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Ice Hockey

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An Ice Hockey Wiki article.

Spokane Chiefs
File:Spokane Chiefs logo.svg
City: Spokane, Washington
League: Western Hockey League
Conference: Western
Division: U.S.
Founded: 1985 (1985)–86
Home Arena: Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena
Colors: Red, white and blue
Head Coach: Hardy Sauter
General Manager: Tim Speltz
Franchise history
1982–85: Kelowna Wings
1985–present: Spokane Chiefs

The Spokane Chiefs are a major junior ice hockey team that plays in the Western Hockey League based out of Spokane, Washington. The team plays its home games at the Spokane Arena. Their uniforms are similar to those of the NHL's Montreal Canadiens. Spokane consistently ranks in the top 10 in the Canadian Hockey League in attendance. The Chiefs won the Memorial Cup in 1991 and 2008.

Contents

History

The Chiefs line up for a game with the Tri-City Americans.

The current franchise was granted in 1982 to Kelowna, British Columbia as the Kelowna Wings. In 1985, the team relocated to Spokane, Washington and became the Chiefs. Before the Spokane Chiefs, there was another WHL franchise in Spokane, the Spokane Flyers, which played between 1980–1982.

The Chiefs won the WHL and CHL Memorial Cup championships in 1991 and 2008. In addition, they have won two division titles and four Western Conference championships. The Chiefs and Portland Winter Hawks are the only United States based teams to win the Memorial Cup. The Chiefs are also the only team in the history of the Western Hockey League to come back from an 0–3 deficit to win a best-of-seven series, which they did against the Portland Winter Hawks in 1996.

The 1991 Memorial Cup team included future NHL players: Ray Whitney, Pat Falloon, Trevor Kidd, Jon Klemm, and Scott Bailey. This team of future NHL'ers blew through the Memorial Cup Tournament, scoring a goal in the first couple of minutes of virtually every game.

The Chiefs' move to the new Spokane Arena in 1995 proved to be good luck. Along with being called the gem of the Western Hockey League, the Arena hosted many memorable events in the first year and saw the Chiefs win 50 games and advance to the WHL finals, only to lose in five games to the Brandon Wheat Kings.

The Chiefs won the Western Conference Championship cup in 1991, 1996, 2000 and 2008.

Just two years later, the Chiefs hosted the 1998 Memorial Cup, setting an attendance record. In the 1999–00 season head coach Mike Babcock led the team from a last place finish the previous year to a first place, 47 win season. The Chiefs advanced to play the Kootenay Ice in the WHL finals, but lost in six games.

Between 2001 and 2005, the Chiefs struggled to find an identity. The organization went through three head coaches in five years: Perry Ganchar (resigned), Al Conroy (fired) and Bill Peters. Still Spokane fans, known for their robust support, continued to turn out. The Chiefs consistently average 6,000–7,000 fans per game, one of the top figures in the Western and Canadian Hockey Leagues. The Chiefs are also known for a goal celebration often called the 'best in junior hockey.' [1] In 1999, the fans were named the best in the WHL. On Saturday nights, often referred to as 'Hockey Night in Spokane', the Spokane Arena is generally sold out, and sellouts are expected when the Tri-City Americans come to town.

The Chiefs lower the Memorial Cup via rope, from the roof of the Spokane Arena on Opening Night 2008. Four months earlier, the Cup broke in the Chiefs hands during the celebration in Kitchener, Ontario.

The 2007–08 season produced the most wins by a Spokane Chiefs team since the 1999–00 season, a season which saw the Chiefs go to the WHL Finals. The team, backed by a solid goaltending tandem and an offensive attack led by Carolina Hurricanes draft pick Drayson Bowman, ranked in the top ten of the CHL for most of the season, and reached the #1 spot in late February. In one of the greatest series in WHL history the Chiefs beat their arch-rival, the Tri-City Americans, 4 games to 3 in the Western Conference finals to earn a spot in the 2008 WHL Finals. Five of the 7 games went into overtime, including 3 games decided in double overtime.

