By Annie Fowler | Tri-City Herald
The Tri-City Americans won back-to-back games to finish off the first half of the season with 20 wins, but the second half doesn’t get any easier as they open with a home-and-home series with the Portland Winterhawks.
The Americans (20-12-1-2, 43 points) host the U.S. Division-leading Winterhawks (29-5-1-0, 59 points) tonight, then will play at 3 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Coliseum.
“Two buildings we hadn’t won in yet before the break,” Tri-City coach Jim Hiller said of the wins at Spokane and Seattle. “That sent us off in the right frame of mind for Christmas break. Now we have Portland. What a way to welcome us back. They are missing a few of their top guys, but that comes with the territory of having high-end players.”
The Americans are 1-3-0-0 against the Winterhawks this season, with Luke Lee-Knight picking up the win in goal during a 3-2 victory in Portland. Both teams had players returning Thursday and could be a little rusty this weekend.