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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Shutout trend continues to haunt Chiefs

Three quick goals give Raiders all they require

PRINCE ALBERT, Saskatchewan – Through nearly the first four months of the Western Hockey League season, the Spokane Chiefs avoided being shut out. Now the Chiefs have been blanked five times in their last 11 games, including Wednesday’s 3-0 loss to the Prince Albert Raiders at Art Hauser Centre. Backup goaltender Nick McBride made 24 saves for his second shutout of the season, and the second overall for the Raiders. Tim Vanstone, Colton Heffley and Matteo Gennaro scored 4 minutes, 7 seconds apart early in the second period to give the Raiders all the offense they needed. Craig Leverton assisted on the first and third goals as the Raiders (23-31-2-0) won for just the fourth time in their last 13 games. Spokane (26-24-3-1, 56 points) has lost 13 of 18 games since 2015 began. The Chiefs’ first shutout (7-0) came Jan. 17 against Tri-City. Spokane also lost to Tri-City 2-0 on Jan. 24; was blanked 2-0 by Seattle on Jan. 25; and dropped a 3-0 decision to Victoria on Jan. 30. Spokane had been averaging more than three goals a game since the shutout against Victoria, including Tuesday’s 6-3 win at Saskatoon. But the Chiefs struggled during the fourth game of their six-game East Division road swing, especially in the first two periods. The Raiders outshot Spokane 13-4 in the first period and 13-5 in the second, holding the Chiefs to their lowest total of the season through two periods. Spokane tested McBride with 15 shots in the third period, but few of the shots generated tough saves. Garret Hughson made 27 saves to keep the Chiefs in the contest. Both teams finished 0 for 4 on power plays. Spokane had to kill off a Raiders 5-on-3 power play of more than a minute in the second period. Prince Albert defeated Spokane 4-1 at the Arena last year in the one matchup between the teams. The Chiefs overpowered the Raiders 7-4 in Prince Albert during the 2012-13 season. Spokane dropped to 14-12-1-1 on the road this season and 6-5-1-0 against Eastern Conference teams. The Chiefs are 2-2 on the long road trip, which continues Friday at Brandon. The Wheat Kings (41-9-3-2), who have already qualified for the postseason, have the best record in the Eastern Conference and just moved from No. 4 to No. 3 in the weekly Canadian Hockey League rankings. Reid Gow, the Chiefs’ captain last season, plays for the Wheat Kings, who have won 12 of their last 13 games.
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