Game Day Preview:Chiefs @ Americans
Saturday February 8, 2014
Spokane Chiefs (31-18-3-2, 67 pts.) At Tri-City Americans (26-23-2-3, 57 pts.)
Toyota Center, Kennewick WA; 7:05 p.m. PST
Local Radio Broadcast: NewsTalk 870 AM, 6:45 p.m.
TV Broadcast: MeTv 42.2/Charter 280
Spokane: 02/07/14 at Seattle (0-4, Loss)
Tri-City: 02/07/14 vs. Portland (3-10, Loss)
2013/14 Point Leaders
Spokane: Mitch Holmberg 47G-45A-92PT, Mike Aviani 30G-30A-60PT, Reid Gow 4G-42A-46PT
Tri-City: Brian Williams 33G-14A-47 PT , Phil Tot 15G-21A-36PT , Lucas Nickles 14G-17A-31PT,
The Spokane Chiefs and the Tri-City Americans renew its rivalry with the eighth of 12 meetings between the teams during the 2013-14 season. The Americans have a 2-3-1-1 record against the Chiefs this season with a 142-145-7-4 w/ 13 ties mark against Spokane all-time.
Players to Watch
Mitch Holmberg- The Americans will have the challenge of shutting down Holmberg, who enters tonight’s game as the league leader in both goals and points with 47 and 92 respectively. The Alberta native has cooled down since his red hot start to the season, but has tallied eight goals against Tri-City in just seven contests.
Eric Williams- It has been a rough four games for the Chiefs’ net minder who has allowed four or more goals in each of his last four starts. The Langley native still has a strong 2.67 goals against average this season but is averaging 6.37 in two games this month.
Reid Gow- Gow may only have four goals this season, but he’s still one of the biggest offensive threats in the lineup, registering 42 assists on the season. The Manitoba native has been held off the score sheet in four consecutive games and the Americans will look to continue that trend tonight.
Brian Williams- With an assist in last night’s game, Williams added to his point streak which is now at five-games, four of which he has tallied at least one goal. The California native leads the team with 33 goals and 47 points and will look to lead the offensive charge tonight.
Jackson Playfair- Playfair is 12 games into his Americans career registering two assists with Tri-City so far. The B.C. native has been a much needed addition to the American physical game and won’t hesitate to use that against his former teammates tonight.
Beau McCue- McCue continues to put together a solid 18-year-old season with 16 goals and nine assists, appearing in every game so far during 2013-14. The Colorado native is just one goal shy of tying his single season high which he set last season and comes into tonight with points in six of his last eight games.
Previous Game: The Americans are coming off of a 10-3 loss to the Portland Winterhawks last night where it surrendered three goals in a 1:22 span during the first period to fall behind 4-0 in which it would never recover. After falling behind 7-0 in the third, the Americans scored three goals to close the gap to 7-3 but that was as close as it would get as the defending WHL Champs added three late markers.
Against the U.S Division: The Americans are looking to get an important victory against a tough division opponent tonight. So far this season the team is 10-14-2-2 against its division rivals, with at least two victories against all four opponents within the U.S. Division.
Mitch Topping One Away from 300: Americans captain Mitch Topping is just one away from playing in his 300th WHL game. The Red Deer native began his career in the B.C. Division with the Chilliwack Bruins where he registered nine goals and 21 assist in 139 games with the Bruins. Topping was traded to the Americans prior to the 2011-12 season , where he has since become a fan favorite and team captain, scoring 21 goals and 53 assists in 160 games with the Ams.
Six Games in Nine Days: The Americans began a busy stretch of its schedule last night with its contest against the Winterhawks, playing the first of a six games in a nine day span. Tri-City will play tonight’s game at home against the Chiefs before going on the road for a five-game Western Conference road trip where it will visit Kamloops, Victoria, Seattle, Spokane and Kelowna.
Playoff Update: With 18 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 six points shy of the Vancouver Giants for the six seed in the west. Creeping in behind them are the Prince George Cougars who are just four behind the Americans in ninth.
Tri-City: at. Kamloops 02/10/14
Spokane: at. Everett 02/09/14