Ending a seven-game losing streak won't mean as much to the Spokane Chiefs if they slip back to their recent ways. Read story
The Spokane Chiefs entered the final one-third of their Western Hockey League regular-season schedule on Saturday. Chiefs head coach Don Nachbaur wants the team to learn from Saturday's game -- and the lessons imparted during the just-erased, seven-game losing streak.
"To me, our identity is totally lost in the process of losing," Nachbaur said. "We forget the style of play that we need to have to be successful. We had individuals who got out on their own program and, at the end of the day, that's why we were losing, because we weren't on the same page."
"It's frustrating when not only are you losing, but you're just not scoring," said Chiefs captain Jason Fram, who had one goal, one assist and the shootout winner on Saturday. "Things aren't going your way or you're just not getting the results that you want. But I thought we really stuck with it tonight, and this was the kind of thing we needed to get back on a roll."
Losing streaks also gnaw on coaches, of course, but Nachbaur said he was most relieved for the players.
"But I still know that the win's one thing," Nachbaur said. "It's how you win, and we have a lot we have to get better at, there's no question about that. We can't think just because we won one game that we snapped out of it. There's a lot that happened in that game that we have to improve."
The Chiefs handed Medicine Hat its first goal, as Jacob Cardiff received a 5-minute major for checking to the head and a 10-minute misconduct. Spokane killed off more than 3 minutes of the 5-minute power play before Ty Stanton scored to tie the game at a with 7:54 left in the second period.
"We played 10 forwards all night with Cardiff going down and we had some tough situations early in the game," Nachbaur said.
Spokane had won two of its previous three shootout situations. Fram had a strategy when he started the fourth round, attempting to put the Chiefs ahead 2-1 in the shootout.
"I came down and I saw (Tigers goalie Marek Langhamer) that he came out a bit, so I knew I had to try and drop him a fake and I went post," Fram said. "There was a little bit of luck on my side, but sometimes that's just what you need."