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Locally: Spokane Chiefs celebrate 35th anniversary with ‘Top 35’ list

UPDATED: Sat., Nov. 30, 2019

Spokane Chiefs’ Mitch Holmberg, center, celebrates his first of two goals with teammates Markson Bechtold, left, and Connor Chartier during the first period of the team’s Red-White game, Aug. 25, 2013, in the Spokane Arena. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane Chiefs’ Mitch Holmberg, center, celebrates his first of two goals with teammates Markson Bechtold, left, and Connor Chartier during the first period of the team’s Red-White game, Aug. 25, 2013, in the Spokane Arena. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
From local ,wire reports

The Spokane Chiefs have a new “best of …” list.

Commemorating the organization’s 35th anniversary, the Chiefs selected five players to join the 30 they saluted five years ago and create a list of the “Top 35 Chiefs in 35 years.”

Goaltender Troy Gamble (1986-88), forwards Dmitri Leonov (1993-96), Lynn Loyns (1997-2001) and Mitch Holmberg (2009-14) and defenseman Jason Fram (2011-16) are the new additions and were recognized during home games Friday and Saturday at the Arena.

“Narrowing down a list of the top players in franchise history is always tough to do because there are so many who have contributed to our success and became fan favorites,” Chiefs managing partner Bobby Brett said.

“The five new players were all leaders on very good teams, respected by their teammates and left an impact on our organization and our city.”

Since the Chiefs were born prior to the 1985-86 season when the WHL franchise was moved from Kelowna, British Columbia, 470 players have worn a Spokane uniform. The new 35-for-35 list includes four goaltenders, nine defensemen and 22 forwards.

Fourteen were Memorial Cup champions (six in 1991 and eight in 2008); 24 have played in the NHL, including four this season; three went on to win the Stanley Cup; and three were named NHL All-Stars.

Only one has had his Spokane Chiefs’ number retired: Ray Whitney’s No. 14 has been hanging above center ice in the Spokane Arena since Jan. 29, 2015.

The Top 35 in 35:

Brent Gilchrist (1985-87), Mick Vukota (1985-87), Gamble, Travis Green (1986-90), Pat Falloon (1988-91), Jon Klemm (1988-91), Whitney (1988-91), Steve Junker (1988-92), Kerry Toporowski (1989-91), Trevor Kidd (1990-91), Valeri Bure (1991-94), Jason Podollan (1991-96), Bryan McCabe (1992-95), Kevin Sawyer (1992-95), Leonov, Trent Whitfield (1993-98), Greg Leeb (1994-98).

Derek Schutz (1994-00), Brandin Cote (1996-02), Loyns, Kurt Sauer (1999-02), Barry Brust (2000-04), Derek Ryan (2003-07), Michael Grabner (2004-07), Chris Bruton (2004-08), Drayson Bowman (2004-09), Justin Falk (2005-08), Jared Spurgeon (2005-10), Mitch Wahl (2005-10), Dustin Tokarski (2006-09), Jared Cowen (2006-11), Tyler Johnson (2007-11), Brenden Kichton (2008-13), Holmberg, Fram.

• The Chiefs’ annual Teddy Bear Toss, when fans are encouraged to litter the ice following Spokane’s first goal with stuffed animals that will be donated to charity, is next Saturday when the Chiefs entertain the Tri-City Americans at 7:05 p.m. in the Arena.

College scene

Lindsey and McKenna Russell, two-thirds of Community Colleges of Spokane’s sophomore triplets from Mead, capped decorated volleyball careers with All-America honors.

Lindsey, a 6-foot-1 setter who was the Northwest Athletic Conference Baden Player of the Year, was named a 2019 American Volleyball Coaches Association first-team NWAC All-American after earning second-team honors as a freshman.

McKenna, a 6-1 middle blocker, was a third-team AVCA NWAC All-American.

Their sister, Allison, a defensive specialist/setter, played in 25 of CCS’ 38 matches for the two-time reigning NWAC champions.

• Lindsey was also the NWAC tournament and East Region Most Valuable Player after earning first-team East honors as a freshman. McKenna was first-team All-East after she was named to the second team as a freshman.

CCS teammates Brooklyn Rainer and Jordan Shoff (Mead), both sophomore outside hitters, were named to All-East Region first and second teams, respectively.

Kelsey Stanley, North Idaho College’s fourth-year head coach who led the Cardinals to an undefeated league season and 27-5 overall record, was named the East Region Coach of the Year.

Cardinals outside hitters Chloe Knudson (Lake City), a sophomore, and freshman Journey Tupea were named to the East Region first team, and freshman setter Hokulea Vargas (Mt. Spokane) and sophomore libero Kynzey Mitzel were on the second team.

• Montana senior Missy Huddleston from Coeur d’Alene HS and Idaho sophomore middle blockers Kennedy Warren and Nikki Ball were named to the All-Big Sky Conference second team in volleyball.

After making a switch from right-side hitter to middle blocker for the final 10 matches of the regular season, Huddleston averaged 3.10 kills per set, up from 2.14; hit .276, up from .134; averaged 2.54 digs per set, up from 2.42; and her blocking climbed from 0.46 to a league-best 1.15.

Ball recorded the fourth-most blocks in the league, averaging 1.13 per set, highlighted by a career-best 15 against Montana, and finished sixth in hitting percentage (.316.) Warren ranked eighth in the conference at 3.15 kills per set, hit .246 and added 78 total blocks. In a match against Sacramento State, she recorded 25 kills while hitting .488.

• Two area athletes received honorable mention when the Great Northwest Athletic Conference named its volleyball all-conference teams.

Kim Wong, an Alaska Fairbanks senior middle blocker from Mead, was honored for a third straight year. Kayla McGlathery, an Alaska Anchorage junior middle blocker from Coeur d’Alene HS, was honored for the second time. She was first team and Newcomer of the Year in 2014 after transferring from Texas A&M Kingsville.

