February 4, 2013 - Western Hockey League (WHL) - Spokane Chiefs
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 6TH
vs. KELOWNA ROCKETS
The Chiefs and Rockets will face off for their fourth and final meeting overall. Kelowna won both ends of a home-and-home series in January, 5-4 on January 16th in Kelowna and 4-2 in Spokane on the 18th. Alessio Bertaggia scored twice in the first game in his Spokane debut. Spokane scored all three of their goals in the third period. The Chiefs outshot Kelowna 40-28 in the second game. Brenden Kichton and Blake Gal both scored for Spokane. Spokane is one of just two teams (Kamloops) to have won a game in Kelowna this season when they skated to a 6-4 victory on October 10th. The Chiefs scored three goals in the third period. Mitch Holmberg scored twice and Dylan Walchuk had a goal and assist. Each team was 1-4 on the power play. Eric Williams stopped 39 shots. Spokane won the season series last year with a 2-1-0-1 record, including a 1-1 record on the road.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8TH
at KOOTENAY ICE
The Chiefs will travel to Kootenay for the second time this season in their fourth meeting overall. Spokane's Dylan Walchuk scored 9:04 into the third period to break a 3-3 tie on January 12th in their last game. Spokane was 1-1 on the power play and did not have to kill a penalty in the game. The two traded wins on the opposition's home ice in late December, including a 1-0 win by Spokane in Cranbrook on December 28th. Todd Fiddler scored the game's only goal 18:17 into the second period. Eric Williams recorded his second shutout of the season with 29 saves and Spokane was 4-4 on the penalty kill. Kootenay skated to a 7-3 win in the Spokane Arena the following night. The Chiefs and Ice will play each other five times total, including three in Spokane. The Chiefs host the Ice on Saturday, March 9th.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9TH
vs. TRI-CITY AMERICANS
The Chiefs will host the Tri-City Americans for the fifth time this season in their ninth overall meeting of the year. Spokane is 4-2-2-0 versus the Americans having won the first three of the year and four of the first five. Tri-City has won four of the last five, including two wins in overtime. Overall, the Chiefs are 2-1-1-0 at home and 2-1-1-0 on the road. Malte Stromwall scored 21-seconds into overtime on January 19th for a 4-3 American win. Todd Fiddler, Carter Proft and Dylan Walchuk scored for the Chiefs as they outshot the Americans 42-22. The Americans picked up a 6-3 win on December 31st, the 23rd New Year's Eve meeting all-time between the two. Brenden Kichton, Blake Gal and Mitch Holmberg had Spokane's goals. The Chiefs led 3-2 going into the third period. Tri-City beat the Chiefs 2-1 on December 15th in Spokane's Teddy Bear Toss. Reid Gow had Spokane's only goal. Holmberg has six goals and nine points in seven games while Brenden Kichton has two goals and ine points. Mike Aviani has three goals and eight points. Overall, the Chiefs are 4-26 on the power play and 21-22 on the penalty kill. Spokane and Tri-City are coming off their second straight season of facing each other in the playoffs and their sixth ever meeting in the post-season. In 2011, the Chiefs earned a six game series win while the Americans won last year's series in seven games. In its 25th year of existence the Chiefs lead the regular season series 147-128-3-5 with 13 ties.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 10TH
vs. VICTORIA ROYALS
The Chiefs will host the Victoria Royals in their second of four meetings this season. Spokane will travel for back-to-back games on March 1st and 2nd in Victoria. Spokane skated to a 5-3 win on October 5th, their only other meeting of the season. Brenden Kichton scored twice and had two assists while Mitch Holmberg and Mike Aviani tallied single goals in the win. Spokane was 3-6 on the power play and 6-7 on the penalty kill. The Chiefs finished 4-0 versus Victoria last season and outscored the Royals 22-9 in the series. On average, the Chiefs outshot Victoria 31.8-23.4. Spokane scored three shorthanded goals, including two in one game by Liam Stewart on February 29th in Victoria. Eric Williams' lone appearance was a 6-5 shootout win in Spokane on February 3rd.
NEWS AND NOTES
NEARING 1,000...The Chiefs have won 999 games in franchise history in 1,996 games played. Spokane has lost 838 games and 159 have ended in a tie, shootout loss or overtime loss. Spokane has won 227 games over the past six seasons, including this one. Twice, they have won 50 games in a season (1995-96 and 2007-08) and have won more than 45 games eight times.
CHIEFS ADD BECTHOLD... The Spokane Chiefs have announced that Markson Bechtold will be added to their roster. Bechtold, a 16-year-old from Strathmore, Alberta, was Spokane's third round selection in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft. In 30 games this season for the UFA Bisons of the Alberta Midget Hockey League he has scored 12 goals and 28 points and has added 64 penalty minutes.
ALESSIO IS MORE...Alessio Bertaggia has two goals and two assists in two games in Spokane. The Chiefs acquired the 19-year-old forward from the Brandon Wheat Kings in exchange for 19-year-old forward Marek Kalus, prospect Rhett Gardner, a third round pick in 2013 and a fifth round pick in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft. Bertaggia came to Spokane with 16 goals, 18 assists and 34 points in 30 games with Brandon. He played for Switzerland in the last two World Junior Hockey Championships totaling 12 games and six points. Bertaggia is currently out with an upper body injury.
HOLM-SCHOOL...Mitch Holmberg has three goals and six assists in his last six games, including his third this season at Kamloops on February 1st. Holmberg recorded a career high five points, three goals and two assists, in a 7-6 shootout win over Seattle on December 14th. Holmberg has 15 goals and 27 points in his last 24 games. His 76 career goals are 28th in franchise history. Holmberg played two games in the Subway SuperSeries.
