The Spokane Chiefs gave the Everett Silvertips all they had. It just wasn't enough. Everett downed Spokane 4-1 in Game 6 of the teams' opening-round Western Hockey League playoff series on Sunday night at the Arena, winning the best-of-7 series 4-2.
The Spokane Chiefs' mission is clear: Win two games or see their season end. It starts when Spokane hosts Everett tonight at the Arena in Game 6 of the teams' opening-round Western Hockey League playoff series. The Silvertips lead the best-of-7 series 3-2 after an easy win in Game 5 on Friday night at Everett.
EVERETT – Spokane Chiefs coach Bill Peters can always seemingly find something to take away from a loss. But even motivational guru Tony Robbins would have a tough time finding a nugget of wisdom for the Chiefs after Game 5 of the their opening-round Western Hockey League playoff series Friday night at the Everett Events Center.
As the clock ran out on Wednesday night at the Spokane Arena, the Everett Silvertips looked around in a collective stupor, as if to say, "What just happened?" Everett is the top-ranked major junior team in both the Western Hockey League and all of Canada and a prohibitive favorite for a spot in the Memorial Cup. The Silvertips now have their hands full with the Spokane Chiefs in an opening-round playoff series.
EVERETT – Well, it's a series. The Spokane Chiefs fell to the Everett Silvertips 3-2 on Zach Hamill's goal 7 minutes, 6 seconds into overtime on Saturday in the second game of their best-of-7 opening-round series.
EVERETT – There are statistics – looked upon with scorn by Mark Twain – then there are trends, truisms and seemingly undeniable facts. The numbers show the Everett Silvertips are a team that likes to get in front and stay there. Everett lost three times in the 31 regular-season games in which it scored first and was perfect in 35 games in which it led through 40 minutes.
The Spokane Chiefs spoke all season about not fearing the Everett Silvertips, the Western Hockey League's top team, in the opening round of the playoffs. They're not changing their tune. After all, each team won four games in the eight-game regular-season games series – including three of four at home. If that's a fair barometer, Spokane should be competitive in the U.S. Division teams' best-of-7 series which opens with games at Everett tonight and Saturday.
As spring returned this week, hope was in the air of the Spokane Chiefs' offices. Owner Bobby Brett and general manager Tim Speltz are feeling a rebirth of the franchise that spent most of its recent history in the cellar of the U.S. Division. But they're clear the journey isn't over. "You're never all the way where you want to be, unless you're winning the Memorial Cup every year and I don't know many people that have done that," said Brett. "Right now, I'm pretty encouraged. We've had a good turnaround year and we play in a very, very difficult division."
It doesn't get much sweeter for the Pacific-10 Conference. The league's basketball reputation seems to ebb and flow in the national media: anywhere from not so great, to competitive, but rarely top-shelf.
Southern California men's basketball Tim Floyd is a heckuva carpenter. He's taken on some of the most daunting rebuilding jobs in basketball and, for the most part, succeeded. He's either rebuilt them from the ground up or given them a room with a view they'd never seen before.
St. Patrick's Day isn't the type of joyous occasion for the USC basketball team as it is for some. That's because March 17 is also the birthday of Ryan Francis. Francis, the Trojans' point guard last season, was gunned down in May of last year while at home in New Orleans for Mother's Day.
When the New Mexico State Aggies tangled with superstar Kevin Durant and the Texas Longhorns Friday night, a former Pullman High standout of four years ago was in the spotlight. Fred Peete, who played his senior year at Pullman after relocating there from Memphis, Tenn., made a return to the area with the opening-round game.
For a couple of reasons, it would stand to reason that Oregon and Notre Dame will be the local fan favorites for the NCAA subregionals that begin today at the Arena. The Ducks would be a natural, given their geographic proximity to Spokane, while the Irish and the city have a long-term connection based on sports and religion.
The Spokane Arena may be hosting some big-name programs, but one of the eight teams is a well-known NCAA Cinderella contender: Winthrop. Coach Gregg Marshall has been at the school nine seasons and this is his team's seventh NCAA invitation. The Eagles' No. 11 seeding is their highest, topping their previous best of No. 14.
The Spokane Chiefs showed they have some spunk left as the playoffs approach. Rookie center Mitch Wahl led the way, pleasing the fans with his scoring, then delighting his teammates with his "fighting."
It will be a different kind of celebration when the Spokane Chiefs honor their 20-year-olds Saturday night. The evening has been a farewell the past two seasons, representing those players' final time on Arena ice as Spokane missed the Western Hockey League playoffs.
If the playoffs started today, the Spokane Chiefs would draw the first-place Everett Silvertips in the opening-round U.S. Division matchup. Spokane has played without fear against the Canadian Hockey League's top-ranked team all season and entered Tuesday night's Western Hockey League game with a 4-3 season series advantage despite standing fourth in the five-team division.
The run-through for the Western Hockey League playoffs is under way for the Spokane Chiefs. That's why coach Bill Peters is looking for his team to play "smart hockey," given that other teams have elevated their play over the Western Hockey League season.
The Spokane Chiefs needed a practice game as they try to heal and prepare for the Western Hockey League playoffs. Luckily, the reeling Portland Winter Hawks were on the schedule and fit the bill as Spokane posted a 3-0 win Saturday night at the Arena before an announced crowd of 9,043.
The Spokane Chiefs can't focus on what they don't have: Yes, they are down to 18 players. What they do have are three Western Hockey League home games this week that could net them up to six points in the U.S. Division standings.