Despite a five-week stretch, mostly in January, in which they lost 11 of 14 games, the Spokane Chiefs have reached the 62-game mark of their Western Hockey League schedule with as many wins (31) as regulation, overtime and shootout losses (31). Read story
A four-game winning streak has allowed the Chiefs to reach the break-even point (as many wins as combined regulation, overtime and shootout losses) for the first time since Jan. 24.
"We've come a long way in the last two weeks," Chiefs head coach Don Nachbaur said. ... "We're starting to build some confidence, but we earned the right to build confidence because we're doing a lot of good things right now. We're really committed to what we're doing. Sometimes you catch breaks when you play like that and we're catching some breaks."
"We got down a bit (in January), but we always believed," said Chiefs left wing Adam Helewka, Tuesday's No. 1 star with three goals and one assist. "We stuck with it and came together as a team the past couple of weeks here."
Getting players back from injury, especially center Calder Brooks, has helped the cause. Brooks, who had three goals in his previous three games, broke through with one goal and three assists against Vancouver. Brooks plays on the line with Helewka and Kailer Yamamoto (one goal, two assists).
"(Brooks) has been terrific, but I like the fact that all four lines are playing well," Nachbaur said.
Chiefs No. 1 goalie Garret Hughson has allowed two goals combined in the last four games. The Chiefs' penalty kill has been a combined 17 for 18 during that stretch.
"He's just being big and square," Nachbaur said of Hughson. "Being aggressive and challenging is the key, and I think there were times that our goaltenders were playing a little too deep and a little bit nervous. Confidence is a big part of it."