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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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WHL notes: Chiefs apologize for anthem incident

Spokane Chiefs general manager Tim Speltz apologized to fans Tuesday night for the actions of three nondressed players during the singing of the national anthem during last Friday’s home game against Seattle.

“We sure feel it’s necessary for us to comment and address the inappropriate action of our players,” Speltz told Mike Boyle on 1510-AM before Tuesday’s road game against Seattle. … “When we make mistakes, we have to be responsible.”

The players reportedly yelled comments about the female singer during the anthem. The singer, Stephanie Loper, said on the Chiefs’ Facebook page that she has received many apologies from Spokane players and hopes fans will move on and continue to support the team.

Speltz said the Chiefs involved were “a little misguided with some enthusiasm.”

“There’s no way we can justify it or even try to,” Speltz said. … “As players, sometimes they flat-out don’t think.”

The players involved have been spoken to by a military member and will be asked to perform service in the military community, Speltz said.

“It’s something we’re responsible for, accountable for,” Speltz said. “We aren’t trying to sweep it under the carpet.”

The Chiefs will address the incident to the crowd before tonight’s home game against Seattle.

Rare win for Moodie

Saskatoon goaltender Alex Moodie went nearly 11 months between wins for the Blades, including a stopover with the Spokane Chiefs.

Moodie stopped 21 shots last Saturday as the Blades edged Prince Albert 3-2 to halt an 18-game losing streak dating back to Feb. 15.

Moodie’s last win for the Blades came on Nov. 22. He fought injuries during the second half of the season and was traded to Spokane in May.

Moodie didn’t latch on with the Chiefs, who went with fellow 19-year-old Garret Hughson and Tyson Verhelst, 17, in goal. Spokane sent Moodie back to Saskatoon on Oct. 1 as part of the condition in the original deal.

The Blades lost their first six games this season, the worst start in franchise history, before Moodie shook off a slow start to Saturday’s game – two goals allowed on seven shots – and made a key stop midway through the third period.

“I stay focused like a tiger stays focused on his prey,” Moodie told Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix.

Successful debut

Cal Babych made his Prince George debut memorable by scoring his first goal with the Cougars during a 6-2 win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes last Wednesday.

The Cougars acquired Babych from the Calgary Hitmen on Oct. 3 for a seventh-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft.

Babych was named after Baltimore Orioles Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. His father, Dave, was a two-time National Hockey League all-star who played 19 seasons with Winnipeg, Hartford, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

Around the league

Medicine Hat Tigers 16-year-old David Quenneville scored his first WHL goal last Saturday on a power play during an 8-2 win over the Victoria Royals. The rookie defenseman almost had his first goal the night before, but he was awarded an assist instead when Alex Mowbray deflected in the puck against Red Deer. … Everett forward Ivan Nikolishin was named WHL Player of the Week after accounting for two goals and four assists in two Silvertips wins. … Swift Current’s Landon Bow was named WHL Goaltender of the Week after back-to-back weekend shutouts over the Kootenay Ice and Tri-City Americans.

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