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Game Day Preview: Chiefs @ Americans

Jan 18, 2014 - 12:23 GMT
Written By: Tole, Ben

Saturday January 18, 2014
Spokane Chiefs (27-13-2-2, 58 pts.) At Tri-City Americans (20-21-2-2, 44 pts.)
Toyota Center, Kennewick WA; 7:05 p.m.
Local Radio Broadcast: NewsTalk 870 AM, 6:45 p.m.
TV Broadcast: MeTv 42.2/Charter 280



Previous Game

Spokane: 01/17/14 at Everett (2-1, Win)

Tri-City: 01/17/14 at Seattle (0-4, Loss)


2013/14 Point Leaders

Spokane: Mitch Holmberg 42G-42A-84PT, Mike Aviani 30G-30A-30PT, Reid Gow 1G-39A-40PT

Tri-City: Brian Williams 26G-11A-37 PT , Phil  Tot 12G-16A-28PT , Lucas Nickles 14G-13A-27PT,


Game Overview
The Spokane Chiefs and the Tri-City Americans renew its rivalry with the sixth of 12 meetings between the teams during the 2013-14 season. The Americans have lost four out of five to the Chiefs so far this season including an overtime loss on November 23. All-time, Tri-City has a 141-145-7-3 record against the Chiefs in a rivalry that dates back to 1988.

 

Players to Watch

 

Spokane:

Mitch Holmberg- Holmberg comes into tonight’s game leading the WHL in goals and points with 42 and 84 respectively.  The Alberta native has scored eight goals against Tri-City in five games this season and has only been held goalless in only one head to head meeting, coming in the Americans only victory against the Chiefs.

Marcus Messier- Messier makes his return to the Toyota Center just eight days after being dealt to the Chiefs in exchange for the Jackson Playfair. The 19-year-old centerman will be playing in his 200th WHL tonight, 195 of which in an Americans uniform.

Eric Williams- After being shut out last night, the Americans are hoping to find its scoring touch against a tough net minder in Eric Williams. The Spokane Goaltender has a 2.46 goals against this season and a 0.912 save percentage. In five meetings against the Americans, Williams has allowed an average of 1.8 goals per game.  


Tri-City:

Parker Bowles- After missing significant time for the second time this season, Parker Bowles returned to the Americans lineup in Seattle last night. The Kelowna native has played in just 12 games this season but still ranks fourth on the team with 19 points.

Jackson Playfair- On the other side of last week’s trade is the addition of Jackson Playfair to the Americans lineup.  The B.C. native will suit up against his former team tonight after playing the first 89 games of his WHL career with the Chiefs.

Eric Comrie- After getting the night off in Seattle yesterday, Comrie will look for a strong performance against the rival Spokane Chiefs. The Americans net minder comes into tonight’s game with a 2.53 goals against and a 0.924 save percentage this season.


Game Notes


Previous Game: The Americans are coming off a tough road game in Kent last night, where it fell 4-0 at the hands of the Seattle Thunderbirds. After surrendering a goal on the first shot of the game, Tri-City put in a strong effort to tie the game outshooting Seattle 21-18 after 40 minutes of play. But, the Thunderbirds would add three third period goals to pull away late.

Changing Places: Tonight is the meeting between the two teams since Spokane and Tri-City swapped forwards in a deal that sent Marcus Messier to the Chiefs in exchange for Jackson Playfair. Messier played 195 games for the Americans over four seasons, registering 21 goals and 35 assists for the team.

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 8-13-2-1 against its division rivals, with at least one victory against all four opponents within U.S. Division.

Parker Bowles Returns to Action: Tri-City returned an important piece of its team to the lineup last night when Parker Bowles played in his first game since November 23. The Kelowna native has played in just 12 games this season, but has registered 19 points in limited time, ranking fourth on the team.

Six Games in Nine Days: The Americans begin a busy stretch of its schedule that sees the team play six games in the next nine days. Four of the six games will be played in the friendly confines of the Toyota Center, while the other two games will be against in-state opponents, the Seattle Thunderbirds and the Spokane Chiefs. Following this stretch of games, the Americans will depart on its Alberta road trip

Thrower, Gutierrez and Vickerman Make Mid-Season NHL Draft Rankings: Three Americans were listed on the NHL Central Scouting report published earlier this week. Dalton Thrower came in as the 116th ranked North American skater while Justin Gutierrez was ranked 190th. Taylor Vickerman rounds out the Americans listed on the report, the Kennewick native was not officially ranked due to limited viewing. All three players will be eligible to be selected in June’s NHL Draft.



Next Game

Tri-City: vs. Vancouver 01/19/14

Spokane: at Portland 01/19/14