Game Day Preview: Chiefs @ Americans

Saturday, February 16, 2013
Spokane Chiefs (34-22-2-0, 70 pts) at Tri-City Americans (32-22-1-2, 67 pts)
Toyota Center, Kennewick, WA; 7:05 p.m.
Listen: NewsTalk 870
Watch: MeTV 42.2, Charter 280; WHL Live

Previous Game
6-3 Win at Everett

Tri-City: 6-2 Win at Portland

Point Leaders
Brenden Kichton, 18G-49A–67PT;  Todd Fiddler 37G-29A–66PT; Mitch Holmberg 34G-32A-66PT

Tri-City: Justin Feser, 32G-45A–77PT; Malte Strömwall 16G-31A–47PT; Connor Rankin 20G-20A–40PT

It’s a clash of the titans as the Americans and Chiefs enter this game on a high note. Spokane is coming off of a 6-3 road win in Everett while Tri-City had a thrilling win last night against the CHL’s top ranked Portland Winterhawks 6-2 on the road. Troy Trombley got his first start of the season and dazzled, making 41 saves en route to his first WHL win. Spokane sits three points ahead of the Americans for the fourth playoff seed, while Tri-City trails the Victoria Royals by two points for the fifth playoff seed. The Americans have not played as well at home this season with a 13-12-0-2 record, but are 2-2 against the Spokane Chiefs at home, including a two game win streak. The most recent game between the two teams in the Toyota Center was on New Year’s Eve with the Americans coming out on top 6-3. Spokane leads the overall season series 5-4, including a win in the most recent meeting a week ago 5-2 in Spokane. Spokane is 4-6 in its last 10 games, but has a two game win streak entering this contest.

Players to Watch
LW Alessio Bertaggia: Yet to play in the Toyota Center with the Chiefs, he has four goals and two assists in three games since joining Spokane at the trade deadline.          

RW Riley Whittingham: He scored the first two goals against the Americans in the last meeting a week ago in Spokane.
G Troy Trombley: Played brilliantly in his first start of the season, making 41 saves to earn his first WHL win.        

LW Jesse Mychan: Since January, Mychan has turned it on, scoring 12 goals and five assists, including a two game goal streak.      

Keys to the Game
Extra Implications: With the season coming down to the end, the Americans and Chiefs are both fighting for playoff seeding. The teams are separated by three points, and an Americans win would tie the season series at five wins each. Tri-City desperately needs this win to catch up to the Chiefs and the Royals, who are ahead of Tri-City in the playoff race but not by much.

Special Teams: Tri-City has been playing well on the power play, converting two of three chances yesterday against the Winterhawks. The Americans are great on the power play at home, ranking fourth in the league at 24.3 percent. Spokane will look to take advantage of the Americans weak home penalty kill, which is ranked second to last in the league at 73.9 percent. Last night, the Americans were great on the PK, killing off all five of the Winterhawks power plays.  

Next Game
Feb. 18 at Portland

Tri-City: Feb. 19 vs. Vancouver

Game Day Promotions
It’s another Coors Light Super Cold Saturday on February 16th, when the rival Spokane Chiefs visit the Toyota Center on Sterling Bank Night, presented by URock Radio, KVEW-TV and MOM Magazine.  Nine hundred lucky fans will receive a free Justin Feser desktop pencil holder, courtesy of Sterling Bank.  It’s another Preston Premium Wines’ Premium Game.  Purchase fifty dollars or more online at Preston wines dot com and get two tickets to the game, while supplies last.  It’s also another Jack in the Box Rock the Rink Saturday Night, with student ticket discounts available at the Toyota Center box office, simply by showing your valid student card.  On-ice entertainment features a performance by the All American Spirit, another round of the Toyota of Tri-Cities Titanic Trike Races, followed by the always-popular Ranch & Home Chuck-A-Puck.

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