Friday, February 23, 2013
Edmonton Oil Kings (43-14-2-3, 91 pts) at Tri-City Americans (35-22-1-2, 73 pts)
Toyota Center, Kennewick, WA; 7:05 p.m.
Listen: NewsTalk 870
Watch: WHL Live
Edmonton: 6-4 Loss at Spokane
Tri-City: 6-2 Win vs. Everett
Edmonton: Michael St. Croix, 31G-43A–74PT; Dylan Wruck 18G-56A–74PT; Henrik Samuelsson 30G-43A–73PT
Tri-City: Justin Feser, 37G-50A–87PT; Malte Strömwall 17G-36A–53PT; Connor Rankin 22G-22A–44PT
Tri-City has a tough task to extend its win streak to a season-high five games as the defending WHL Champion Edmonton Oil Kings come to Kennewick. These two teams don’t have a long history, playing each other only five times. The Americans are on the good side of the history, having won four of the five meetings, including a three game win streak. The only loss the Americans suffered was at home during the 2008-09 season, with the Oil Kings coming out on top 3-2. Tri-City is 1-1 at home against the Oil Kings, winning the most recent meeting 4-3 back in the 2010-11 season. Edmonton is trending down, having lost two straight to Regina and Spokane coming into tonight. The Americans are trending up, having won the last four games. Tri-City has scored five or more goals in the last four games, outscoring opponents 23-8 in that span. Tri-City also has scored a power play goal during every home game in February and have a power play goal in five straight games.
Players to Watch
D Griffin Reinhart: The fourth overall pick by the New York Islanders in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft had two goals against the Americans in last season’s meeting.
LW Trevor Cheek: Cheek has a goal against the Americans this season while playing for the Vancouver Giants on Nov. 4.
C Justin Feser: The Ironman had a hat trick two games ago, two goals last night and had a goal last season against the Oil Kings.
RW Malte Strömwall: Strömwall had a goal against the Oil Kings last season and had three assists last night against Everett.
Keys to the Game
Talent Overload: Edmonton is loaded with talent, with nine players being drafted by NHL teams, including three players in last year’s draft which were Griffin Reinhart, Henrik Samuelsson and Mitchell Moroz. They also boast two of the top prospects in Curtis Lazar and goalie Tristan Jarry. Tri-City may be a bit overmatched in this game, but if they play as a team and play like they have been during their four game win streak, they will send Edmonton packing with a loss.
Home Ice: Tri-City has picked up their play on home ice lately winning the last three and boast a 16-12-0-2 record. The Americans are ranked third in the league on the power play at home at 25.4 percent. The Americans have a great home ice advantage and if they can jump out to an early lead and get the crowd into it early, then the Oil Kings will have a tough time earning a victory.
Edmonton: Feb. 26 at Seattle
Tri-City: Feb. 26 vs. Portland
Game Day Promotions
It’s another Coors Light Super Cold Saturday on February 23rd when the Central Division-leading Edmonton Oil Kings visit the Toyota Center on U.S. Cellular Night, presented by 610 KONA and KNDU-TV. The first 2,000 fans will receive the next set of 2012-13 Tri-City Americans Trading Cards, courtesy of U.S. Cellular. It’s also another Jack in the Box Rock the Rink Saturday Night, with student ticket discounts available at the Toyota Center box office, simply by showing your valid student card. On-ice fun includes another performance by the All American Spirit, followed by the Coors Light Super Cold Slap Shot and Ranch & Home’s Chuck-A-Puck.