Game Day Preview: Americans @ ChiefsNov 23, 2013 - 06:00 PST
Written By: Tole, Ben
Saturday November 23, 2013
Tri-City Americans (14-10-0-2, 30 pts.) At Spokane Chiefs(16-8-0-1, 33 pts.)
Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, Spokane, WA; 7:05 p.m.
Listen: NewsTalk 870; 6:50 p.m.
Watch: WHL Live
Spokane: 11/20/13 at Spokane (4-6, Loss)
Tri-City: 11/19/13 vs. Kelowna (1-4, Loss )
2013/14 Point Leaders
Spokane: Mitch Holmberg 26G-33A-59PT, Mike Aviani 22G-17A-39, Reid Gow 0G-30A-30PT
Tri-City: Brian Williams 20G-9A-29 PT, Connor Rankin 8G-17A-24PT, Parker Bowles 4G-14A-18PT
Tonight the Tri-City Americans take on the Spokane Chiefs for the third meeting of the season between the two division rivals. The Chiefs have won each of the first two contests between the teams, winning by scores of 6-2 and 2-1. Tri-City is 140-144-6-3 against the Chiefs all-time with a 53-92-3-1 record on the road.
When the Chiefs defeated the Americans 2-1 on September 28 the Americans sat at 1-3-0-1 early in the season. Since then Tri-City has gone 13-8-0-1 and are looking to prove that it is a different team than the last time these teams met.
Players to Watch
Mitch Holmberg- If the Americans want to get revenge on the Chiefs it will need to hold Holmberg in check. Holmberg leads the WHL in goals and points with 26 and 57 respectively through 25 games. The Alberta native has scored five goals against the Americans in two games this year.
Mike Aviani- Not only do the Chiefs have the WHL’s leading goal scorer but also the second leading goal scorer in Aviani who comes into tonight with 22 goals on the season. Aviani has registered a goal and four assists against the Americans this year and comes into tonight with a five-game goal scoring streak.
Eric Williams- In two games against the Chiefs, the Americans have managed to score three goals against the Chiefs combined. Williams comes into tonights game with a goals against 2.43 and a save percentage of 0.914.
Brian Williams- One of the bright spots for the Americans in last night’s game was the continued production of Brian Williams who scored the lone goal for Tri-City last night. All though Holmberg and Aviani are one and two in the goal scoring lead, Williams sits right behind them in the third spot.
Parker Bowles- One weapon that the Americans did not have when these teams last met was Parker Bowles. Bowles has registered 18 points for Tri-City in just ten games and has given the top line a boost. Bowles was one of the team’s most dangerous scorers against the Chiefs last season and are hopping that will hold true again tonight.
Braden Purtill- One of the more impressive players in last nights game for the Americans was Braden Purtill. In the absence of a player like Jessey Astles, the Manitoba native will be one of the keys for Tri-City’s physical play tonight.
Life on the Road: Tri-City is looking to re-establish the success it was having on the roadearlier in the month. This season the Americans are 5-7-0-2 away from home and come into Spokane with a two-game losing streak away from the Toyota Center. The Americans have yet to lose three-straight in any capacity this season.
November Update : The Americans are ten game into its 13-game November schedule, compiling a record of 6-3-0-1 so far this month. Tri-City will conclude its November schedule with home games against the Victoria Royals on Friday and the Spokane Chiefs on Saturday.
Against the U.S. Division: This season the Americans are 5-7-0-1 against the U.S. division with victories over every team in the group except for the Spokane Chiefs. The U.S. Division continues to be the strongest division in the WHL with every one of its teams at least three-games above the .500 mark.
WHL’s Finest: Tonight’s game features the top three goal scorers in the WHL in Mitch Holmberg, Mike Aviani and Brian Williams. Holmberg leads the WHL with 26 goals, his teammate Aviani is right behind him with 22 and Brian Williams in the third spot with 20.
Tri-City: vs Victoria 11/29/13
Spokane: vs Portland 11/29/13