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Column: Chiefs face tough tests on road
We knew last weekend was going to be a difficult one for the Chiefs and the results proved it.
Facing the league’s three division leaders the Chiefs dropped three straight to Powell River, Penticton and Langley.
The strange part of these games was that there were times in each game where it looked like things were going OK, only to have them fall apart. Friday the Chiefs led 3-1 after one against Powell River only to lose 8-5.
Saturday in Penticton they fell behind 3-0 in the first period but battled back to tie the game at three early in the second. They then gave up six straight to the Vees in a 9-4 loss. Sunday the Chiefs scored first and were playing well only to have a few defensive lapses cost them enroute to a 4-2 loss.
This weekend won’t be any easier for the Chiefs who now trail the fourth place Surrey Eagles by eight points with just one game in hand.
For the second straight week they’ll play three games in less than 48 hours.
This time all three games will be on the road.
Friday the Chiefs are in Powell River to face the Kings. In a strange scheduling quirk this game will be only home game out of a stretch of 11 games for the Kings. Earlier this season the Kings played 10 straight home games.
We saw again last weekend why Powell River has the best record in the league.
Even on a night that their starting goaltender struggled — they gave up more than four goals for just the second time this season — they still managed to beat the Chiefs 8-5. Chilliwack visits Nanaimo Saturday to take on the Clippers before wrapping up the weekend Sunday afternoon in Alberni Valley.
The Chiefs return to home ice to face the Penticton Vees on Dec. 13.
That night is the annual Toque/Teddy Bear Toss night. After the Chiefs score their first goal of the game fans can toss a new toque or stuffed animal on the ice which will then be donated to Chilliwack Community Services.
The Chiefs organization continues to work on plans to celebrate 25 seasons of Chiefs hockey next year.
There have been several very interesting ideas discussed and I think fans are really going to enjoy it.
Expect some of the plans to be announced around the middle of next month.
For those of you attending Saturday’s Christmas Parade keep an eye out for the Chiefs Fix Auto Fanboni.
One roster move to report this week. Defenseman Quentin McShane was released after Sunday’s game in Langley.
Lastly, goaltender Lyndon Stanwood who was released by the Chiefs last week is now with the Junior B Kamloops Storm of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. He made 24 saves and earned the shutout in a 4-0 win over the Chase Heat Saturday.
Also playing in the KIJHL for the North Okanagan Rockets is former Chief Tanner Cochrane. He’s scored six goals in his first seven games there.