Still reeling from the loss of 20-year-olds Adam Helewka and Riley Whittingham due to separate trades, the Spokane Chiefs have lost four games in a row and haven't been on the good side of the scoreboard since New Year's Eve.
The team's struggles weren't more present than in the 7-2 loss on Jan. 9 at home against the Regina Pats, a team that had just lost to the league-worst Kootenay Ice the night before.
The Chiefs had more effort but the same result the next night against the Everett Silvertips.
Wyatt Johnson, the 20-year-old that came over in the Helewka trade, has four points in four games (2G, 2A). That's a positive, but his teammates will need to pick up the slack as well.
Presten Kopeck, the 20-year-old that came over in the Whittingham trade, has yet to suit up.
The cherry on top is that top defenseman and captain Jason Fram left Saturday's game with an injury and didn't suit up on Sunday. The Chiefs appear to have dressed just five defenseman against Everett.
The Chiefs had some success early in the season without Helewka (though once he returned they blossomed), but they haven't been without Fram. There's no word on the severity of the injury or if he'll be out for long.
Chiefs call up Ty Smith
I don't know if this was the plan all along or if the Fram injury necessitated it, but the Chiefs have called up 15-year-old defenseman Ty Smith.
Smith was the top overall pick in last summer's Bantam Draft. You'll recall the Chiefs lucked into the first overall pick when the Saskatoon Blades finished last overall in 2014-15. Spokane traded for the Blades' first-round pick in 2013.
Smith is scheduled to practice Tuesday and may suit up and play on Wednesday against....all together now....the Saskatoon Blades.
As a 15-year-old, Smith will be allowed to play up to five games with the Chiefs.
(Calling up a 15-year-old for a few games is common, and the Chiefs and other clubs do this regularly. Current 16-year-old Jaret Anderson-Dolan played five regular season games and one playoff game last season.)
Video Vault: Fighting at the Memorial Cup
The Chiefs won their first Memorial Cup in 1991, scoring at least five goals in each of their games and completely dominating the tournament.
In the round robin matchup with Chicoutimi, a game the Chiefs would win 7-1, things got wild:
Fun to see fighting in a postseason game. With fighting on the decline for better or worse, it's nice to know there was once a day when fights were fair game in any game.