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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Chiefs reach crucial road stretch

The Spokane Chiefs bid adieu to their home ice at the Arena following Saturday's 5-2 victory over Kamloops. Their next four games will be on the road. Read story

 

There will be no Chiefs games at the Arena until Jan. 24. Until then, Spokane will play road games at Seattle, Everett, Tri-City and Portland -- its four U.S. Division rivals.

Two of the major reasons for Spokane's success this season are its road record (12-7-1-0) and its divisional record (13-6-2-0).

But the Chiefs are banged up, missing forwards Blair Oneschuk, Calder Brooks and Hudson Elynuik to upper-body injuries.

"We had three games in four nights," Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur said. "We have guys hurt who are playing and the fans don't know that. We have a lot of guys out of the lineup. I have wingers playing center, so it's really a mixed lineup right now and we just have to get through this period of time. ... Our whole genetic makeup right now with our three centers out of the lineup, just mixing and matching has been tough."

Nachbaur said he wasn't as worried about the upcoming road games as much as he was about the schedule in general.

"The schedule is tough because we've had no practice time since we've come back from the (holiday) break," he said. "Usually, the days in between games we've had to use as maintenance days, getting our guys rested and healing the injuries."

Chiefs scoring leader Adam Helewka said the players know what's at stake in the next two weeks, with Spokane attempting to remain near the top of the division.

"It's  going to be four really important games," said Helewka, who has scored goals in seven consecutive games. "We're on the road every game, so we're going to have to really battle and get some greasy road wins."

 



Chris Derrick
Chris Derrick joined The Spokesman-Review in 1990. He currently is a copy editor for the Sports Desk.

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