Game Day Preview: Chiefs @ Americans

Saturday, March 16, 2013
Spokane Chiefs (43-25-2-0, 88 pts) at Tri-City Americans (40-26-1-3, 84 pts)
Toyota Center, Kennewick, WA; 7:05 p.m.
Listen: NewsTalk 870
Watch: WHL Live

Previous Game
6-0 Win vs. Tri-City

Tri-City: 6-0 Loss at Spokane

Point Leaders
Brenden Kichton, 22G-61A–83PT;  Mitch Holmberg 39G-41A–80PT; Todd Fiddler 42G-34A-76PT

Tri-City: Justin Feser, 43G-59A–102PT; Malte Strömwall 19G-44A–63PT; Connor Rankin 30G-26A–56PT

It is only fitting that the final weekend of the season would determine playoff seeding between the two rivals on Highway 395. Tri-City and Spokane know they will play each other in the first round of the WHL Playoffs and Spokane clinched the fourth seed with last night’s win. With the schedule already mostly set, it means that the Chiefs will host a game 7 if the series goes the full seven games. Spokane is streaking coming into this game, winning four straight and nine of their last 10 coming into tonight. Tri-City has been plagued with injuries lately but is looking to utilize some of their depth on the blue line and up front. Tri-City has lost three straight coming into tonight’s game. The Americans have won 40 games for the seventh straight season, tying a WHL record. Tri-City will look to utilize their special teams play, ranking fourth in the league on the power play at 21.8 percent and eighth in the league on the penalty at 82.7 percent. The Americans special teams haven’t been as hot in March, going 2-22 on the penalty kill and 7-37 on the power play. Spokane has solid special teams as well, including a ninth ranked power play at 21 percent and a 12th ranked penalty kill at 80.1 percent. The Americans are looking to build some momentum tonight heading into their first round playoff series with Spokane.

Players to Watch
LW Carter Proft: Tallied two goals in last night’s 6-0 win and he leads the league with 187 penalty minutes this season.

RW Jackson Playfair: Playfair has two goals this season, both coming against the Americans. The first goal came on Oct. 27 and the second goal came last night.   
D Drydn Dow: This will be his final regular season game as an American. In his career, he has played in 221 games, tallying 13 goals, 49 assists and a +55 rating.        

LW Jesse Mychan: Mychan will play in his final regular season game as an American. The 20-year-old has played in 102 games, collecting 28 goals, 30 assists and 230 penalty minutes.

Keys to the Game
Revenge: Tri-City lost a tough game last night to Spokane 6-0. There are only two games left in the season and the Americans want to end the regular season on a high note and entering the playoffs. After last night’s loss, the Americans will be even hungrier to earn a victory over the Chiefs. Tri-City wants to send a message to Spokane that the first round playoff series will be a dog fight.
Playoff Preview: Last night and tonight will serve as a preview of what both teams will see when they drop the puck next Friday in game 1 of the 2013 WHL Playoffs. These two teams know each other well, with this game tonight being the 12th meeting this season. Spokane earned the edge in the series 6-5 last night with the win, but both teams will have a good understanding of how the other plays heading into next week.    

Next Game
March 17 at Portland

Tri-City: March 17 at Everett

Game Day Promotions
It’s another Coors Light Super Cold Saturday on March 16th, when the Americans wrap-up the regular season against the rival Spokane Chiefs on Sterling Bank’s Go Green for MDA Night, presented by SunWest Sportswear, U.S. Linen & Uniform, 102.7 KORD, KVEW-TV and MOM Magazine.  The game will serve as a fundraiser for the local chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, including special green, MDA-themed T-shirts commemorating the event, courtesy of SunWest Sportswear.  The first 2,000 fans will receive the next set of Americans’ 2012-13 Trading Cards, courtesy of U.S. Cellular and an additional 1,000 fans will receive a green MDA Shamrock pin in honor of the night’s festivities, courtesy of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  The Toyota Center concourse will host a massive MDA silent auction, all in support of the local chapter of the MDA 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.  Our first intermission will host a performance by the All American Spirit, followed by the Toyota of Tri-Cities Titanic Trike Races.  Then, our second intermission will host Ranch & Home Chuck-A-Puck!  And, be sure to stick around after the game for the annual Wildhorse Resort & Casino Americans Year-End Awards ceremony and see who will take home the hardware!

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