops 10-1, Cowen gets hattrick

It seem like a pretty normal hockey game.

Fighting to get out of the basement, the Spokane Chiefs jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead over Kamloops Wednesday night at the Arena. The scored stayed that way until early in the third period when the flood gates opened. The Chiefs scored six goals for a 10-1 lead, highlighted by captain Jared Cowen’s three goals - a rare hat trick for a defenseman.

In fact, it’s just the fourth three-goal game by a Chiefs D-man. Mitch Cornett did it in 1986, also against Kamloops, and Bryan McCabe, who is still skating in the NHL, did it twice in the 1993-94 season, buring Victoria and Tri-City.

The story is here, but because of early deadlines, I had to file before going for interview’s. Cowen’s take on his offenisve outburst and the coach’s thoughts are below.

Cowen notches two assists in loss

A lot of information today, most of it courtesy of Greg Drinnan’s blog, starting with the Russians’ 7-6 shootout win over WHL in the Subway Super Series last night in Kamloops, where Spokane Chiefs captain Jared Cowen chipped in with two assists. The Russians lead 3-2 heading into tonight’s final game in Prince George. The WHL needs to win in regulation to force a shootout to determine the 2010 series winner.

Drinnan takes a look at what Portland is doing to the rest of the WHL as the Winterhawks come off a 5-1 Eastern Division swing while Rob Henderson of the Brandon Sun takes a look at Mike Johnston, the GM/Coach who helped quickly rebuild this powerhouse.

There are also rosters for Team Western (Manitoba and Saskatchewn) and Team Pacific (Alberta and B.C.) for the U-17 World Hockey Challenge in Manitoba Dec. 26-Jan. 4. Chief D-man Reid Gow in on Team Western.

Cowen captain for Team WHL

Spokane Chiefs captain Jared Cowen was named Team WHL captain for Wednesday’s game against a touring Russian team in Kamloops, British Columbia, while the Chiefs add a player to the roster.

‘Roadkill’ describes Chiefs’ big win

The Regina Leader Post doesn’t have the stories posted from the Chiefs’ 11-1 drubbing of the Regina Pats but reporter Greg Harder shared his stories with us - one on the game, the other on Tyler Johnson’s return to Saskatchewan, a golden memory fo him. They’re on the extended entry.

News from around the WHL

There is some news around the Western Hockey League today to get fans ready for the Spokane Chiefs’ game against Everett, in its first road game of the season, at the Arena Saturday night. Check the extended for the links.

Cowen knows what he has to do

Jared Cowen is disappointed he’s not in the NHL, of course, but Spokane Chiefs teammate Tyler Johnson happily gives up the C to have the big blue liner back with the Western Hockey League team. Story here.


Chiefs win is just part of the news

On good thing that happens when the Spokane Chiefs venture to Kamloops for a Western Hockey League game is that in addition to a good game story from WHL guru Gregg Drinnan, there is also bonus coverage. Read about that and much more below.


Chiefs lose in Cowen’s return

Defenseman Jared Cowen met the Spokane Chiefs at Chilliwack on Tuesday, just in time for a 2-1 loss to the Bruins. It was his first Western Hockey League game after being sent down by the Ottawa Senators. The game story from Eric Welsh of The Chilliwack Progress is below.

By the way, Cowen was wearing the C. Does that mean Tyler Johnson’s tenure as captain was just for one game after all that hoopla last week?

Cowen a victim of numbers

Jared Cowen is headed to the coast and a Tuesday night game against Chilliwack. It’s not where he wanted to be, but it’s a definite lesson on the business side of professional sports.

The Spokane Chiefs defenseman was sent back to the Western Hockey League when age and contracts made it difficult for the Ottawa Senators to keep their 2009 first-round draft pick.

From the Ottawa Citizen, after this story about the move, is this story about the unsung veteran that got the final spot on defense. Here’s the take from the Senators’ website.

Cowen sent down

The Ottawa Senators sent 2009 first-round draft pick Jared Cowen back to the Spokane Chiefs on Saturday afternoon. The Sens’ release is below but it doesn’t say much. Also, the full box from last night’s 6-3 loss at Kootenay.

Cowen, Senators win big

Spokane Chiefs captain Jared Cowen wasn’t mentioned individually but everyone got a pat on the back after Ottawa opened the NHL exhibition season with a 5-0 thrashing of Toronto. There is this Ottawa Citizen blog comment - and by the way, Cowen is wearing No. 2.

Hopefully today there will be some information on the other two Chiefs who have not returned from pro camps, Tyler Johnson (Minnesota) and Blake Gal (Philadelphia). Otherwise, check back for our Central Division capsules later today and our first story on the Chiefs building up to Saturday’s opener at Tri-City.

And an FYI - Spokane is the only team that will not appear on one of the WHL-Shaw TV broadcasts, as broken down on Alan Caldwell’s blog, which, by the way, points out the league’s website, and therefore the teams’ websites, a new look rolled out recently, is woefully lacking at the moment.

Cowen focused at Senators’ camp

It appears Jared Cowen will start the season - well, at least the Western Hockey League season - in the National Hockey League.

The Spokane Chiefs captain, Ottawa’s No. 1 draft pick in 2009, has moved up the ladder in the Senator’s training camp because of an early injury. That information comes from Greg Drinnan’s blog and is posted below. Cowen can play nine regular-season games with the Senators, who play their first preseason game tonight, before he has to stay up as a 19-year old. Cowen is expected to at least be with Ottawa for all eight of the Sens’ preseason games, which go through Oct. 2, which is the date of the Chiefs’ home-opener.

And just like that, the Chiefs are down two defensemen since Brenden Kichton was injured while in Detroit’s camp.

I am currently in the process of putting together the short scouting reports the WHL beat writers have put together. They’ll appear here this week, starting with the Eastern Division today, finishing up with the U.S. Division on Friday when the WHL opens. Check back later today.