Latest from The Spokesman-Review
SR photojournalist Jesse Tinsley covered the Chiefs' game against Kelowna. Check out this big picture gallery of his photos.
S-R photojournalist Jesse Tinsley covered the Chiefs' win over Everett at the Spokane Arena. Check out a big picture gallery of his photos.
S-R photojournalist Jesse Tinsley covered the Chiefs' game against the Seattle Thunderbirds. Check out a big picture gallery of his photos.
The WHL came down hard on the Portland Winterhawks today for violations of league policy regarding player benefits. Read the story here.
This post is few days late and about 100 dollars short (anyone else ever have that feeling once in awhile?). I suppose I could blame it on the fact that I spent my first week back at The Spokesman-Review chiseling off the rust. I've been away from the sportswriting game for almost three years. That's a long time to be away from something you love, but really I'm just thrilled to have the opportunity to be back. I won't make any cliche innuendos about riding the bench, etc. The first week is over - and I'm as ready as ever.
Keep reading for information about the Spokane Chiefs' 5-3 win over the Everett Silvertips last night and a little stroll down Memorial Cup memory lane.
It didn’t take long to get the message.
Despite being in the middle of a stretch of four games in five nights – four of which are on the road – the Spokane Chiefs looked anything but tired on Friday night when they played their first game at the Arena since mid-December.
Corbin Baldwin and Mitch Holmberg each had a goal and an assist and the Chiefs kept their perfect record against teams from the East Division intact with a 5-2 Western Hockey League victory over the East Division-leading Moose Jaw Warriors.
Looking to strengthen their goal tending and to shake up the roster, the Spokane Chiefs made a big move Wednesday morning, trading leading scorer Anthony Bardaro to Prince. To pick up goalie Eric Williams and forward Todd Fiddler (above in October matchup, going against now injured Spokane defenseman Tanner Mort), the Chiefs also sent backup goalie Luke Lee-Knight back to the Raiders, along with the fifth-round Bantam Draft pick they got when they traded Tyler Vanscourt to Prince Albert for Lee-Knight in September.
With 15 wins and 16 losses, including some not so pretty ones recently, there could be a lot of changes in store when the Spokane Chiefs come back from Christmas break. They hit the break with a 6-2 loss in Everett and Saturday an 8-6 loss at home to Portland.
3 stars: 3, Jarid Haputman, Spokane (2g, a). 2, Ty Rattie, Portland (g, 2a). 1,Chase De Leo, Portland (2g).
Long box below.
The Spokane Chiefs didn’t exactly erase all the bad taste from a pair of bad home losses but they took a step in the right direction.
Playing the lowly Everett Silvertips (5-21-1-5, 16 points), the Chiefs (15-9-3-2, 35) got a nifty goal from Steven Kuhn with 46 seconds in overtime to pull out a 3-2 win Wednesday night.
3 stars: 1, Kuhn. 2, Simpson. 3, Uher.
Long box below.
Bet you didn't know former Spokane Chiefs defenseman Jared Spurgeon is the leading scorer among blue-liners for the Minnesota Wild.
On the home front, Brenden Kichton is returned from the Team Canada camp but Dominik Uher will be headed to join the Czech Republic for the World Junior tournament. Also, Corbin Baldwin has lost the mullet.
Unconfirmed but the hot rumor around Spokane Chiefs hockey is that Tanner Mort, who has been scratched from the last five games, including tonight, has requested a trade. Other scratches are Tyler King and Carter Proft.
It was a night for charity and the Spokane Chiefs were most obliging. After producing a record number of stuff toys on Teddy Bear toss night, the Chiefs coughed up a 3-0 lead to the Prince George Cougars and lost 4-3 in a shootout.
stars: 3, Bourke, PG; 2, Fram, Spo; 1, Carlson, PG.
Long box below.
Four players from last year's Spokane Chiefs roster were moved before this season. Now a third one is headed to his second team as Prince Albert trades D Tyler Vanscourt for two draft pick. Read on, we'll see if we can piece this all together.
Rookie defenseman Linden Springer’s first goal of the season early in the third period lift the Prince George Cougars to a 5-4 win over the Spokane Chiefs on Saturday night.
Now the Chiefs head out for a six-game road trip, five against the Central Division, and they're 0-7 on the road.
Stars: 3, Blake Gal. 2, Jesse Forsberg (PG). 1, Charles Inglis (PG).
Long box below.
Anthony Bardaro’s goal with less than eight minutes to play kept the Spokane Chiefs perfect against the Western Hockey League’s East Division.
Stars: 3, Kichton (g, a) 2, Lowry, SC (g,a). 1, Uher (g, 2a).
