Despite a shorthanded goal by Cree skater Todd Fiddler, the Spokane Chiefs went flat against the Portland Winterhawks last night in the opening game of their best-of-seven WHL Western Confererence semifinal playoff series, falling 7-2. The game was tied 2-2 after Fiddler scored at 7:23 of the second period, but Portland then scored five unanswered to skate away with the game. The game was played at the Rose Garden in Portland; the Winterhawks have the series home ice advantage. An announced crowd of 6,172 was on hand.
Although the Chiefs out-shot the Winterhawks 40-39, they went 0-3 on the power play; Portland was 2-8 with the man advantage. Special team play will be crucial in Game 2, set to face-off tonight at 7:05 p.m. For more info on tonight's game, go to SpokaneChiefs.com.
Fiddler is from Waterhen Lake First Nation of Saskatchewan, part of the Cree Nation. Growing up was spent mostly in Meadow Lake, about an hour south of the Waterhen Lake Reserve although he told ICTMN, “When I was youngster I’d always go visit my grandparents [on Waterhen]. I played a lot of hockey up there, hanging out.”
Here's video of a nifty move and a beauty goal by Fiddler: