Preview: Spokane Chiefs At Tri-City Americans - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Preview: Spokane Chiefs At Tri-City Americans

Posted: Updated:
© Doug Love © Doug Love
KENNEWICK, Wash. -

From amshockey.com

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Spokane Chiefs (0-0-0-0, 0 pts) at Tri-City Americans (0-0-0-0, 0 pts)
Toyota Center, Kennewick, WA; 7:05 p.m.
Listen: NewsTalk 870; 6:45 p.m
Watch: MeTv 42.2/Charter 280; 7 p.m

Previous Game

Spokane: 0-5 loss vs. Portland (Game 4 Western Conference Semi Finals)
Tri-City: 1-3 loss vs. Spokane (Game 5 Western Conference Quarter Finals)

Returning Point Leaders
Spokane: Mitch Holmberg 39G-41A-80PT, Michael Aviani 30G-38A-68PT, Reid Gow 7G-44A-51PT
Tri-City: Connor Rankin 32G-26A--58PT , Zachary Yuen* 9G-36A-45PT , Parker Bowles* 21G-23A-44PT

*Inactive Saturday night

Notes
For the fourth consecutive year the Tri-City Americans open its season against the Spokane Chiefs, having won two of the last three season openers against its arch nemesis. However this season the Americans are out to seek revenge after being removed from the 2013 post season in five games by the Chiefs. Both teams have lost their leading scorer from the 2012-13 season and will look to its returning veteran leaders and a talented class of rookies to fill the void in their absence.

Players to Watch
Spokane:
Mitch Holmberg: Without Brenden Kichton and Todd Fiddler, the attention now shifts to Mitch Holmberg, who finished second on the team in goals, assists and points last season to those two players. Holmberg had a strong pre-season finishing with three goals and three assists in only three games. Holmberg looks prepared to lead the way for the Chiefs this season.


Matt Sozanski:  Rookie Matt Sozanski hopes to burst onto the scene in style for the Spokane Chiefs.  The defenseman showed that he belongs in this league scoring two goals and three assists with a +/- of three in five pre-season games. He is looking to lead a class of nine rookies on the Spokane Chiefs 24-man roster this season.


Mike Aviani: Aviani enters his fourth season in the WHL looking to build on last season when he registered his first career 30-goal season. He comes into the 2013-14 season as the Chief's second leading returning scorer behind Holmberg. He also led the team in +/- last season with 37. In three pre-season games he registered two goals and two assists.

Tri-City:
Eric Comrie: After going through season ending hip surgery Eric Comrie is back in full force as the Americans' starting  netminder. Comrie had a busy pre-season where participating not only in Americans camp but also taking part in team Canada's world junior camp as well as in Winnipeg Jet camp where he was drafted in the second round last year.  He will be looking to establish himself as one of the elite net minders in the WHL this season.

Connor Rankin: With the loss of Justin Feser and Malte Stromwall, Rankin comes into the 2013-14 campaign as the Americans top returning scorer from last season. Rankin is looking to add to his already solid numbers from 2012-13 where he broke the thirty goal mark for the first time in his WHL career. Rankin also spent time with an NHL team this pre-season, taking part in Pittsburgh Penguins camp.

Mitch Topping: Not only did the Americans lose its top scorer in the departure of Justin Feser but it also lost its leader and team captain. Topping will fill that void, taking over as team captain for the 2013-14 season. Topping's presence on the ice becomes even more important in the absence of Zachary Yuen who remains at Camp with the Toronto Maple Leafs affiliate.

Keys to the Game

In Coming Rooks: The Americans will have its work cut out for it to replace its top goal scorers from last season. Tonight Tri-City will be without the services of five of its six leading scorers from the 2012-13 season three of which have left the team for good. The Americans will lean on an impressive class of rookies to help fill this void.  Ty Comrie, younger brother of starting goaltender Eric Comrie, finished the pre-season with seven points, second among all rookies in the WHL. Joining Ty are several other rookie forwards who are no stranger to the WHL seeing action late last season.  Among these forwards are Matthew Gelinas, Rodney Southam, Justin Mareck, Braden Purtill and Fraser Bulbuc.

Veteran Class: The Americans also have several young veterans poised to step up into a leadership role for the team on and off the ice this season. Returning forward Brian Williams, who finished last season with 20 goals and 16 assists, turned some heads in the pre-season. Williams scored five goals in six exhibition games tying for first in WHL goal scoring. The Americans also executed a trade early in the pre-season to acquire Kennewick native Taylor Vickerman. As a 16 year old Vickerman played 52 games with the Vancouver Giants. At age 17 he may be young but Tri-City will look to Vickerman as one of its veterans who could play a vital role in the team's success this season.