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Mac Engel made seven saves in a shootout and Mike Aviani, the ninth shooter, scored the final goal as the Spokane Chiefs pulled out a 6-5 win over the Regina Pats in a wild Western Hockey League game Saturday night.
The Chiefs had a one-goal lead three times but need a goal by Steven Kuhn with a minute left to get into overtime, where Engel saved the day with a spectacular save, forcing the shootout.
stars: 3, Engel. 2, Kuhn. 1, Weal, Reg, g, 3A.
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Tim Bozan’s goal a minute into the third period was the difference as the Kamloops Blazers ground out a 2-1 victory over the Spokane Chiefs in a Western Hockey League game Friday night.
The Blazers (14-6-0-0, 28 points) clamped down on the Chiefs (9-5-1-2, 21) after the home team scored less than 5 minutes into the game.
Stars: 3, Valcourt; 2, Cheveldave; 1, Bozon
Long box below
Didn't get a chance to use my own computer last night to get this story earlier, but here's a story on the Spokane Chiefs Jarid Hauptman to get you in the mood for the game at the Arena tonight.
So Spokane Chiefs fans, would you like to work up a little outrage at the Western Hockey League?
Everett's Lucas Grayson, who received a 5-minute boarding major with 4 minutes left in the Spokane Chiefs' 8-1 pounding of the Silvertips, was given a four-game suspension today. (Took long enough, don't you think.)
Grayson road Dominik Uher into the boards as Uher was scoring the seventh goal. Uher was hurt, no question, and the way he was helped off the ice it appeared he had the famed lower body injury, no weight on his right leg. Turned out he has a famed upper body injury. He may have been out cold. Of course, we can't pin point that, that might mean a concussion and some neanderthal may try to hit him in the head when he comes back. Uher is listed as out for 2 weeks.
Does the crime fit the punishment?
Tell me. In the season opener at Tri-City, Uher gets a major and game misconduct for putting a guy into the wall. The American player barely misses a shift and Uher gets a three game suspension. When the Chiefs went back to Tri-City about 10 days ago, Blake Gal sent an American into the wall, and it looked rather innocent. That player didn't miss a shift, Gal got three games.
BTW, Friday's game in Portland, Gal's last game in street clothes, will be on KJRB, 790AM radio, instead of its usual spot.
The Spokane Chiefs were in control from the beginning but didn't put the game away until they got a break, which opened the door to an 8-1 win over the Everett Silvertips.
The break, a miscue by the Silvertips' goalie, gave the Chiefs a 3-1 lead entering the third period, when they scored five goals.
Three young players scored their first goals for Spokane.
Stars, 3, Jarid Hauptman (first career goal); 2, Marek Kalus (set up Hauptman); 1, Mike Aviani (2 goals, assist, centering this young line).
Long box below.
For your hockey reading please a couple of stories about former Spokane Chiefs.
The WHL has an alumni spotlight on Minnesota defenseman Jared Spurgeon.
TheCarolina Hurricanes talk to Drayson Bowman after the winger is called up from the minors.
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.
Another quick hockey update.
The Spokane Chiefs dropped a 3-1 decision at Tri-City on Saturday. The Tri-City Herald had this report. They have a week to prepare to face the Americans at the Arena on Saturday. The loss ended their seven-game winning streak but they'll take an eight-game home winning streak into the rematch. Unfortunately I'll miss that game because I'll be covering state cross country in Pasco (too bad the games weren't reversed, then I would be down there.)
The Chiefs could be without Blake Gal, who could be facing a suspension after getting a boarding major and game misconduct late in the first period after he scored the tying goal. On television it looked like the hit wasn't as bad as it appeared and the TC player made a mistake the way he went into the corner. A game misconduct should be enough of a penalty but the league isn't working that way these days. As they attempt to clean up danagerous hits, they put all the responsiblity on the offending player and none in trying to educate players that taking a hit and protecting yourself is part of the deal.
Tanner MacMaster, the Chiefs first-round pick in the Bantam Draft, scored the first goal and added two assists as Alberta cruised to the gold medal in the Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup. MacMaster finished the tournament with 2 goals and 5 assists to tie for second in scoring.
A couple of hockey items I missed because I spent the previous two days taking a class.
* Spokane Chiefs defenseman Brenden Kichton was named to the WHL team for one game of the Subway Serires with Russia next month.
* Liam Stewart made the WHL Plays of the Week for his first career goal.
* Kenton Miller was traded again. That makes it two trades each for the two 20-year olds the Chiefs couldn't keep this season (the other is Matt Marantz). Going from Calgary to Moose Jaw is a step up in the standings for Miller, though not nearly as big as Marantz getting out of Lethbridge.
