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Victoria Royals beat Spokane Chiefs 5-3

S-R photojournalist Jesse Tinsley covered the Chiefs' game against the Royals.  Check out a big picture gallery of his photos.

Americans trip up Chiefs in overtime

Heading into Friday night's game at Kennewick, the Spokane Chiefs hadn't played an overtime game this year. They also hadn't lost to the Tri-City Americans. They also were 11-0 when leading after two periods. All of that changed, but the Chiefs will get another shot at Tri-City on Saturday night at the Arena. Read story

Chiefs’ Holmberg picked for Team WHL

On the heels of a 4-2 loss to the Prince George Cougars on Wednesday night, the Spokane Chiefs and leading scorer Mitch Holmberg got a bit of good news on Thursday when the Western Hockey League announced the roster for Team WHL in the SUBWAY Super Series against the Russian all-stars. Here are some notes that are running in tomorrow's paper.

Spokane plays at Everett on Friday and in Kennewick against the Tri-City Americans on Saturday. If you're jonesing for some hockey as the NHL lockout lingers, don't worry. The Chiefs are back after their pair of road games for six home games. You'll get your fix soon!

Chiefs in Prince George for pair of games against Cougars

I saw a couple tweets from Spokane Chiefs players yesterday afternoon as they were rolling into Prince George, British Columbia, after an 18-hour bus ride that covered nearly 700 miles. I got to thinking - I've never been to Prince George. I wish part of my job was traveling to cover the road games - no matter what the distance. But with papers the way they are now, here's the response I would get if I were to suggest such a thing: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Pause for effect. Followed by more laughter. A beat writer can dream.

I have been to some away games to watch Spokane (during the 2007-08 season I visited Lethbridge (twice), Calgary, Medicine Hat, Everett, Vancouver, Tri-City, and of course Kitchener, Ontario). But Prince George - I've never been there. Good thing there are google angels watching over me. There's more below.

Nachbaur picks up another part time gig

Spokane Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur is a wanted man these days. He's already on board to assist Canada's World Junior team this winter, and on Monday, the Canadian Hockey League announced that Nachbaur will be the head coach for Team WHL in the annual six-game Super Series. 

Also, if you're following progress of the NHL Lockout, your head may be spinning from all the perspectives out there. If you're interested, here's a player's view on the whole thing. Hint: he's a former Spokane Chief.

Stay tuned: we've got some surprises here on the blog for you throughout the week.

Chiefs set to wrap up home-and-home with Seattle Thunderbirds

We're a little over two hours away from the puck dropping at the Arena as the Spokane Chiefs host the Seattle Thunderbirds in Western Hockey League play. Here's the notebook we ran this morning. Check this post later for links to the game story and stats from the game - which is the second part of a home-and-home series that began with a 6-4 Spokane loss on Tuesday in Kent, Wash.

I've heard that rookie goalie Garret Hughson will get his first start of the season for Spokane, and if that's the case I'm looking forward to seeing how he does in his first WHL game. 

Check back with us throughout the night. I'll have updates from the game on Twitter (@jbrown_srsports). Until then…

Chiefs ready for familiar foes, faces this weekend

As the headline to the notebook I wrote for Friday's paper suggests - puck protection is paramount for the Spokane Chiefs as they head into a six-day stretch (and always, I suppose) in which they'll play four games (two at home, two on the road). That starts Friday night at the Arena, where they'll have a chance to work on some things that Tuesday's loss to Seattle revealed. Here's the link.

Chiefs drop road leg of home-and-home series with Seattle Thunderbirds

The Spokane Chiefs opened their home-and-home series with a road loss to the Seattle Thunderbirds on Tuesday night. The game was only the third time Spokane has gone against an opponent within the U.S. Division, and just the third loss of the season for the Chiefs (6-3-0-0). And speaking of the U.S. Division, things are evening out. Tri-City (7-3-0-1) and Portland (7-3-1-0) are tied with 15 points atop the division and with two games in hand on both teams, Spokane is in third with 12 points.

In case you missed all the NHL news yesterday, we've got you covered here and here.

The Chiefs are back in action Friday night when they host Seattle at the Arena.

Holmberg, Williams keep Chiefs’ streak intact

KELOWNA, British Columbia – Both of last year’s Spokane Chiefs’ playoff stars have picked up right where they left off in the spring, and they aren’t letting up. The Spokane Chiefs started their two-game road trip by earning their fifth win of the season and third straight on Wednesday night, and you’ll never guess who scored a bunch of goals and who blocked a bunch of shots.

All that and more below.

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 set busy off-ice week aside, win pair over the weekend

It was a busy weekend for the Spokane Chiefs, as they announced two big roster moves and hosted the Victoria Royals at the Arena in front of a little over 4,500 fans on Friday and the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Saturday. 

