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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.
The Western Hockey League Western Conference finals became a best of three, spread over four days, after the Spokane Chiefs hammered the Portland Winterhawks 8-3 Friday game to tie the best of 7 series 2-2.
Colin Mulvany also prouduced this slideshow, including the Chiefs celebrating their goal 10 seconds into the game.
Levko Koper scored a hat trick and Tyler Johnson and Collin Valcourt each had a goal and two assists.
Game 5 is tonight in Porltand with Game 6 in Spokane on Monday.
3 stars: 3, Darren Kramer. 2, Collin Valcourt. 1, Levko Koper.
Long box below.
The Spokane Chiefs won for the first time this season at Tri-City on Saturday. Their reward, another game at the Toyota Center on Monday. With two goals and an assist, Tyler Johnson is a point out of the Western Hockey League scoring lead and a hattrick of points from a century. That makes the three games that follow at home more interesting, the third coming Saturday night against the Americans. Levko Koper and Brenden Kichton also remain hot. Goalie James Reid should be about ready to play.
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.
After giving up an easy early goal, the Chiefs took command with a pair of power play goals and then Tyler Johnson finished with off with a pair of late goals as Spokane dumped Tri-City 7-2 before a sold-out crowd of 10,475 at the Arena Saturday night.
Three stars, 3, Johnson, 2, goalie Mac Engel, 1, Koper.
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.
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).