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WHL cancels remainder of regular season; playoffs still possible

UPDATED: Wed., March 18, 2020

Spokane Chiefs standout Adam Beckman skates against the Portland Winterhawks on Jan. 3, 2019, at the Spokane Arena. The 18-year-old winger was seeking a 50-goal, 110-point season before the WHL canceled its regular season on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane Chiefs standout Adam Beckman skates against the Portland Winterhawks on Jan. 3, 2019, at the Spokane Arena. The 18-year-old winger was seeking a 50-goal, 110-point season before the WHL canceled its regular season on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)
By Dan Thompson For The Spokesman-Review

The Western Hockey League officially canceled the remainder of its regular season on Wednesday.

That includes the final four games of the Spokane Chiefs’ season. They will end the campaign with a record of 41-18-4-1 with 87 points, third in the U.S. Division behind the Everett Silvertips (96 points) and the Portland Winterhawks (97).

The regular season was originally set to conclude with games Saturday.

The completion of the playoffs is still a possibility, according to a statement from the WHL.

“We will continue to monitor ongoing public health developments regarding COVID-19,” the statement reads. “We will make every effort possible to conduct the 2020 WHL Playoffs at a later date. We thank WHL fans and partners for your patience and understanding during these challenging times.”

Were the playoffs to be held, the Chiefs’ first-round series against the Silvertips would feature the two hottest teams in the league. Everett won nine of its final 10; Spokane was on a 10-game winning streak.

Spokane’s Adam Beckman finished the season with league-leading totals in points (107) and goals (48). He was fourth in assists (59) behind teammate Eli Zummack, who led the WHL with 64.

Mitch Holmberg produced the Chiefs’ previous 100-point season in 2013-14, when he had 118 points, including 62 goals, in a 72-game season. Beckman, who played 63 of the Chiefs’ 64 games this year, had a slightly better points-per-game average (1.70 to 1.64).

Chiefs defenseman Noah King had the best plus-minus in the league (plus-60) this season. Next in that category was Portland forward Seth Jarvis at plus-53, followed by Chiefs defenseman Ty Smith (plus-49).

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