Saturday, January 19, 2013
Tri-City Americans (26-17-1-2, 55 pts) at Tri-City Americans (28-15-1-0, 57 pts)
Veterans Memorial Arena, Spokane, WA; 7:05 p.m.
Listen: NewsTalk 870
Watch: MeTV 42.2, Charter 280; WHL Live
Spokane: 4-2 Loss vs. Kelowna
Tri-City: 4-1 Loss vs. Kamloops
Spokane: Brenden Kichton, 15G-40A–55PT; Todd Fiddler 29G-23A–52PT; Mitch Holmberg 27G-21A-48PT
Tri-City: Justin Feser, 26G-33A–59PT; Malte Strömwall 12G-23A–35PT; Connor Rankin 18G-14A–32PT
Both teams come into this game on a low note. The Americans lost a tough game at home to the Kamloops Blazers 4-1 while the Chiefs had a similar fate at the hand of another B.C. Division opponent Kelowna Rockets. This game will be a battle for second place in the U.S. Division, as Tri-City is only two points back of Spokane in the Division and the Western Conference. Tri-City is playing its fifth game in seven days. The Americans have been on a tear on special teams, at one point converting six power plays in a row and was 7 of 9 at one point. Spokane comes into this game on a two game losing streak, which gave the Americans an opening to slip back into the race for second place in the U.S. Division. The Americans and Chiefs have met seven times this season, with the Chiefs coming out on top four times. But the Americans have some momentum coming into this game as they have won the last two games, including the most recent game 6-3 on New Year’s Eve.
Players to Watch
LW Alessio Bertaggia: Since coming over to the Chiefs at the trade deadline, he has two goals and two assists in two games.
D Brenden Kichton: The captain of the team and leading point scorer has a 10-game point streak going, including a goal and assist in the New Year’s Eve game against Tri-City.
D Mitch Topping: Has a point in every game in 2013, including an assist last night. That brings his total to two goals and seven assists so far in 2013.
C Justin Feser: Feser also has a point in every game in 2013. He has been scoring a little more than Topping, scoring five goals and 10 assists in the eight game span.
Keys to the Game
Momentum: While the Chiefs have won four of seven games against the Americans, the Americans come into this game with a little momentum. They have won the last two games against the Chiefs, including a road game in mid-December on Spokane’s Teddy Bear Toss Night. They then defeated them on New Year’s Eve 6-3.
Road Warriors: The team has played well on the road this season, going 15-9-1-0 while not playing as well at home, going 11-8-0-2. The Americans seem to play better on the road and have a better penalty kill unit on the road, while the PK unit at home is ranked near the bottom of the league.
Spokane: Jan. 21 at Portland
Tri-City: Jan. 22 vs. Seattle