Next Game

Spokane: At Victoria 9/24/13
Tri-City: Vs. Prince George 9/22/13

Game Day Promotions
The Tri-City Americans kickoff the 2013-14 season by hosting the Spokane Chiefs on Tri-Cities Rotary opening night, presented by SunWest Sportswear, KVEW-TV, 97.5 KOOL FM and Tú Decides newspaper.  Game time is 7:05 p.m. at the Toyota Center. It's the first Jack in the box Rock the Rink Saturday night, with discounts available at the Toyota Center box office with valid student ID. Join us during the second intermission for the seventh annual Tri-Cities Rotary chuck-a-duck contests.

  • Pro

    • Mariners beat Nationals 4-2 to snap losing streak

      WASHINGTON (AP) -- Nelson Cruz greeted reliever Jacob Turner with a go-ahead, three-run homer in the sixth inning, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Washington Nationals 4-2 Thursday to stop a five-game losing streak.

    • New Orleans Saints Honor former Seahawks great Cortez Kennedy

      The New Orleans Saints opened Organized Team Activities this week, and early Thursday — two days after the passing of Seahawks Legend Cortez Kennedy — the team unveiled a decal on their gold helmets to honor the Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle. On Twitter, the Saints announced they will sport a large No. 96 — Kennedy’s jersey number

    • Mariners drop 5th straight game falling to nationals 5-1

      WASHINGTON (AP) -- Anthony Rendon hit a three-run homer for his eighth of the season, Tanner Roark allowed a run over seven innings and the Washington Nationals defeated the Seattle Mariners 5-1 on Wednesday night.
       

    • Report: Seattle Seahawks to meet with quarterback Colin Kaepernick

      The Seattle Seahawks are expected to meet with Colin Kaepernick on Wenesday as a possible backup to quarterback Russell Wilson, according to a report from NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. 

    • Mariners give up 15 hits in a 10-1 loss to the Nationals

      WASHINGTON (AP) -- Anthony Rendon homered twice and drove in five runs, Joe Ross returned from the minors to allow one run over a career high-tying eight innings, and the Washington Nationals routed the Seattle Mariners 10-1 on Tuesday night. Bryce Harper added his 14th homer and Jayson Werth hit his seventh

    • Mariners activate Robinson Cano off DL

      The Seattle Mariners activated 34-year-old Robinson Cano off the disabled list on Tuesday. Cano was placed on the 10-day disabled list after he strained his right quad. The Mariners have lost eight of their last eleven games since Cano last played on May 10th. In their last eleven games without Cano, the Mariners have scored just 30 runs and have just hit .203 as a team.

    • Seahawks remember hall of fame defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy

      The Seattle Seahawks family has lost one of its most beloved individuals and proudest icons. Cortez Kennedy, the Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle who spent all 11 of his NFL seasons in Seattle, died Tuesday. He was 48. "Cortez Kennedy has been a pillar of the Seahawks franchise since joining the team as a rookie in 1990...

    • Seahawks' roster status after rookie minicamp

      The Seahawks welcomed to Seattle last week a rookie class that included 11 draft picks and eight undrafted free agents, a group that took part in a rookie minicamp last weekend. Now that rookies have joined the team and free agency has for the most part wound down...

    • West Alum, Jets' Linebacker Donahue Confident in NFL Future

      Just over three weeks ago the NFL draft concluded with only one Montana being selected in the seven round draft, and he wasn't a member of the Cats or the Griz. Former Billings West star Dylan Donahue was chosen with the 181st overall pick in the fifth round of the NFL Draft by the New York Jets.

    • Mariners lose third straight to White Sox, 8-1

      SEATTLE (AP) -- The Chicago White Sox offense staked Derek Holland to big lead before he took the mound, and Holland shut down the Seattle Mariners.

    More
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Tri-City AmericansMore>>

  • Tri-City Americans vs. Seattle Thunderbirds Game 2/24/17

    Watch the Tri-City Americans play the Seattle Thunderbirds here! More >>
    Watch the Tri-City Americans play the Seattle Thunderbirds here! More >>
  • Tri-City Americans Power Play @ 7:00

    Tri-City Americans Power Play @ 7:00

    WATCH NOW: Watch the Tri-City Americans Power Play, starting at 7:00! 

    More >>

    WATCH NOW: Watch the Tri-City Americans Power Play, starting at 7:00! 

    More >>
  • Two Americans players and two best friends

    Two Americans players and two best friends

    TRI-CITIES, WA - It's no secret that the Americans have two of hockey's biggest and brightest prospects with Michael Rasmussen and Juuso Valimaki. But what you might not know is that they have a very unique friendship. "Well at first, for a shy Finnish guy to come up here and play hockey, it was a little bit weird to have a roommate and some guy that actually talked to you and spend time with," said Juuso Valimaki, Americans Defenseman. "But after days and after weeks...More >>
    TRI-CITIES, WA - It's no secret that the Americans have two of hockey's biggest and brightest prospects with Michael Rasmussen and Juuso Valimaki. But what you might not know is that they have a very unique friendship. "Well at first, for a shy Finnish guy to come up here and play hockey, it was a little bit weird to have a roommate and some guy that actually talked to you and spend time with," said Juuso Valimaki, Americans Defenseman. "But after days and after weeks...More >>