In the Finals, the Chiefs outscored the Lethbridge Hurricanes 15–5 and swept the series 4–0, just as they did in the 1991 WHL playoffs, to earn a trip to the Memorial Cup in Kitchener, Ontario. The Chiefs skated to a perfect 3–0 round robin record en route to their 2nd Memorial Cup, defeating the host Kitchener Rangers 4–1 in the championship game. The Chiefs remain the only U.S. team ever to win the Memorial Cup on Canadian soil.

In the 2008 offseason, head coach Bill Peters announced he was leaving the Chiefs for the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL. Assistant Coach Hardy Sauter was named the Chiefs 10th head coach a week later. He is the only former Chiefs player to become head coach.

In the 2009 offseason, former Chiefs defensemen and captain Jon Klemm was named assistant coach. Klemm lead the Chiefs to their first Memorial Cup championship in 1991, and won two Stanley Cups with the Colorado Avalanche.

NHL alumni

Club records

On Sept. 27, 2008, the Chiefs unveiled their WHL and Memorial Cup Championship banners. The Chiefs have won two Western Hockey League titles and two Memorial Cup titles. Banners for the championships hang in the Spokane Arena rafters. Division and conference championship banners are hung throughout the Arena concourse.

Most goals: 68 - Valeri Bure (1992–93)

Most assists: 118 - Ray Whitney (1990–91)

Most points: 185 - Ray Whitney (1990–91)

Most points, rookie: 78 - Pat Falloon (1988–89)

Most points, defenceman: 84 - Bryan McCabe (1993–94)

Most penalty minutes: 505 - Kerry Toporowski (1990–91)

Best goals against average, goaltender: 2.05 - Dustin Tokarski (2007–08)

Most shutouts, goaltender: 15 - Dustin Tokarski (2007–08, 2008–09)

Most saves, goaltender: 2,007 - Troy Gamble (1987–88)

Most regular season wins, goaltender: 76 - Dustin Tokarski (2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09)

Most single-season games played, goaltender: 67 - Troy Gamble (1987–88)

Most points in standings, team: 107 (2007–08)

Most wins, team: 50 (1995–96), (2007–08)

Longest game: 1:26:05 - 4 OT's (vs. Vancouver - April 10, 2009) (2nd longest game in WHL history)

Season-by-season record

Regular season

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties OTL = Overtime losses Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

Season GP W L T OTL GF GA Points Finish Playoffs
1985–86 72 30 41 1 - 373 413 61 3rd West Lost West Division semi-final
1986–87 72 37 33 2 - 374 350 76 3rd West Lost West Division semi-final
1987–88 72 37 32 3 - 330 296 77 2nd West Lost West Division final
1988–89 72 25 45 2 - 326 419 56 6th West Out of playoffs
1989–90 72 30 37 5 - 334 344 65 4th West Lost West Division semi-final
1990–91 72 48 23 1 - 435 275 97 2nd West Won WHL championship and Memorial Cup
1991–92 72 37 29 6 - 267 270 80 2nd West Lost West Division semi-final
1992–93 72 28 40 4 - 311 319 60 5th West Lost West Division semi-final
1993–94 72 31 37 4 - 324 320 66 5th West Lost West Division quarter-final
1994–95 72 32 36 4 - 244 261 68 5th West Lost West Division semi-final
1995–96 72 50 18 4 - 322 221 104 1st West Lost WHL finals
1996–97 72 35 33 4 - 260 235 74 3rd West Lost West Division semi-final
1997–98 72 45 23 4 - 288 235 94 2nd West Lost West Division final & Lost Memorial Cup
1998–99 72 19 44 9 - 193 268 47 7th West Out of playoffs
1999–00 72 47 19 4 2 272 191 100 1st West Lost WHL finals
2000–01 72 35 28 7 2 242 219 79 4th West Lost West Division final
2001–02 72 33 25 11 3 223 206 80 2nd U.S. Lost Western Conference semi-final
2002–03 72 26 36 6 4 216 261 62 2nd U.S. Lost Western Conference semi-final
2003–04 72 32 29 4 7 200 215 74 4th U.S. Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2004–05 72 24 38 8 2 192 230 58 5th U.S. Out of playoffs
Season GP W L OTL SOL GF GA Points Finish Playoffs
2005–06 72 25 39 5 3 193 254 58 5th U.S. Out of playoffs
2006–07 72 36 28 4 4 232 217 80 4th U.S. Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2007–08 72 50 15 1 6 251 160 107 2nd U.S. Won WHL championship and Memorial Cup
2008–09 72 46 23 0 3 246 145 95 2nd U.S. Lost Western Conference semi-final
ALL-TIME RECORD: 1728GP, 839W 742L 93T 37OTL 16SL

