After securing two of three wins against the Prince George Cougars this week. the head coach of the Spokane Chiefs, Don Nachbaur, was unhappy with his club's work ethic in the 4-2 loss Wednesday at CN Centre.
"The Cougars were a lot hungrier than we were," said Nachbaur. "I don't think we worked hard tonight and we sure as heck didn't compete. They beat us and deserved to win the hockey game."
The Chiefs (9-4) sit third in the the Western Hockey League's western conference this season, behind the top team in Canada, the Kamloops Blazers (12-0-0-1), and the Tri City Americans (9-3-1-1).
Spokane beat the Cougars last Saturday 3-2 at home before the teams made the trek to Nachbaur's home town for a pair of midweek games. On Tuesday, the Chiefs scored five third-period markers in a 6-1 win. Nachbaur said he enjoys catching up with family and friends in Prince George whenever the Chiefs make their way up north.
"It's always nice to come home and see them," said Nachbaur. "Everywhere I went on the street I ran into somebody. It was good to just rehash old times."
During the Chiefs stay in Prince George it was announced that Nachbaur would coach Team WHL for the Subway Super Series against Team Russia, Nov. 14 in Vancouver and Nov. 15 in Victoria.
"I'm looking forward to that," he said. "It's coaching the best players in the league. It's pretty humbling at times and for sure it's an honour because there's a lot of great coaches in this league."
Nachbaur is in the third year of a five-year contract he signed to coach the Chiefs in 2010. He has compiled a 95-47-9-6 regular season record (17-13 in playoffs). He said this season the Chiefs are icing a fairly young roster, more so lately with a couple key veterans nursing injuries.
One rookie is Jackson Playfair, an 18-year-old rookie from Fort St. James, who has played in nine games for the Chiefs this season, including both games in Prince George. Playfair recorded his first WHL point when he picked up an assist in Tuesday's win.
"He's got lots to learn but he's getting a great opportunity," said Nachbaur.
The coach wasn't too happy with many of the Chiefs veterans Wednesday, but he had good things to say about 20-year-old Dylan Walchuk of McBride.
"He's probably our most consistent forward night in and night out," said Nachbaur. "He did his part. He tried."
The Chiefs continue their road trip tonight in Everett and Saturday in Tri City.