March 11, 2013 - Western Hockey League (WHL) - Spokane Chiefs
TUESDAY, MARCH 12TH
vs. PRINCE GEORGE COUGARS
The Chiefs will play Prince George for the first time since three straight games versus the Cougars in October. Spokane went 2-1 against Prince George, winning the first one at home on October 20th. Dylan Walchuk's goal with just 24-seconds remaining broke a 2-2 tie. The Chiefs outshot P.G. 38-16 including 14-1 in the first. The two traveled back to Prince George for games on October 23rd, a 6-1 Chiefs' win, and the 24th, 4-2 Cougar victory. In the first of those two Todd Fiddler's two goals led a group of five scorers for Spokane. Eric Williams stopped 24 shots. Each team had 35 shots the following night in the Prince George victory. The Chiefs were 1-1-1-1 last season versus Prince George. Each team scored 14 goals in the series.
FRIDAY, MARCH 15TH
vs. TRI-CITY AMERICANS
SATURDAY, MARCH 16TH
at TRI-CITY AMERICANS
The Chiefs will play their last two games of the season versus Tri-City in a home-and-home series. Spokane is 5-3-2-0 versus the Americans having won the first three of the year and four of the first five. Overall, the Chiefs are 3-1-1-0 at home and 2-2-1-0 on the road. Tri-City earned a 6-0 win on February 16th in Kennewick in their last meeting. On February 9th, Riley Whittingham scored twice and Eric Williams stopped 31 shots in a 5-2 win. 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. Brenden Kichton has two goals and 11 points while Holmberg has six goals and 10 points in nine games. Mike Aviani has four goals and 10 points. Overall, the Chiefs are 5-36 on the power play and 28-30 on the penalty kill. The team to score the first goal of the game has won eight of 10. The Chiefs have outscored Tri-City 12-3 in the second period. 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 148-129-3-5 with 13 ties.
SUNDAY, MARCH 17TH
at PORTLAND WINTERHAWKS
The Chiefs will play the final game of the regular season in Portland. It will be the fifth trip to Portland in their ninth total meeting of the season. Portland won 8-3 on February 18th in their last meeting. Alessio Bertaggia, Adam Helewka and Mike Aviani had Spokane's goals. Portland skated to a 4-0 win on February 2nd. The Chiefs won two of three games versus Portland from January 21st through the 25th when the two teams played three straight games with each other. Portland picked up a 3-0 win on January 25th. The Chiefs have won the first two games of the series, including a 5-4 shootout effort on January 23rd. Adam Helewka scored two goals and Dylan Walchuk and Brenden Kichton added singles in the win. Eric Williams stopped 41 shots, including eight in overtime. Spokane also skated to a 5-2 win on January 21st in Portland. Todd Fiddler scored three goals and Mike Aviani had a pair. The Chiefs outshot the Winterhawks 38-35 as Williams made 33 saves. The Winterhawks won the previous three games versus Spokane including a 5-2 decision on January 11th in Portland. Prior, Portland won a 4-3 game on December 18th in Spokane. Portland earned a 9-1 victory over Spokane on November 10th in the first meeting this season. Spokane outshot the Winterhawks 44-36. Six of the nine meetings between the two took place in the second half of the season. Mitch Holmberg has one goal and 10 points while Todd Fiddler has five goals and eight points.
NEWS AND NOTES
ROSTER UPDATE...The Spokane Chiefs have recalled 16-year-old Markson Bechtold from the UFA Bisons of the Alberta AAA Midget Hockey League. Bechtold appeared in three games earlier this season with the Chiefs. His season with the Bisons ended in the playoffs where he had one goal and four points in six post season games. In 30 regular season games he scored 12 goals and 28 points and has added 64 penalty minutes.
PLAYOFFS...Spokane has clinched a playoff spot for the seventh season in a row and for the 24th time in the last 28 years. The Chiefs will play the Tri-City Americans in the post-season. The rivals will use the final four games of the regular season to determine who will finish in fourth place and have the home ice advantage in the first round of the WHL Playoffs that comes along with it. The Chiefs and Americans enter the last week of the regular season tied with 84 points. Of the four games left in the season, two will be played against each other in a home-and-home series this weekend beginning on Friday night in the Spokane Arena and finishing on Saturday in Kennewick. If the two teams remain equal in points then wins would determine the higher seed. Spokane leads Tri-City by one win, 41-40.
ALESSIO IS MORE...Alessio Bertaggia has six goals, 10 points and is +6 in his last five games. Bertaggia recorded his second career hat trick, his first since his first career WHL game in September, 2011, in a 6-3 victory over Everett on March 8th. Bertaggia has 11 goals, including the overtime game winner on March 1st at Victoria, and six assists in 13 games in Spokane. The Chiefs acquired the 19-year-old from Brandon in exchange for 19-year-old forward Marek Kalus, prospect Rhett Gardner, a third round pick in 2013 and a fifth round pick in 2014. He played for Switzerland in the last two World Junior Hockey Championships.
