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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Chiefs lose, but so does Tri-City

 (The Spokesman-Review)
(The Spokesman-Review)

Sometimes you can tell it’s just not going to be your night. For the Spokane Chiefs, that appeared to be the case from the outset of Wednesday night’s Western Hockey League game at the Arena.

Spokane, fighting for its playoff life, came out with a full effort from the drop of the puck, but found itself down early. Once they fell behind, the Chiefs lost their heart

The Chiefs fell to the Silvertips, 6-2, before 4,136 but were fortunate to not lose ground in the chase for the fourth and final spot in the playoffs out of the U.S. Division.

That’s because Tri-City fell to Seattle, 5-1, and still maintain a two-point lead in the standings (58-56), with one less game remaining for the Americans than for Spokane.

Against third-place division rival Everett, the Chiefs fell behind 3-1 after one period and gave up a spirit-breaking fourth goal to the Silvertips just 32 seconds into the second. The majority of the Chiefs would skate the rest of the game out in business-like fashion and managed just 11 shots through two periods against Everett while giving up 21. The Chiefs would get an occasional flurry against Everett goaltender Mike Wall, but he denied them all.

“They score a minute and 12 seconds in … soon after just breakdowns and guys not on the same page,” said coach Al Conroy. “A disappointing effort all-around, but we really don’t deserve to be disappointed because the effort just wasn’t there.”

Everett got on the board 1 minute, 12 seconds into the game when Karel Hromas beat Spokane goalie Jim Watt on a rebound on Everett’s first shot of the game.

Derek Ryan would give the Chiefs a chance to stay in the game, though, as he replied with his 13th goal of the season on a pretty breakaway at the 2:43 mark. He would outskate three defenders to the puck and to the net as he went in on Wall, faking left, crossing over, then putting it in from the forehand side.

At that point, the momentum had swung Spokane’s way and they kept up pressure on Everett for the next several minutes but without any results on the scoreboard.

Then, with the Chiefs short-handed on a questionable call by referee Andrew Guest, Everett got a power-play goal with 12 seconds remaining on a Myles Stoesz penalty. Zach Sim put a shot in on from above the right circle that grazed off Watt’s pad and into the net at the 8:08 mark.

Spokane’s bad omen would come on Everett’s third goal, when a puck went off its defenseman and into the net with a minute remaining in the first period. Brady Calla got the goal for launching the shot.

Everett clearly came out intent in the second to bury Spokane and did so with its fourth goal on just 10 shots only 32 seconds into the second period. As Spokane’s defense watched, the Silvertips worked the puck around and Curtis Billsten received a pass from behind the net and put it in from the left post while left unattended.

Everett would make it 5-1 at the 2:42 mark of the third when Brady Calla beat Watt from the right side. Watt was pulled in favor of Kevin Opsahl. Torrie Wheat would make it 6-1 at the 13:19 mark of the third.

Rookie Chris Bruton got Spokane’s second goal, and his 10th of the season, with 2 minutes remaining in the game.

Silvertips 6, Chiefs 2


First period–1, Evt, Hromas 14 (Wheat, Leavitt) 1:12; 2, Spo, Ryan 13 (Gladue, Watt) 2:43; 3, Evt, Sim 2 (Hamill, Loe) 8:08 (pp); 4, Evt, King 2 (Leavitt, Baranka) 1:00. Key penalty – Stoesz, Spo (roughing) 6:20.

Second period– 5, Evt, Billsten 12 (Annesley) :32..

Third period– 6, Evt, Calla 10 (Harty) 2:42; 7, Evt, Wheat 23 (Leavitt, Harty) 13:19; 8, Spo, Bruton 10 (Mercer, Hobson) 18:00.

Power-play Opportunities–Everett 1 of 3; Spokane 0 of 3. Saves–Everett, Wall 5-5-12–22. Spokane, Watt 6-11-1–18, Opsahl x-x-3–3. A–4,136.

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