Spokane Sweeps Lethbridge in WHL Finals - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Spokane Sweeps Lethbridge in WHL Finals

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LETHBRIDGE - The Spokane Chiefs were crowned 2008 Western Hockey League Champions after defeating the Lethbridge Hurricanes 4-1 in Game 4 of the WHL Championship series on Tuesday, May 7th, in Lethbridge, AB.

The victory gave the visiting Kal Tire WHL Western Conference Champion Chiefs a 4-0 best-of-seven series win over the MNP WHL Eastern Conference Champion Hurricanes. As the 2008 WHL Champions, the Chiefs claimed the Ed Chynoweth Cup.

The Chiefs are the first U.S.-Based WHL team to win the WHL Championship in 10 years. The Portland Winter Hawks were the last American team to win the WHL Championship in 1998.

17-year-old rookie Tyler Johnson scored the eventual game-winning goal with his fifth tally of the post-season 3:37 into the second period. Mitch Wahl opened the scoring for the Chiefs in the first period while David Rutherford and Ondrej Roman each notched a goal and an assist in the third period to salt away the Game 4 victory.

Nicholas Hotson scored the only goal for the Hurricanes, who were outshot 25-18 by the visiting Chiefs in the contest.

Chiefs' goaltender Dustin Tokarski made 17 saves to record his 16th victory of the 2008 playoffs. Juha Metsola made 21 stops for the Hurricanes in the defeat.

As the 2008 WHL Champions, the Spokane Chiefs will compete as the WHL representative at the 2008 MasterCard Memorial Cup tournament in Kitchener, ONT.

Best-of-seven Series: Spokane Chiefs win WHL Championship Series 4-0

Game Summary


17-year-old Tyler Johnson was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the 2008 WHL Championship series, having helped the Spokane Chiefs to the 2008 WHL Championship and the Ed Chynoweth Cup.

Johnson, in his first WHL season, scored three goals with a +2 rating over the four-game series sweep of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL Championship series, with two of his three goals being game-winners.

The Spokane, WA, product, playing for his hometown team, scored a shorthanded goal which proved to be the insurance marker in the Chiefs' series-opening 4-1 victory over the Hurricanes on Friday, May 2nd, in Spokane. He followed up with the overtime game-winning goal in a 2-1 Chiefs triumph in Game 3 of the series in Lethbridge on Tuesday, May 6th. Johnson capped off his tremendous WHL Championship series performance by netting the game-winner in the Chiefs 4-1 win in the Championship-clinching game on Wednesday in Lethbridge.

Johnson has recorded five goals and eight points in 21 games for the Chiefs during the 2008 WHL playoffs. He tallied 12 goals and 35 points in 69 games during the regular season.