By Annie Fowler | Tri-City Herald
Starting the season 0-2 is nothing new for the Tri-City Americans. In fact, it has happened eight times, and six times they have gone on to make the playoffs. So there’s no need to panic.
The Americans were 0-2 at the start of last season, then went on to win 40 games to tie a league record with Kamloops and Regina for posting seven consecutive 40-win seasons.
Today, the Americans will wipe the slate clean and hop on the bus to take on the reigning Western Conference champion Portland Winterhawks at the Moda Center (formerly the Rose Garden).
“We’ve got to win one. There’s no better place, I can tell you that,” Tri-City coach Jim Hiller said. “It’s a tough task, but we’ve done it before. That’s the goal.”
Portland is 1-0-0-1 to start the season, with a win over Prince George and a shootout loss to Seattle.
The Winterhawks return a solid core of players from last year’s team, including reigning scoring champion Nic Petan (120 points), Chase De Leo, Taylor Leier and Oliver Bjorkstrand, who leads the the league in scoring with six points after the opening weekend.