Friday, November 30, 2012
Tri-City Americans (16-9-1-1, 34 pts) at Kamloops (20-6-1-1, 42 pts)
Interior Savings Centre, Kamloops, BC; 7:05 p.m.
Listen: NewsTalk 870
Watch: WHL Live
Kamloops: 2-1 Win vs. Vancouver
Tri-City: 3-2 Loss at Kelowna
Kamloops: JC Lipon, 21G-32A–53PT; Colin Smith 19G-33A–52PT; Tim Bozon 16G-22A-38PT
Tri-City: Justin Feser, 17G-18A–35PT; Malte Strömwall 8G-9A–17PT; Connor Rankin 9G-7A–16PT
This is the second meeting between the two teams this season. The Americans won the first meeting 4-2 in the Toyota Center. Tri-City comes into the game on a two game losing streak, losing two straight on the road starting in Spokane and then losing two nights ago to Kelowna. Kamloops has a three headed monster of a line in JC Lipon, Colin Smith and Tim Bozon. The three are all in the top five in the WHL in scoring, with Lipon first, Smith second and Bozon fifth. Justin Feser comes into the game on a six game point streak, having scored four goals and eight assists in that span. Feser had a goal and three assists in the first meeting against the Blazers. Cole Cheveldave is the man between the pipes for the Blazers, and he ranks fourth in the league in goals against average.
Players to Watch
C Charles Inglis: The 20-year-old recently came to the Blazers in a trade and has an assist in three games with the team after he took the place of the retired Jordan DePape.
D Sam Grist: The former Tri-City American has played well since being traded to Kamloops in October, scoring two goals and four assists for the Blazers.
D Zachary Yuen: He is quietly having a solid season for the Americans, having the fourth most points and the second most assists on the team with 12.
C Marcus Messier: Messier is vying for the offensive player of the month award, having four goals and two assists this month while leading the team in plus/minus this season.
Keys to the Game
Road Woes: Tri-City played well on the road earlier this season, going 7-4 before this month including an Eastern Canada road trip which the Americans were 5-0-1 on. But the Americans have lost four in a row on the road dating back to October and don’t want to let that streak get to five. It will be a tough task to win at Kamloops as the Blazers have an 11-2 record at home this season.
Three-Headed Monster: JC Lipon, Colin Smith, and Tim Bozon are three of the top five scorers in the league. The first game was stellar defensively, as Justin Hamonic, Mitch Topping, Wil Tomchuk and Zachary Yuen played well keeping the big three out of their usual rhythm. Eric Comrie played well making spectacular saves, stopping 22 of 24 shots he faced that night. They will have to duplicate or better that performance to get the win tonight.
Kamloops: Dec. 1 vs. Moose Jaw
Tri-City: Dec. 1 at Vancouver