Chiefs beat Victoria on busy day in Spokane

It was a busy Friday for the Spokane Chiefs, as they announced two big roster moves and hosted the Victoria Royals at the Arena in front of a little over 4,500 fans. Earlier in the day, the Chiefs dealt overage defenseman Davis Vandane to the Prince Albert Raiders for a conditional draft pick in the 2013 WHL Bantam draft, and then about 30 minutes before the game Spokane made the swift announcement that goalie Mac Engel has been sent home while he awaits a trade. Makes you wonder if there were some off-ice issues that sped the process up, because when rumors that the veteran netminder had been traded began to swirl on Facebook and Twitter on Thursday, Chiefs general manager Tim Speltz flat denied the move. The moves leave the Chiefs with their three overage players (D Brenden Kichton, forwards Blake Gal and Dylan Walchuk) and two goalies (Eric Williams and rookie Garret Hughson).

Despite all of the potential distractions, the Chiefs slipped by Victoria 5-3 thanks to fantastic play from their special teams and Williams. Here's the game story I filed. Spokane hosts Lethbridge on Saturday night (7 p.m.). Detroit Red Wings coach (and ex-Chiefs coach) Mike Babcock will be at the game to drop the ceremonial first puck. He obviously has some free time with the NHL lockout happening. I'll be sitting down with him and working on a story for early next week. Stay tuned, and keep up on everything here.

And share your thoughts. Do you like Spokane's roster moves? Like what you're seeing on the ice so far?

Mike Babcock returns to Spokane, and some other Chiefs notes

Lots happening at the Arena these days. First of all, the Spokane Chiefs are looking like a team that could do some damage in the Western Conference this season. They're 2-1, with two wins over Tri-City and a one-goal loss to Vancouver, and they've got a pair of games this weekend, beginning tonight at 7 p.m. when they host Victoria.

See below for news and notes.

Puck drops on a new season for Chiefs tonight

The Spokane Chiefs are about an hour from dropping the puck in their Western Hockey League regular season opener at Tri-City, and below we've got all kinds of pregame material for you to read before you watch the game on SWX at 7:05 - including a lot of extra material from my sit down with coach Don Nachbaur yesterday 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.

Chiefs drop preseason opener in Everett

Even though preseason games can be taken with a grain of salt, the Spokane Chiefs didn’t quite dazzle in their debut. Read on for more.

Notes from first day of Chiefs camp

After three scrimmages between a total of 63 players on fresh Arena ice, the first day of training camp is in the books for the Spokane Chiefs.

There are 17 veterans playing (and two others who are healing from minor injuries - more on that later), and two first-timers: Evan Fiala (first-round pick in 2012) and Mikulas Rimmel, the Chiefs' pick in this summer's CHL import draft. Rimmel replaces Dominik Uher, who has moved on to the American Hockey League.

Here's the story I filed for tomorrow's paper. We'll be at camp each day, with another story coming on Sunday. I'll have more notes here tomorrow night.

Chiefs need to regroup in Game 6

The Spokane Chiefs are hoping Monday isn’t that dreaded night that their Western Hockey League season comes to an abrupt end, and they know what they need to do to prevent that from happening.

Chiefs look to pull even in playoff series with Americans

After a loss in Game 3, the Spokane Chiefs need a win on Friday night at home to pull even with the Tri-City Americans in their best-of-7 Western Conference semifinal series in Western Hockey League playoff action. 

Here's our game advance that is running in Friday's paper. Also, Mayor David Condon and Council President Ben Stuckart have dubbed Friday “Spokane Chiefs Hockey Day.” You can read the full release here.

Chiefs look to wrap up first-round WHL playoff series on Sunday

The Spokane Chiefs gone from having their backs against the wall, to charging forward and picking up momentum along the way - and now they're one win away from wrapping up their first-round Westen Hockey Leeague playoff series with Vancouver. We've got links and more information below.

Chiefs at Seattle as season winds down

The Spokane Chiefs have just four regular-season games remaining and will hit the road to take on the Seattle Thunderbirds on Tuesday night. They'll play all four games in five nights this week, and though they're locked into a first-round matchup with the Vancouver Giants, home-ice advantage is still up for grabs.

The Chiefs are coming off a win over Kootenay on Saturday - but prior to that lost to Tri-City and fell to Kelowna in a shootout.

In case you missed it last week, here's our feature on ironman Steve Kuhn - who is on the verge of setting an unprecedented streak for Spokane. 

Also: Defenseman Davis Vandane will miss the next two games after the league suspended him for his accumulation of kneeing penalties.

Chiefs will face Giants in first round of WHL playoffs

It’s official – the Spokane Chiefs will take on the Vancouver Giants in the opening round of the Western Hockey League playoffs.