HUGH-GE STARTS...Garret Hughson is 5-0 with a 2.17 GAA and .928 save percentage in his last five starts. Hughson stopped 32 in a 2-0 win over Edmonton on February 23rd for his second shutout of the season.
WALLY'S WORLD...In his last eight games, 20-year-old Dylan Walchuk has one goal, six assists and is +7. He has played 101 career WHL games.
FRAM TOUGH...In five games since returning from a lower body injury defenseman Jason Fram has one goals, two points and is +5. Fram has played 107 career games plus another 13 in the playoffs last season.
2,000...The Chiefs played their 2,000th game in franchise history on Sunday, February 10th versus Victoria. The Chiefs broke into the WHL on October 4th, 1985 versus the Kamloops Blazers.
HITTING 1,000...The Chiefs won their 1,000th game in franchise history on February 6th with a 5-0 victory over Kelowna. The Chiefs have now won 1,010 games all-time, lost 842 with 159 ending in a tie, shootout loss or overtime loss.
HOLM-SCHOOL...Mitch Holmberg has a six game point scoring streak with two goals and seven points. He has 10 goals and 18 assists in his last 22 games, including his third hat trick 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. His 83 career goals are 25th in franchise history. Holmberg played two games in the Subway SuperSeries.
GET CARTER...Carter Proft leads the WHL with 187 penalty minutes. The 18-year-old has appeared in all 68 games this season and has scored nine goals, six 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.
ROOFTOPS...With his 40th goal of the season on February 27th at Everett, Todd Fiddler became the 25th player in franchise history to score 40 or more goals. Coming into the season Fiddler had scored 35 in 144 career games. He tied a franchise record for quickest goal to start a period when he scored eight seconds into the third versus Medicine Hat on January 26th. The original mark was set by Tony Horacek in 1988. Fiddler is tied for sixth in the WHL with 41 goals. Fiddler now has 29 goals and 49 points in his last 46 games. He recorded his first career hat-trick in a 3-2 win at the Seattle Thunderbirds on November 17th.
IN YOUR KICHTON...Brenden Kichton has one goal, five points and is +4 in his last two games. In his last eight he has four goals, 13 points and is +7. Kichton is now second all-time in Chiefs history with 196 assists. Kichton scored two goals for the second time this season in a 4-1 win at Everett on February 27th. Kichton had an 11 game point scoring streak snapped on January 21st at Portland. He had six goals and 17 points during the stretch. Kichton is also the franchise's all-time leader as a defenseman with 67 career goals, 196 career assists and 263 points. He leads all Text Box: SPOKANE CHIEFS ALL-TIME LEADERS GAMES PLAYED 1 - Brandin Cote (1996-2002) 352 2 - Tim Krymusa (1998-2003) 332 3 - BRENDEN KICHTON (2008- ) 330 Levko Koper (2006-2011) 330 5 - Derek Schutz (1994-2000) 322 6 - BLAKE GAL (2008- ) 321 7 - Mason Wallin (1998-2003) 319 8 - Jeff Lynch (2001-2006) 313 9 - Jevon Desautels (2000-2005) 301 10 - Steven Kuhn (2008-2012) 288 BOLD - active WHL defensemen in scoring with 22 goals and 80 points, the third most by a defenseman in Chiefs' history and just four off the franchise record set by Bryan McCabe in 1993-94 (22 goals, 62 assists). His career high is 81 points (23 goals and 58 assists), set two seasons ago. 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 six goals, 10 points and is +7 in his last nine games. Gal became the ninth player in the history of the franchise to have appeared in 300 career 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 73 career goals and 163 career points in five seasons.
NACHBAUR'S NUMBERS...Don Nachbaur 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 555-394 with 85 games finishing in a tie, overtime loss or shootout loss. He is fourth all-time in WHL wins. Nachbaur was the head coach of Team WHL at the Subway Super Series vs. Team Russia and was an Assistant for Team Canada at the World Juniors.
AVIANI FLEW...Mike Aviani has played 201 career games in a Chiefs' uniform. Aviani has six goals and 17 points in his last 18 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 18 goals and 43 points in his last 39 games.
GOW SCHOLASTIC PLAYER OF THE YEAR...Reid Gow has two goals and 22 points in his last 31 games. 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.
INJURY REPORT...Tanner Mort (upper body, indefinite), Todd Fiddler (lower body, day-to-day)
NHL DRAFT...Brenden Kichton (New York Islanders, 5th round, 2011)