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WHL US Division - Spokane Chiefs Notebook: Losing streak snapped, Helewka returns

The Spokane Chiefs snapped their six-game losing streak last week and will head out on their annual Eastern Conference road trip. Meanwhile, Adam Helewka returns.

Marissa Baecker/Getty Images

Last time we were here, the Chiefs were in the midst of a five-game losing streak. That streak reach six games after a shootout loss at home to the Brandon Wheat Kings.

But thanks to goals from brothers Keanu and Kailer Yamamoto, the team finally got a win against the Victoria Royals, 2-1 last Friday night.

Alas, the good vibes didn't last for long as the Chiefs were shutout the following night against the Royals.

The Chiefs now sit at 4-6-1-1 as it begins its annual Eastern Conference road trip Wednesday night in Medicine Hat. The Chiefs don't play another home game until Nov. 11.

But there is some good news.....

Helewka returns

The Chief's leading scorer from 2014-15 has spent a considerable amount of time in the pro ranks, skating for the San Jose Barracuda, the Sharks' AHL affiliate. The team decided to send him back to juniors for his 20-year-old season.

As the Chiefs release states, Helewka is expected to be with the team for its road trip.

This is good news for the Chiefs, as Helewka was expected to be among the team's scoring leaders again, after finishing with 87 points last season. He may have surprised a few with how long he stuck with the pro franchise in San Jose.

But now the Chiefs have four 20-year-olds and must get down to three within two weeks. Who will it be? Riley Wittingham, Jason Fram, Helewka or the recently acquired Luke Harrison?

I hate making predictions so you won't get one from me.

Video Vault: Boys of Winter

Mark Holyoak is a former sports reporter for KREM 2 News here in Spokane. In 1999, he aired a three-part series on the Chiefs and what it's like being a teenage hockey player away from home.

In honor of the team's Eastern Conference road trip, I thought I'd post this video of all three parts in one, with part two featuring a long road trip:

Some thoughts:

  • That's Brandin Cote featured right off the bat, and I have no idea what that fat ring is on his finger. It's like he won the Super BowlCote is now the head coach of Red Deer Optimist Chiefs, a AAA Midget team that is quite the powerhouse.
  • While eating lunch, Cote is asked if he has a girlfriend in Spokane or at home, or both. He laughs and answers, "A few guys have both." Awkward, on all fronts.
  • Cote shows the camera his CDs. He flips through them while he's driving. Eyes on the road!
  • That's a baby-faced Mike Babcock.
  • Part II opens with cameras in the dressing room after a loss. The team lost a lot that season, going 19-44-9, a year after hosting the Memorial Cup.
  • The arrangements on the bus looks miserable, but I guess that's life in the Western Hockey League.
  • Good to see Babcock didn't kick the camera crew out of the dressing room like he did on 24/7.
  • That season was a struggle for the Chiefs, as the team experienced a huge - but not unexpected - drop off after hosting the Memorial Cup.