Game Day Preview: Americans @ Rebels
Saturday February 1, 2014
Tri-City Americans (25-22-2-3, 55 pts.) At Red Deer Rebels (27-21-0-3, 57 pts.)
Enmax Centrium, Red Deer AB; 6:00 p.m. PST
Local Radio Broadcast: NewsTalk 870 AM, 5:45 p.m.
Watch: WHL Live
Red Deer: 01/31/14 vs. Lethbridge (5-6, Loss SO)
Tri-City: 01/31/14 at Edmonton (1-3, Loss)
2013/14 Point Leaders
Red Deer: Connor Bleakley 22G-34A-56PT, Rhyse Dieno 18G-29A-47PT Aspen Sterzer 21G-19-A-40PT
Tri-City: Brian Williams 32G-11A-43 PT , Phil Tot 15G-21A-36PT , Lucas Nickles 14G-17A-31PT,
The Tri-City Americans conclude its three-game swing through Alberta with its first and only matchup against the Red Deer Rebels. The Americans trail the all-time series with a record of 10-15-1-2 with a 4-8-2-1 in Red Deer. These teams last met in November of 2012 where the Americans came away with the 5-2 victory at the Toyota Center.
Players to Watch
Connor Bleakley- Leading the way offensively for the Rebels is Bleakley who leads the team in goals assists and points. The Alberta native has been held off the score sheet in his last two games and the Americans will look to keep the talented forward at bay for a third consecutive game tonight.
Aspen Sterzer- Another goal scoring threat for the Rebels is Sterzer, who sits just one goal behind Bleakley with the team lead. The British Columbia native is in his first month with the team after being acquired from the Kamloops Blazers at the deadline. Since joining the team he has registered four goals and four assists in nine games.
Patrik Bartosak – Back stopping the team has been Patrik Bartosak with a 2.80 goals against average and a 0.923 save percentage in 46 games this seasons. The reigning CHL goalie of the week has allowed eight goals combined in his last two games and the Americans hope to continue that trend.
Mitch Topping- Tonight will be a homecoming for the Americans captain who is a product of Red Deer Alberta. Topping is just three games shy of his 300th WHL game and looks to be back in full health after missing multiple months with an upper body injury.
Phil Tot- It has been a very solid Alberta road trip for the Calgary native, registering points in both games, including a two point outing against the Hitmen on Friday. Tot enters tonight’s game second on the team with 36 points including a team high 21 assists.
Brian Williams- Williams scored the only goal for the Americans last night, continuing his hot play as of late. Not only did the The California native surpass the 30 goal mark for the first time in his career but is now in a tie for third in WHL scoring behind only Mitch Holmberg and Oliver Bjorkstrand.
Previous Game: The Americans are coming off of a 3-1 loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings at Rexall Place in Edmonton, AB last night, where the Americans were unable to recover after giving up three goals in the second period. Eric Comrie made 35 saves but the team managed only a last minute goal by Brian Williams.
Against the Eastern Conference: The Americans are looking to continue the success it has had against the Eastern Conference this season, heading into tonight with a record of 8-1-0-1 against Eastern opponents. In ten games, Tri-City has outscored cross conference opponents by a combined 39-17 with last night being the first regulation loss against a team from the east this season.
Eric Comrie In January: Eric Comrie has started 10 of the Americans 12 games this month and so far in 2014 has been on top of his game. The 18-year-old net minder has held his opponents to a goal or less in eight of his 11 starts in January, holding teams to 1.35 goals against with a 0.962 save percentage. In 44 starts this season, Comrie ranks second in the WHL in both goals against average and save percentage where he has a 2.30 and a 0.932 respectively.
The Alberta Homecoming : All though the Americans are a long way from the Toyota Center in Kennewick, several of the players will feel right at home tonight. Mitch Topping is a Red Deer native and one of six members of the team from Alberta. Ty Comrie, Eric Comrie and Devon McAndrews are natives of Edmonton, while Matthew Gelinas and Phil Tot are products of Calgary.
Playoff Update: With 20 games remaining in the 2013-14 regular season, the Americans currently sit in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Tri-City sits just three points back of the Everett Silvertips for the seventh spot and the five points shy of the Vancouver Giants for the six seed in the west.
Comrie Saves for Hunger: Americans goaltender Eric Comrie has teamed up with 2nd Harvest Tri-Cities to re-launch “Comrie Saves Hunger” for its second season. Comrie will donate 50 cents out of his own pocket for every save that makes on home ice. The Tri-City Americans will also match Comrie’s donation to 2nd Harvest dollar for dollar. Last season the 18-year-old net minder helped generate $522 and over 1,000 pounds of food through the Kadlec Regional Medical Center Food and Book Drives.
Tri-City: vs. Portland 02/07/14
Red Deer: at Vancouver 02/04/14