By Annie Fowler | Tri-City Herald
Going into tonight’s game with the visiting Kamloops Blazers, the Tri-City Americans find themselves in a spot they haven’t been in more than half a decade — at the bottom of the U.S. Division.
Granted, the season is just nine games old and just five points separate the Americans (3-5-0-1, 7 points) from division leaders Seattle and Spokane, which each have 12 points, but it’s never a comfortable feeling to be last.
“You want to be No. 1 all the time and you can’t be,” Tri-City coach Jim Hiller said. “We haven’t been, but that has to be the goal. People have to get better. That’s the only way to achieve that. It doesn’t always happen. We have had good teams and not been No. 1.
“From the first day I came here, sitting in first or where we are today, there is a sense of urgency to get better, to become a better player. When you become a better player, you become a better team. That never changes.”
One player who offers encouragement in that regard is overage forward Phil Tot, who has points in his last two games, including a key goal in a 3-2 road win over Kamloops on Tuesday.