* Chiefs' prospect MacMaster has a pair of assists in Canada's U16 propsect tournament.
*There was a story of the Chiefs' doing charity work.
The streaking Chiefs are in Tri-City on Saturday night, riding a seven-game winning streak. However, all those games were at the Arena, the Chiefs have yet to win on the road. They return home a week from Saturday with an eight-game home winning streak.
The Spokane Chiefs scored early and often, rolling to a 6-1 win over the Victoria Royals in a Western Hockey League game Wednesday night, completing a perfect seven game homestand.
However, it was the first time since that first game the Chiefs scored first and didn’t have to come from behind in the second period or later, including three-straight third-period wins.
This time Mitch Holmberg, with his fourth goal, and Marek Kalus, his third, scored 34 seconds apart before the game was four minutes old. Later in the period Dominik Uher got his fifth and Connor Chartier his first 40 seconds apart to close out the first period to make it 4-1.
That all but assured the Chiefs of an 8-0 start at home this season, the second-best such streak in team history. Spokane started 10-0 at home a decade ago.
3 stars: 3, Brenden Kichton (2 assists). 2, Mike Aviani (2 assists). 1, Marek Kalus (2 goals)
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Spokane fell behind for the fifth straight game but this time it didn’t take a last minute rally for the Chiefs to run their winning streak to six. The Chiefs, after allowing Everett the first two goals, stormed back to defeat the Silvertips 3-2, for the seventh-straight home win to start the Western Hockey League season. Ten years ago Spokane won its first 10 games. For the second-straight game and third time in the last five, Dominik Uher scored the game winner. Steven Kuhn and rookie Liam Stewart also scored for the Chiefs.
Stars: 3, Lotz, 2, Stewart, 1, Kuhn
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For the third straight game the Spokane Chiefs entered the third period trailing and came up with a win. Friday night they scored three goals in the third period - the second straight game they've done that - to defeat the Saskatoon Blades 5-3.
Consider it a Czech-mate, with Czech Republic imports Marek Kalus and Dominik Uher providing the tying and winning goals.
Stars: 3, Connor Cox, Sas, 3 assists; 2, Mike Aviani, 2 assists; 1, Kalus.
Long box below.
About ready to drop the puck at the Arena with the Saskatoon Blades, one of the strongest teams in the Eastern Division, taking on the Spokane Chiefs.
The scratches are Hambling, King, Wedman and Nelson for the Chiefs. Mac Engel is in goal.
Jared Spurgeon's hometown newspaper, The Edmonton Sun, visits with the former Spokane Chief, who went from free agent to the National Hockey League in less than a season.
Former Chiefs prospect Josh McEwan is now involved in fighting poverty in Cambodia. Here's what he wrote on his Facebook page: Getting down to crunch time, a couple days until we leave!! But for anyone that doesn't know… I will be biking 144km across Cambodia to break the cycle of poverty for Cambodian children. I will be voluntarily suffering both physically and emotionally for the ones who are suffering involuntarily. If you feel compassion towards this situation please do your part and take action by donating to the children. Something as little as $5 can buy a box of screws for the safe homes and a donation as much as $1000 will save a child's life. On behalf of the hundreds of deserving children, THANKS!!… Just click the link below for more info… http://teammcewan.com/break-th
Found a story about the Norfolk Admirals linemate of former Chief Tyler Johnson, who is succeeding despite diabetes.
A visit with Liam Stewart (son of Rod) and his mother Rachel Hunter reveals nothing more than a passionate hockey player and a dedicated hockey mom. First impression:, good kid with a chance to make an impact during his career with the Spokane Chiefs and a supportive mom with a lovely accent. No. 11 for the Chiefs is bound and determined to make his own name.
Sunday was a busy day in the Western Hockey League, off the ice.
There were a number of trades, none involving the Spokane Chiefs, though there were rumors over the weekend they were in the hunt for the Lethbridge goalie that went to Brandon.
It's not like the Chiefs shouldn't consider a move, but they're 5-2-0-1. One problem is all five wins are at home, along with the next three games. Winning might had the need to make a move, especially when teams are comfortable at home. However, the Chiefs have shown a disturbing inability to play well early in games. That said, they don't quit battling either. So it's a tough decision for general manager Tim Speltz, but neal or no deal, he's listening to offers.
The Spokane Chiefs had a pretty impressive hat trick this week – coming from behind to win three Western Hockey League games.
This time they broke through with three third-period goals against Everett to pull out a 3-1 win.
Stars: 3, Everett goalie Kent Simpson with 35 saves. 2, Anthony Bardaro with assists on first two Spokane goals, 1, Captain Darren Kramer, with tying goal, winning assist and Gordie Howe hattrick.
Long box below.