Friday, December 7, 2012
Tri-City Americans (17-11-1-1, 36 pts) at Portland Winterhawks (23-4-1-0, 47 pts)
Rose Garden, Portland; 7:05 p.m.
Listen: NewsTalk 870
Watch: WHL Live
Portland: 7-5 Win vs. Everett
Tri-City: 8-4 Loss vs. Seattle
Portland: Nicolas Petan, 16G-31A–47PT; Brendan Leipsic 20G-25A–45PT; Ty Rattie 17G-25A-42PT
Tri-City: Justin Feser, 17G-18A–35PT; Malte Strömwall 9G-13A–22PT; Connor Rankin 9G-8A–16PT
The Portland Winterhawks have been streaking since the last time the Americans played them. Portland is currently on a seven game winning streak and has won 16 of their last 20 games. They lead the league in goals and goals allowed. They are tied for the most points in the WHL with the Kamloops Blazers at 47. The Winterhawks have many players already drafted and have four top prospects heading into this year’s NHL draft. They have arguably the top prospect in Seth Jones, and three others in Nicolas Petan, Oliver Bjorkstrand and goalie Brendan Burke. Tri-City snapped a 22 game home win streak against the Seattle Thunderbirds last night, falling 8-4. Connor Sanvido and Seth Swenson each scored two goals en route to the victory while Eric Comrie played the worst game of his career, giving a up a career high seven goals against.
Players to Watch
C Brendan Leipsic: The WHL player of the month in November, Leipsic is playing excellent and currently has a 16 game point streak going which started against the Americans in October.
G Mac Carruth: Recorded his second shutout of the season against the Americans in October, stopping all 15 shots he faced.
RW Beau McCue: McCue came on strong during the four game road trip, scoring a goal in the final two games of the road trip and scoring a goal last night against Seattle.
RW Malte Strömwall: Strömwall has been a steady point force for the Americans, scoring a goal and adding an assist last night to add to his second highest point total on the team.
Keys to the Game
Revenge: The Americans have lost the previous two games against the Portland Winterhawks this season by a total of 10-2. The Americans were knocked out of the WHL Playoffs last season in a four game sweep. The Americans need to get a win against the Winterhawks to build some confidence against a team that has had their number lately.
Elite Talent: This game will feature some of the best talent that will be draft eligible when the NHL holds the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Seth Jones, Eric Comrie, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Connor Rankin and Nicolas Petan are all highly rated prospects that will be featured in this game, and you can bet that some NHL scouts will be watching this game. One of these high level talents could decide the winner of this matchup.
Portland: Dec. 8 at Seattle
Tri-City: Dec. 9 vs. Portland