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WHL US Division - Spokane Chiefs Notebook: winners in three of last four

Chiefs battle back to beat Kelowna

Hip hip hooray
Hip hip hooray
Derek Leung/Getty Images

The last time I wrote something here, the Spokane Chiefs were coming off a 5-4 loss to the Kamloops Blazers in a game they led 4-0 at one point.

Since then, here are the team's results:

Nov. 7
Chiefs 8, Tri-City Americans 1

Nov. 11
Chiefs 3, Everett Silvertips 0

Nov. 13
Chiefs 2, Everett Silvertips 5

Nov. 14
Chiefs 4, Kelowna Rockets 3

Three wins in four games, and 2-1 against U.S. Division foes. The third win was against the defending WHL champion. Not a bad stretch, I'd say.

I filled in to cover the 4-3 victory over Kelowna for The Spokesman-Review. The Rockets boast the league's best power play and had one power play goal on the night.

But facing a 3-1 deficit in the third period, the Chiefs turned things around. Nobody after the game could really point to one turning point. It was mostly a "we just played better" kind of deal, and I agree. There was nothing that stood out as the catalyst for the comeback.

The Chiefs had peppered the Kelowna goalie all night but didn't have much to show for it. But then, pucks started to go in.

Dominc Zwerger had the team's first two goals on the night and Adam Helewka tied the game with a shot from the right circle.

It was my first time seeing 3-on-3 overtime in person or on TV, and boy is there a lot of ice out there. I'm not sure it's real hockey, but it's better then the shootout.

Jason Fram took a nice feed across the crease from rookie Jaret Anderson-Dolan for the game winner.

The Chiefs' schedule is much more manageable going forward. The team has back-to-back home games this Friday and Saturday against Swift Current and Moose Jaw. The team doesn't have to travel further than Portland until a Jan. 20 game at Lethbridge.

Derek Ryan named captain of Charlotte Checkers

Former Spokane Chief, Spokane native and high school classmate of mine Derek Ryan was named the captain of the Charlotte Checkers last week. The Checkers are the AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes.

The choice is an interesting one, this being Ryan's first professional year of hockey in North America and all. He has spent the past few years in Austria and Sweden after a stellar career as a Chief and at the University of Alberta.

The transition to the AHL has been good so far. Ryan has ten points in 14 games (7g-3a).

Video Vault: Blackwater drills Hoff

The 2008 Western Conference Final featuring the Chiefs and rival Tri-City Americans is one of the most intense playoff series ever. It featured a number of games ending in overtime and went the distance.

Game 5 in Kennewick featured a massive Judd Blackwater hit on Drew Hoff. The hit did not draw a penalty, but definitely should have, and probably even a suspension. It clearly looks like a head shot.

I don't think Hoff returned to the series after this hit. Apologies to any Ams fans out there.

(by the way, is it just me or does it seem to take a really long time before the trainer gets to Hoff?)

I remember watching this game online from my college dorm. As you all know, the Chiefs would go on to win this series and the WHL Championship before winning (and dropping) the Memorial Cup.

Blackwater is apparently now playing in Slovakia after some stints in the AHL, ECHL and CHL.