Game Day Preview: Americans @ IceNov 03, 2013 - 12:04 GMT
Written By: Tole, Ben
Sunday November 3, 2013
Tri-City Americans (9-8-0-2 20 pts.) At Kootenay Ice (8-6-2-0 18 pts.)
Western Financial Place, Cranbrook, British Columbia; 5:00 p.m. PST
Listen: NewsTalk 870; 4:45 p.m. PST
Watch: WHL Live
Tri-City: 11/0/13 vs. Lethbridge (8-1, Win)
Kootenay: 10/30/13 at Red Deer (4-3, Win S/O)
2013/14 Point Leaders
Tri-City: Brian Williams 12G-6A-18PT, Connor Rankin 5G-9A-14PT, Phil Tot 6G-7A-13 PT
Kootenay: Sam Reinart 9G-19A-28PT, Jaedon Descheneau 13G-11A-24PT, Luke Philp 4G-7A-11PT
After a dominating 8-1 performance over Lethbridge last night, the Americans are looking to carry its momentum into Cranbrook tonight when it takes on the Kootenay Ice. Tonight’s game will be Tri-City’s third game in as many nights, having earned three out of a possible four points on its Eastern Conference road trip so far.
Historically the Americans trail to the Ice in the all-time series, with a record of 17-21-0-0 including a 6-12 record on the road against Kootenay. However in recent history Tri-City has had the upper hand winning four of the last five meetings between these teams. In the annual meeting last season, the Americans skated to a 6-4 victory at the Toyota Center.
Players to Watch
Sam Reinhart- The Ice offense starts with Reinhart upfront. Currently ranked fourth in the WHL with 28 points, he is thought by many as the future first overall pick in next seasons NHL draft. Only twice this season has he been held pointless, recording two goals and three assists in his last two games alone.
Jaedon Descheneau- Leading the Ice in goal scoring this season is Descheneau with 13 goals in his first 16 games. The Kootenay forward has been especially hot as of late recording two goals in each of his last two games.
Ryan Chynoweth – Tonight will be the first time Chynoweth has gone against his old team since being acquired by the Ice from the Americans on September 25. In 36 games with the Americans, Chynoweth registered a goal and four assists in parts of two seasons. Since joining the ice he has tallied two goals and two assists in 12 games
Jessey Astles- The fourth line has played a big role in the Americans success as of late and that all starts with the play of the 20-year-old. Astles’ has already set a career high in goals with four, two of them coming in last nights game where he registered two goals and two assists.
Marucs Messier- Last night Messier was rewarded by his strong play as of late, scoring the winning goal in the Americans 8-1 victory over Lethbridge. The Alberta native is tied for second on the team with seven assists and is one of the main reasons Tri-City has such a strong penalty killing unit.
Brian Williams- Williams had his first multi-point game last night since his hat trick against the Thunderbirds on October 1. This is a great sign for the Americans who would love to see the forward get hot again. Williams leads the team in goals and points this season with 12 and 18 respectfully.
Previous Game: Tonight will be the Americans third game in as many days as it finishes its three-game Eastern Conference road trip. Last night the Americans dominated from beginning to end in an 8-1 route of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in Alberta. Jessey Astles recorded a career night with two goals and two assists while Devon McAndrews and Ty Comrie tallied their first career WHL goals.
Penalty Killing Success: Tonight will be another big test for the Americans penalty killers who are currently ranked third in the WHL with a 85.3 percent success rate when a man down. On the other side the Kootenay Ice bring with them the league’s fourth best power play, scoring on just over one quarter of its man advantage opportunities.
Power Play on the Road: While the Americans power play still isn’t highly ranked overall, it statistically has one of the most dangerous power plays outside of Kennewick, ranking seventh best in the league on the road scoring on over 20 percent of its road man advantages. Last night the Americans were 3-for-6 on the power play against Lethbridge..
5-on-5 Battles: While playing well at even strength is an important aspect in every game it will be especially important tonight. The Kootenay Ice are the league’s least penalized team with the Americans not too far behind them as the league’s fifth least penalized team. At full strength, The Kootenay players combined for a -47 rating while the Americans at only -5.
Tri-City vs. Eastern Conference:Since the start of the 2012-13 season the Americans are 12-2-1-1 against opponents from the Eastern Conference. In two games against cross conference rivals this season, Tri-City has a record of 3-0-0-1 with victories against Brandon, Swift Current and Lethbridge. The Americans only loss to the Eastern Conference this season came in a shootout against Medicine Hat this past Friday.
U.S. Division Update: As the WHL approaches the quarter pole in the 2013-14 season, the U.S. Division statistically has been the strongest division in the Western Hockey League combining for 57 wins, most of any division in the league. Heading into Sunday’s action, the Winterhawks lead the way with 29 points. At second place there is a three way tie between the Everett Silvertips, Seattle Thunderbirds and Spokane Chiefs with 24 points. After a slow start the Americans have pulled themselves right back into the hunt, trailing those three second place teams by just four points.
Tri-City: at Portland 11/06/13
Kootenay: vs. Calgary 11/05/13