Playoff history

  • 1985–86: Lost to Portland Winter Hawks 5 games to 4 in Conference semi-finals.
  • 1986–87: Lost to Portland Winter Hawks 5 games to 0 in Conference semi-finals.
  • 1987–88: Defeated Victoria Cougars 5 games to 3 in Conference semi-finals.
    Lost to Kamloops Blazers 5 games to 2 in Conference finals.
  • 1988–89: Out of playoffs.
  • 1989–90: Lost to Kamloops Blazers 5 games to 1 in Conference semi-finals
  • 1990–91: Defeated Seattle Thunderbirds 5 games to 1 in Conference semi-finals.
    Defeated Kamloops Blazers 5 games to 0 in Conference finals.
    Defeated Lethbridge Hurricanes 4 games to 0 in WHL finals. WHL CHAMPIONS
    Finished Memorial Cup round-robin in first place (3–0).
    Defeated Drummondville Voltigeurs 5–1 to win Memorial Cup. MEMORIAL CUP CHAMPIONS
  • 1991–92: Defeated Portland Winter Hawks 4 games to 2 in Conference quarter-finals.
    Lost to Seattle Thunderbirds 3 games to 1 in Conference semi-finals.
  • 1992–93: Defeated Tacoma Rockets 4 games to 3 in Conference quarter-finals.
    Lost to Kamloops Blazers 3 games to 0 in Conference semi-finals.
  • 1993–94: Lost to Seattle Thunderbirds 3 games to 0 in Conference quarter-finals.
  • 1994–95: Advanced past round-robin tournament with 3–1 record.
    Lost to Tri-City Americans 4 games to 3 in Conference semi-finals.
  • 1995–96: Defeated Portland Winter Hawks 4 games to 3 in Conference quarter-finals.
    Earned second-round bye.
    Defeated Kamloops Blazers 4 games to 2 in Conference finals.
    Lost to Brandon Wheat Kings 4 games to 1 in WHL Finals.
  • 1996–97: Defeated Kelowna Rockets 4 games to 2 in Conference quarter-finals.
    Lost to Prince George Cougars 3 games to 0 in Conference semi-finals.
  • 1997–98: Defeated Kelowna Rockets 4 games to 3 in Conference quarter-finals.
    Defeated Prince George Cougars 3 games to 1 in Conference semi-finals.
    Lost to Portland Winter Hawks 4 games to 3 in Conference finals.
    Hosted Memorial Cup, finished round-robin in third place (1–2).
    Lost 2–1 (OT) in Semi-Final to Guelph Storm.
  • 1998–99: Out of playoffs.
  • 1999–00: Defeated Tri-City Americans 4 games to 0 in Conference quarter-finals.
    Earned second-round bye.
    Defeated Prince George Cougars 4 games to 1 in Conference finals.
    Lost to Kootenay Ice 4 games to 2 in WHL finals.
  • 2000–01: Defeated Kamloops Blazers 4 games to 0 in Conference quarter-finals.
    Defeated Seattle Thunderbirds 3 games to 0 in Conference semi-finals.
    Lost to Portland Winter Hawks 4 games to 1 in Conference finals.
  • 2001–02: Defeated Tri-City Americans 4 games to 1 in Conference quarter-finals.
    Lost to Kelowna Rockets 4 games to 2 in Conference semi-finals.
  • 2002–03: Defeated Portland Winter Hawks 4 games to 3 in Conference quarter-finals.
    Lost to Kelowna Rockets 4 games to 0 in Conference semi-finals.
  • 2003–04: Lost to Everett Silvertips 4 games to 0 in Conference quarter-finals.
  • 2004–05: Out of playoffs.
  • 2005–06: Out of playoffs.
  • 2006–07: Lost to Everett Silvertips 4 games to 2 in Conference quarter-finals.
  • 2007–08: Defeated Everett Silvertips 4 games to 0 in Conference quarter-finals.
    Defeated Vancouver Giants 4 games to 2 in Conference semi-finals.
    Defeated Tri-City Americans 4 games to 3 in Conference finals.
    Defeated Lethbridge Hurricanes 4 games to 0 in WHL finals. WHL CHAMPIONS
    Finished Memorial Cup round-robin in first place (3–0).
    Defeated Kitchener Rangers 4–1 to win Memorial Cup. MEMORIAL CUP CHAMPIONS
  • 2008–09: Defeated Seattle Thunderbirds 4 games to 1 in Conference quarter finals.
    Lost to Vancouver Giants 4-3 in Conference semi finals.
  • All-Time Playoff Record (Not Including Memorial Cup Games): 113–102
  • All-Time Memorial Cup Tournament Record: 9–3