• Idaho sophomore guard Gina Marxen was named Big Sky Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week after she scored 49 points in two Idaho wins, including a career-high 30 in a 90-84 double-OT victory over Seattle University when she made a career-high seven 3-pointers on 46% shooting from beyond the arc. She also had 10 rebounds and seven assists in the two wins.

• Included in Chanelle Molina’s game-high 25 points in Washington State’s 89-66 loss to defending national champion Baylor in the first round of the Paradise Jam women’s basketball tournament Thursday was the 1,000th career point for the Cougars senior guard. She finished the game with 1,010, 19th on WSU’s all-time scoring list.

• Quarterback Mason Petrino and two of his Idaho football teammates were recognized for their performances in the Vandals’ season-ending 60-53 overtime victory at Northern Arizona last weekend.

Petrino, who accounted for six touchdown and 563 yards of total offense, was named the STATS FCS National Offensive Player of the Week, the ROOT Sports Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Week and the College Sports Madness Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week.

Jeff Cotton, who caught a program-record 18 passes to tie for the most in the FCS this season, received honorable mention for the STATS national offensive player of the week award, and Nick Romano, who logged 286 all-purpose yards, the fourth most by a Vandal, was honorable mention for STATS’ Freshman of the Week.

Josh Brown of Colfax, a senior offensive lineman at Frontier Conference champion College of Idaho, repeated on the All-Frontier football offensive first-team. He also was named the school’s football NAIA Champions of Character recipient.

Cross country

Fifty-three runners from three area programs – North Idaho XC, Spokane Mercury Athletic and Valley Flash – qualified for the USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships during the Pacific Northwest Regionals last weekend in Eugene.

Five age-group teams – three from North Idaho and one each from Spokane Mercury and Valley Flash – headline the qualifiers for nationals Dec. 14 in Madison, Wisconsin.

North Idaho’s U13-14 boys will be looking to improve on a third-place national finish last year when they were competing at the U11-12 age level. With five of six runners back, joined by two newcomers to the group, the team place second at regionals.

NIXC will also have its U9-10 boys team, which finished third at Regionals, and U13-14 girls, who were fourth. The Valley Flash U8 girls also finished third and Spokane Mercury’s U9-10 girls were fifth.

The top 30 individuals and top five teams in each age group at regionals qualified for nationals. NIXC advanced 30, Spokane Mercury 13 and Valley Flash 10.

Area national qualifiers:

8U boys (2,000): 3, Isaac Sproule, Spokane Mercury Athletic; 4, Owen Nydegger, SMA; 5, Quentin Enser, SMA; 11, Will Wood, North Idaho XC; 23, Samuel Cheney, Valley Flash. Team: none.

8U girls (2,000): 8, Olivia Olson, VF; 15, Hannah Horsley, VF; 21, Mary Miner, VF; 25, Kennedy Racicot, VF; 27, Ava Magers, VF; 29, Madeleine Le Friec, SMA. Team: 3, VF.

9-10 boys (3,000): 2, Rowan Henry, NIXC; 5, Kingston Wilson, NIXC; 11, Ronan Kennedy, NIXC; 20, Samuel Mandel, NIXC; 21, Justin Geffken, SMA; 28, Nicholas Ray, VF; 60, Alistair Smith, NIXC. Team: 3, NIXC.

9-10 girls (3,000): 3, Adalyn Depew, NIXC; 6, Teagan Enser, SMA; 7, Kaiya Weiler, VF; 12, Olivia Abbey, NIXC; 14, Keely Cleveland, SMA; 23, Morgan Snyder, SMA; 49, Ellen Sproule, SMA; 85, Lilly Teague, SMA. Team: 5, SMA.

11-12U boys (3,000): 5, Mitchell Rietze, NIXC; 8, Ethan Martin, SMA; 15, Logan Anderson, NIXC; 18, Parker Sterling, NIXC. Team:– none.

11-12 girls (3,000): 9, Camhbrie Stam, NIXC; 11, Olivia May, NIXC; 17, Helen Oyler, NIXC; 20, Hadassah Duff, VF. Team: none.

13-14 boys (4,000): 5, Maximus Cervi-Skinner, NIXC; 10, Neil McCarthy, NIXC; 18, Zachery Cervi-Skinner, NIXC; 19, Lachlan May, NIXC; 26, Nathan Russell, NIXC; 30, Chase Fitterer, SMA; 67, Nolan Oyler, NICX; 90, Ethan Hickok, NIXC. Team: 2, NIXC.

13-14 girls (4,000): 15, Zara Munyer, NIXC; 17, Josie McLaughlin, SMA; 19, Ann Marie Dance, NIXC; 20, Elliana Rietze, NIXC; 45, Jenny Elliott, NIXC; 60, Natal Davis, NIXC; 94, Neala Hart, NIXC. Team:– 4, NIXC.

15-18 boys (5,000): 13, Max Bazler, NIXC; 18, Logan Davis, NIXC; 26, Kellen Souza, NICX; 33, Gioavanni Ferraro, VF. Team: none.

Boys 5,000 open: 15, Ferraro, VF.

Letters of intent

Idaho women’s track/cross country: Nicole Guthrie, jumps/sprints, Woodland, Washington; Olivia Martin, sprints, Selah, Washington.

Murray State University rifle: Kylie Delaney, Three Springs HS (Cheney), Washington State girls champion and State Indoor/Outdoor Grand Aggregate champion for Spokane Junior Rifle Team.

Tennessee State men’s basketball: Yusuf Mohamed, F, North Idaho College.

Idaho State men’s basketball: Emmit Taylor III, G, North Idaho College.

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