Portland, Oregon—otherwise known as eco-city utopia—does many things better than Spokane. They’ve got better bicycle infrastructure. They have a pro basketball team. They have one of the best marathons in the Northwest. They have Mt. Hood, with its epic kiteboarding and nearly year-round snowsports. They have better public transportation. Portland is truly a city that looks to the future like few others in the United States.
But there is at least one thing in which Spokane, Washington smokes it’s neighbor Portland, Oregon.
That thing is called hockey.
I have a deep love for the Spokane Chiefs because they can generally be depended on to trounce Seattle and Portland. They seem to get more trouble from the Tri-Cities and Medicine Hats of the world than they do from our big city neighbors. When the Portland Winter Hawks came to town last night our boys did not disappoint. To simply trounce was not enough, the Chiefs were set on humiliating Portland. Utterly and completely.
The Chiefs scored four goals in the first period, which might not be notable, but the last goal came short handed. I’m sure WHL teams have scored greater victory margins than the 7-1 final score, but the final tally doesn’t tell the whole story. The Chiefs looked like they were on a power play all night, even when they weren’t. The seventh goal was scored in garbage time and ended with Portland’s goalie backwards, his face in the net. Portland started two fights in the last five minutes, including one after the game was over, in an attempt to use fisticuffs to salvage their dignity. These attempts were unsuccessful. The Chiefs beat down occurred both on and off the clock.
I’m not a big fan of hockey fighting, but it was hard not to live vicariously through these talented young athletes. I imagine a Portland player barking “Your bike lanes suck!” The Spokane player retorts, “The Williamette River stinks!” It’s on. Portland face, meet Spokane ice.
My 8-year-old son put it best. “I wish they could fight and never stop. Then we could stay all night and watch them fight.”
Yes son, so do I. Thank you Spokane Chiefs.