Executives

Head coaches and all-time regular season records

  • 1985–86 Ernie Gare Jr. (1–5–0)
  • 1985–86 Marc Pezzin (30–41–1)
  • 1986–87 Peter Esdale (37–33–2)
  • 1987–89 Butch Goring (39–41–3)
  • 1989 (Interim)- Bob Strumm (2–4–0)
  • 1988–89 Gary Braun (21–32–2)
  • 1989–94 Bryan Maxwell (165–155–22)* Resigned Mid-Season 1993–94
  • 1994 (Interim)- Tim Speltz (1–0)
  • 1994 (Interim)- Perry Shockey (0–1)
  • 1994 (Interim)- Mike Fedorko (9–11–2)
  • 1994–00 Mike Babcock (234–169–29–2)
  • 1997 (Interim)- Brian Cox (5–2–0)
  • 2000–02 Perry Ganchar (68–53–18–5)
  • 2003–05 Al Conroy (82–103–18–13)
  • 2005–2008 Bill Peters (111–81–10–12)
  • 2008 (Interim) Leigh Mendelson (1-0)
  • 2008–present Hardy Sauter (45-23-0-3)

General managers

  • 1985–86 Marc Pezzin
  • 1986–89 Bob Strumm
  • 1989–90 Brian Maxwell
  • 1990–present Tim Speltz

Arenas

Spokane Arena hockey attendance records

The Spokane Arena is the home of the Spokane Chiefs.
  • Largest crowds: 10,759 vs. Tri-City (7 times since 1995), 10,751 Spokane vs. Val d'Or (1998 Memorial Cup opener), 10,700 vs. Tri-City (8 times since 1995), 10,650 vs. Tri-City (2 times since 1995), 10,538 vs. Tri-City (5 times since 1995), 10,431 vs. Tri-City (4 times since 1995)
  • Smallest crowd: 3,025 Spokane vs. Kelowna (February 8, 2006)
  • 1995–96 Sellouts: 11 (Includes NHL Exhibition Game)
  • 1996–97 Sellouts: 10
  • 1997–98 Sellouts: 14 (Includes 8 Memorial Cup Games)
  • 1998–99 Sellouts: 9
  • 1999–00 Sellouts: 10
  • 2000–01 Sellouts: 6
  • 2001–02 Sellouts: 7
  • 2002–03 Sellouts: 5
  • 2003–04 Sellouts: 4
  • 2004–05 Sellouts: 2
  • 2005–06 Sellouts: 1
  • 2006–07 Sellouts: 2
  • 2007–08 Sellouts: 3
  • 2008–09 Sellouts: 4

Chiefs attendance averages and WHL attendance rank

Season Total attendance Average Games WHL rank
1996–97 281,743 7,826 36 2nd
1997–98 289,735 8,048 36 2nd
1998–99 259,150 7,404 36 2nd
1999–00 255,974 7,110 36 1st
2000–01 231,960 6,443 36 2nd
2001–02 229,308 6,369 36 3rd
2002–03 219,586 6,099 36 3rd
2003–04 226,550 6,293 36 3rd
2004–05 225,002 6,250 36 4th
2005–06 219,802 6,105 36 5th
2006–07 220,019 6,112 36 4th
2007–08 236,056 6,557 36 3rd
2008–09 239,620 6,656 36 3rd

External links

  • Spokane Chiefs website

This article uses material from the "Spokane Chiefs" article on the Ice Hockey wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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