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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Chiefs get outhustled in loss to Prince George

The Spokane Chiefs got outhustled and outplayed Saturday night in a 6-2 Western Hockey League drubbing by visiting Prince George at the Arena. While the Chiefs (2-1-1-0) appeared sharp early, the players lapsed into sloppy passing and allowed the Cougars (3-3-0-0) to eventually take control. “I thought we played hard last night” in a 2-1 loss at Kootenay, Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur said. “The guys were exhausted. But to me, that’s no excuse.” The Cougars routinely beat the Chiefs to the puck and seemed to camp out for long stretches in front of the Spokane net with likely results. “I just thought the whole group was flat,” Nachbaur said. “I give them (Prince George) credit. We got just what we deserved.” Chase Witala got the scoring started when he smashed a top-shelf goal past the Chiefs’ Garret Hughson with about 2 minutes left in the first period. The Chiefs had their chances, but never seemed to finish. Early in the second period, Curtis Miske had the puck come free in front of the Prince George net, but he failed to do anything with it. The Cougars kept pressuring the puck on the Chiefs’ side of the ice and it paid off when Jansen Harkins made a great pass to Jari Erricson, who smashed it home with 15:17 left in the second period. Liam Stewart got the crowd charged with a breakaway with 9:33 left in the second, but he lost the puck on the way to the net. The Chiefs then failed to get anything going with a power play. Later in the period, the Chiefs’ Jason Fram failed to handle the puck and Harkins gathered it up, raced down the ice and beat Hughson for a goal with 1:09 left in the second period to make it 3-0 Cougars. Just into the third period, Harkins scored again to make it 4-0. Stewart finally got Spokane on the board a minute later when he broke loose with assists from Keanu Yamamoto and new Chief Calder Brooks. But 16 seconds later, David Soltes scored again for the Cougars to make it 5-1. Stewart added a second goal, with a second assist from Brooks. But Soltes scored again with 6:25 to play to put the game on ice. The Cougars outshot the Chiefs 36-23. “It was just a bad game for us,” Stewart said. “They beat us to pucks and they won the battles. They just beat us in every area.” The Chiefs have an off day on Sunday and return to practice on Monday. They next play Friday at home against Seattle. “We just have to put it behind us,” Stewart said. “There are no excuses. We have to just get better.”
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