TCH: Americans limp into matchup with Kelowna

By Annie Fowler | Tri-City Herald

The Kelowna Rockets make their final visit this season to Toyota Center tonight. The top-ranked CHL team has plenty of weapons at its disposal, while the Tri-City Americans are entering battle without a full arsenal.

Three key forwards are on the sidelines because of injuries and a suspension, leaving the Americans to piece together their offense.

“It has been an odd year this year,” said Americans coach Jim Hiller. “It is adversity, and we have been dealing with it for a while. It’s an opportunity for others; they just have to step up and fill the role.”

Among those watching from the wings is Kennewick native Taylor Vickerman, who is out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL. He was scheduled to have surgery today.

“It’s been tough for him this year,” Hiller said of Vickerman, who missed most of the first half the season with a shoulder injury and has played just 30 games. “For a young guy, he’s been a reliable offensive player for us.”

Vickerman, 17, was acquired by the Americans from the Vancouver Giants during the offseason. He was hurt during the third game of the season and missed 25 games before returning Nov. 29.



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