What began as a best-of-seven series with the second-seeded Everett Silvertips holding home-ice advantage has developed into a best-of-five series with the Spokane Chiefs seizing the edge. Read story
By cruising to a 6-2 win in Game 2 on Saturday in Everett, the Chiefs put themselves in position to play three of the next four games in the series -- if it goes that long -- at their Arena. For sure, the series will pick up Wednesday and Friday in Spokane and shift back to Everett on Saturday for Game 5. Game 6, if necessary, would be April 7 in Spokane.
Chiefs head coach Don Nachbaur said Wednesday's outcome could prove decisive.
"It's a big game," Nachbaur said. "All of the odd-numbered games are pivotal games. If we can win that game, obviously momentum shifts our direction."
"It's always nice playing at home, always nice being back and sleeping in your own bed," said Chiefs forward Adam Helewka, Saturday's first star with two goals and one assist. "That will give us a big boost, for sure."
The series has started in a surprising fashion with two lopsided games. During the regular season, four of the eight games between Spokane and Everett were decided by one goal. Helewka said the Chiefs never thought about playing it safely after taking a 4-0 lead through 20 minutes.
"We were thinking, 'Keep you foot on the throttle and just attack them and try to get as many as you can.' You don't want to sit back and let them come at you with speed," he said.
The other pattern to develop through two games is the abundance of penalties. Spokane has been assessed 33 infractions for 115 minutes in the series. Everett is right behind at 30 for 101. Spokane is 3 for 13 on power plays while the Silvertips are 3 for 15.
Nachbaur said he isn't concerned by the testy nature of the series.
"We had to come to Everett and win at least one to win the series," he said. "I think we laid down some groundwork last night and we want to just continue to do that."