GET CARTER...Carter Proft leads the WHL with 158 penalty minutes. The 18-year-old has appeared in all 52 games this season and has scored six goals, three more than he had in 50 combined games last year with Brandon and Spokane. Proft scored on a penalty shot on January 9th versus the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Text Box: SPOKANE CHIEFS ALL-TIME LEADERS ASSISTS 1 - Ray Whitney (1988-1991) 207 2 - Pat Falloon (1988-1991) 194 3 -Mitch Wahl (2005-2010) 186 4 - BRENDEN KICHTON (2008- ) 182 5 - Travis Green (1986-1990) 165 6 - Ryan Duthie (1991-1994) 164 Greg Leeb (1994-1998) 164 8 - Valeri Bure (1991-1994) 163 9 - Chad Klassen (2001-2006) 156 10 - Trent Whitfield (1993-1998) 155 BOLD - active IN YOUR KICHTON...Brenden Kichton had an 11 game point scoring streak snapped on January 21st at Portland. Kichton recorded six goals and 17 points during the stretch. Kichton appeared in his 300th career game on Friday, January 4th at Everett becoming just the eighth player in Spokane history to hit that mark. Kichton is also the franchise's all-time leader as a defenseman with 61 career goals, 182 career assists and 243 points. His 182 assists are fourth all-time in Spokane history. Kichton has seven goals and 17 assists in his last 23 games and is +20 in his last 27 games. He leads all WHL defensemen in scoring with 16 goals and 60 points. Last season Kichton was named the WHL's Western Conference Defenseman of the Year as he led all blueliners with 74 points, including 17 goals and 57 assists. Kichton was selected in the fifth round in 2011 by the New York Islanders.
GAL GAB...Blake Gal has three goals, eight points and is +4 in his last seven games. Gal had an assist in his 300th career WHL game on January 21st at Portland. He became the ninth player in the history of the franchise to have appeared in that many games. He has six goals and 13 points in his last 16 games. Originally a second round selection in the 2007 WHL Bantam Draft, Gal joined the Chiefs at the end of the 2008 WHL season but did not appear in any regular season or playoff games in Spokane's run to the Memorial Cup. The Lethbridge, Alberta native has scored 67 career goals and 151 career points in five seasons. He has 10 goals, 21 points and is +13 in his last 27 games.
Text Box: SPOKANE CHIEFS ALL-TIME LEADERS GAMES PLAYED 1 - Brandin Cote (1996-2002) 352 2 - Tim Krymusa (1998-2003) 332 3 - Levko Koper (2006-2011) 330 4 - Derek Schutz (1994-2000) 322 5 - Mason Wallin (1998-2003) 319 6 - BRENDEN KICHTON (2008- ) 314 7 - Jeff Lynch (2001-2006) 313 8 - BLAKE GAL (2008- ) 305 9 - Jevon Desautels (2000-2005) 301 10 - Steven Kuhn (2008-2012) 288 BOLD - active
NACHBAUR'S 1,000TH...Spokane Chief Head Coach Don Nachbaur returned to the bench on January 8th after serving as an assistant for Team Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships. He had picked up a 5-2 win over Tri-City in his 1,000th WHL game on November 30th at home. He became just the fourth man in the history of the league to coach in 1,000 games. To this point of his career Nachbaur is 544-389 with 85 games finishing in a tie, overtime loss or shootout loss. He is four wins behind Ernie McLean for fourth all-time in WHL wins. Nachbaur coached 408 games in Seattle winning 202 times and 423 games in Tri-City with 229 wins. Nachbaur was the head coach of Team WHL for the Subway Super Series and went 1-1 in the two games versus Team Russia.
ROOFTOPS... Todd Fiddler tied a franchise record for quickest goal to start a period when he scored eight seconds into the third period versus the Medicine Hat Tigers on January 26th. The original mark was set by Tony Horacek in 1988. Fiddler has six goals and eight points in his last seven games and is fourth in the WHL with 35 goals. Fiddler now has 23 goals, 36 points and is +10 in his last 32 games. He recorded his first career hat-trick in a 3-2 win at the Seattle Thunderbirds on November 17th. Fiddler also has a team leading four shorthanded goals.
AVIANI FLEW...Mike Aviani scored two goals in a 5-2 win over Portland on January 21st. Aviani now has six goals and 13 points in his last 15 games. Aviani had his third four point night with a hat trick, his first career, and an assist in a 7-4 win at Prince Albert on December 4th. He has 12 goals, including the game tying goal with 55-seconds left in a 7-6 shootout win over Seattle on December 14th, 28 points and is +14 in his last 25 games.
GOW SCHOLASTIC PLAYER OF THE YEAR...Reid Gow has two goals and 13 points in his last 18 games. He is +15 in his last 23 games. Gow has six goals, 22 points and is a +14 in his last 26. Gow was selected as the winner of the WHL's Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman Trophy for the Scholastic Player of the Year last season. Gow earned a cumulative 95% in his core classes. The defenseman from Killarney, Manitoba scored 22 points, including 20 assists, in 54 games last year. Gow recorded a career high four assists, in a 7-2 win over Tri-City on October 1st, 2011.
WALLY'S WORLD...Dylan Walchuk has four goals and 11 points in his last 14 games. In 2010-11 he helped the Vernon Vipers finish as a runner-up in the Royal Bank Cup Championship, the Canadian Junior A National Title, one year after winning it.
INJURY REPORT...Tanner Mort (upper body, indefinite), Tyler King (upper body, week-to-week), Alessio Bertaggia (upper body, 2-3 weeks), Connor Chartier (upper body, day-to-day), Jackson Playfair (upper body, day-to-day), Jason Fram (lower body, 3-4 weeks),
NHL DRAFT...Brenden Kichton (New York Islanders, 5th round, 2011)