Game Day Preview: Thunderbirds @ Americans

Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Seattle Thunderbirds (18-26-2-1, 39 pts) at Tri-City Americans (27-17-1-2, 57 pts)
Toyota Center, Kennewick, WA; 7:05 p.m.
Listen: NewsTalk 870
Watch: WHL Live

Previous Game
6-5 Shootout Win vs. Lethbridge

Tri-City: 4-3 Overtime Win at Spokane

Point Leaders
Connor Honey, 12G-25A–37PT; Roberts Lipsbergs 19G-16A–35PT; Alexander Delnov 14G-17A-31PT

Tri-City: Justin Feser, 26G-35A–61PT; Malte Strömwall 13G-24A–37PT; Connor Rankin 18G-14A—32PT

The Americans and Thunderbirds will clash for the fifth time this season. Seattle got the better of Tri-City in the first two meetings, winning 3-1 in Kent in October and 8-4 about two weeks ago in Kennewick on Teddy Bear Toss night. But Tri-City did get their first win against the Thunderbirds right before the winter break with a 4-1 victory in Kent and followed that up with a 5-3 home win on Jan. 13, with Justin Feser scoring a natural hat trick and his 300th point that night. The Seattle win in December in Kennewick snaps a 22 game losing streak for the Thunderbirds in the Toyota Center. Seattle is last in the U.S. Division with 39 points. Tri-City was 9-1 against Seattle last season, losing the first game against the Thunderbirds in Seattle but winning the other nine. The two teams are dead even in the overall series, with the Americans holding a 103-101-7-1 with 13 ties against the Thunderbirds. Both teams come into this game off of thrilling wins, with Tri-City earning a win in overtime against Spokane. The Thunderbirds won a 6-5 game over Lethbridge in a shootout.  

Players to Watch
C Luke Lockhart: Luke had the only goal in the shootout against Lethbridge and has a goal and three assists against the Americans this season.       

LW Alexander Delnov: The rookie and third leading point scorer on the team has 14 goals and 17 assists this season.    
RW Malte Strömwall: Malte is second on the team in points, and had three assists in the last meeting with the Thunderbirds on Jan. 13.      

LW Jesse Mychan: Mychan has a goal in four straight games and has six goals and an assist during his four game point streak.  

Keys to the Game
Confidence: Each team comes into this game with some confidence, as the Seattle Thunderbirds have won two in a row coming into this game with a win over the Portland Winterhawks and a shootout win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. The Americans won a thriller over the Chiefs 4-3 in overtime, so watch to see which team can carry their momentum from previous games into this game.
Special Teams: Tri-City’s power play has been playing well in the last 10 games and it has vaulted the team’s overall power play to fifth in the league, including a fourth ranked power play at home. The Thunderbirds have the 14th ranked penalty kill overall, but the Americans need to improve their penalty kill at home, which they rank second to last in the league.  

Next Game
Jan. 24 at Kelowna

Tri-City: Jan. 25 vs. Medicine Hat

Game Day Promotion
The Americans and Seattle Thunderbirds face-off at the Toyota Center on Bettendorf’s Printing and Design Night, presented by 107.7 The Vine and Tú Decides.  The first 1,000 fans will receive a free All American Spirit Poster, courtesy of Bettendorf’s Printing and Design. It’s also another Ranch & Home 2-Fer Tuesday – to receive your discount, simply pick up a coupon at the Sporting Goods counter at Ranch & Home Kennewick, or at the Clothing Counter at Ranch and Home Pasco, and redeem it at the Toyota Center box office!

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