There's more reading material below, and above is a throwback photo of Ondrej Roman jumping onto David Rutherford in the 2008 second-round playoff series between Spokane and Vancouver. At left is Jared Cowen and at right is Mike Reddington. Spokane won the series in six games and went on to win the Western Hockey League and Memorial Cup championship.

Chiefs beat Victoria, end two-game slide

After back-to-back losses to Portland and Tri-City, the Spokane Chiefs scored a 4-2 victory on the road over the Victoria Royals on Tuesday night. Details from the game are below.

Also, in case you missed it, here's a feature on Chiefs import forward Dominik Uher - who came a long way to play hockey in America.

Chiefs get first shutout of season

SEATTLE - Spokane Chiefs goalie Mac Engel stopped 18 shots and the Chiefs ended a season-high four-game losing streak with their first shutout victory of the season – a 3-0 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds in Western Hockey League action Sunday.

Dominik Uher, Collin Valcourt and Liam Stewart all scored for the Chiefs (32-30-4-3, 71 points), who are fifth in the Western Conference standings behind Vancouver (35-22-1-3, 74 points). Stewart's line has been on a tear. The goal was the rookie's fourth in five games.

The Chiefs are Portland on Friday and return home to host Tri-City on Saturday. The Chiefs need to win the next three games against the Americans to go .500 against their U.S. Division rivals this season.

Chiefs’ skid reaches four

After losing 3-2 on Saturday night to the U.S. Division-rival Americans in Tri-City, the Spokane Chiefs have now lost four-straight games - their longest losing streak of the season.

Not ideal timing with the Western Hockey League regular season winding down.

The Chiefs had a chance to lock up a playoff spot tonight. All they needed to do was score a point against the Ams. If that didn't happen, Everett had to lose to Vancouver AND Prince George and Victoria couldn't go into overtime. Well, the Chiefs didn't earn a point, and Everett beat Vancouver in a shootout - so while they are getting close, the Chiefs don't yet have a spot in the playoffs.

The season-high four-game skid began with a home game against Tri-City, and continued with a disappointing missed opportunity against the Vancouver Giants on Thursday. On Friday night, the Chiefs fell at Kootenay.

Giants beat Chiefs 2-1

If this was a preview of what’s to come, expect a first-round playoff series that could easily go the distance. The Spokane Chiefs, of course, will be looking for a different result than they got on Wednesday night if that’s the case.

Jackson Houck scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period and Vancouver goalie Adam Morrison made 32 saves as the Giants picked up a 2-1 Western Hockey League victory over the Chiefs in front of 4,011 fans at the Arena.

The win gave Vancouver (34-21-1-2, 71 points) sole possession of fourth place in the Western Conference standings, though Spokane (31-18-4-3, 69 points) still has two games in hand.

Chiefs grind out win over Seattle

Here's a touch of irony for you. The Spokane Chiefs beat the Seattle Thunderbirds 7-3 on Monday night, and as you'll see in the game story, it wasn't the prettiest game. But the ugliest play of the night, well, that belongs to me. At the bottom of the article, you may or may not notice an error. I'm just going to call it out here, because I noticed and it bothers me. Anyway, in the Ice Chips, Dominik Uher's four goals came in a 5-3 win at Seattle, not Kamloops. Uher had the lone goal in a 4-1 loss to Kamloops. What a rookie mistake. I'm ashamed.

Also, if you didn't get a chance today, you can read my feature on Mac Engel and … Mac Engel right here. You'll see what I mean.

Chiefs pull out shootout win over Royals

Spokane Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur wasn't too thrilled with his team's performance level on Friday night, but his team did pick up two points in the standings with a 6-5 shootout victory over the Victoria Royals to remain ahead of Vancouver for fourth in the Western Conference standings.

When I asked Cole Wedman, who scored his first Western Hockey League goal in the game, what it's going to take for the Chiefs to beat the lower-end teams the same way they've been beating the high-end teams, he pointed out that the team - as a whole - needs to “manage the puck better and put the same effort in against those teams as (they) do against teams like Tri-City and Portland.”

Chiefs defenseman Corbin Baldwin receives suspension

Spokane Chiefs defenseman Corbin Baldwin received a two-game suspension by the Western Hockey League after a major checking to the head penalty and a game misconduct in Wednesday night's 4-1 loss at Kamloops.

Baldwin, one of three 20-year-olds on the team, will miss the Chiefs' games this weekend when they host Victoria today and travel to Kootenay on Saturday.

The ailing Chiefs are already playing with limited reserves, as Tanner Mort (upper body, two weeks), Cole Wedman (upper body, one week) and Reid Gow (right hand, one month) are all sidelined with injuries.

Chiefs go to battle in OT win over Ice

The Spokane Chiefs picked up another two points in the standings on Saturday night after grinding out a 5-4 overtime victory over the visiting Kootenay Ice. My unedited story from the game is below. I'll follow up with some extras from the game tomorrow, so check back.