I wrote last week that the Spokane Chiefs are entering an important stretch in their schedule as the Chiefs are keeping pace with the division-leading Seattle Thunderbirds.
The Chiefs took four of six points from the T-Birds in the teams' three-game stretch. The Chiefs won 7-1 and 4-2 before dropping a 5-1 contest Friday night.
The Chiefs took to the ice Saturday night against the Tri-City Americans on Teddy Bear Toss Night, and not three minutes into the game, Riley Wittingham scored on the power play and fans rained teddy bears on the ice.
It was a nice start, but the Chiefs blew a 3-2 lead in the third period to lose 4-3 against the last-place Americans. Parker Bowles had two goals and an assist for Tri-City. The Yamamoto brothers scored for Spokane, in addition to Wittingham's teddy bear goal.
It's a costly loss as Everett passed the Chiefs in the division. Spokane now sits in third place with 35 points.
The game ended with some chippy play in the corner to the right of the Tri-City net. Emotions boiled over and the Chiefs' Adam Helewka took some swings (cheap shots, one might say....) on Tri-City's Parker Wotherspoon. Wotherspoon's blood ended up on the Spokane ice and you can see video of the sequence here:
CAUTION: THERE IS BLOOD IN THIS VIDEO. LOTS OF IT.
The loss is the Chiefs' second in a row and comes after the team was on a hot streak. The Chiefs have four straight home games coming up against Everett, Portland twice and Seattle.
Video Vault: Chiefs and Tri-City Brawl
The ending at last night's game reminded me of this game from 2009:
(fast forward to the 1:35 mark if it doesn't start there automatically)
The Spokane - Tri-City rivalry as always included bad blood, and as rivalries often go, they are best when both teams are good.
Such was the case in the years surrounding this fight, as you'll see the players come together near the benches and Spokane's Corbin Baldwin seems to challenge the entire Tri-City bench to a fight.
Ah, good times.