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Spokane Chiefs

Chiefs hit their stride when it matters most

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(Photo: SWX) (Photo: SWX)

In the world of junior hockey, the months of February and March are crunch time. Just ask the Spokane Chiefs, who have managed to rattle off seven straight wins and nine of their last 10 to stage a fantastic comeback in the Western Hockey League standings.

"We're playing pretty good," said head coach Hardy Sauter in practice this week. "The guys are playing hard every night and obviously finding ways to win."

"We've been doing the little things right and coming together as a group," added Chiefs center Mitch Wahl, who was named WHL Player of the Week last week. "All four lines are playing well right now, so we're doing a good job. Hopefully we can keep it up."

Wahl is a big part of the Chiefs' late-season success. He racked up eight points last week off of two goals and six assists.

"It's a cool award to win," said Wahl. "But at the same time it comes a lot from my line mates. Obviously, Beach is scoring goals for me, enabling me to get assists. Everyone's playing well right now. It's a team effort."

As a result of their better team play the Chiefs find themselves just two points in back of Everett and five in behind first place Tri-City. Both the Silvertips and Americans play in Spokane this week, giving Spokane the perfect opportunity to make up even more ground.

"We're going to need these wins if we want to make any noise in the standings," said the Chiefs' Kyle Beach.

"We definitely want to be peaking this time of the year," said Wahl. "We were hot in November and then kind of cooled off a bit, but we're catching our stride again and having a good month."

After Everett and Tri-City, the Chiefs have just seven games remaining in the regular season, including two more against the Ams and one more against Everett. Their last game falls on March 14 at home against Everett – a game that could have playoff implications.

"Ultimately, when you mix confidence with hard work you're going to get some good results. I think that's what we're getting now," said Sauter.

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