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Game Day Preview: Thunderbirds @ Americans

Dec 06, 2012 - 06:33 PST

Thursday, December 6, 2012
Seattle Thunderbirds (14-13-1-0, 29 pts) at Tri-City Americans (17-10-1-1, 36 pts)
Toyota Center, 7:05 p.m.
Listen: NewsTalk 870
Watch: WHL Live

Previous Game
Seattle:
3-1 Win vs. Kamloops

Tri-City: 4-3 Win at Vancouver

Point Leaders
Seattle:
Roberts Lipsbergs, 13G-12A--25PT; Connor Honey 9G-15A--24PT; Alexander Delnov 9G-14A-23PT

Tri-City: Justin Feser, 17G-18A--35PT; Malte Strömwall 8G-12A--20PT; Connor Rankin 9G-7A--16PT

Notes
This is the second meeting between the two teams this season. Seattle got the better of Tri-City in the first meeting 3-1 in Kent. Seattle is coming off of a 5-7 record in November, and is currently a game over .500. The team is fourth in the U.S Division with 29 points and is 6-7 against the U.S. Division this year compared to Tri-City’s 5-8 record. Tri-City was 9-1 against Seattle last season, losing the first game against the Thunderbirds in Seattle but winning the other nine. The Americans have had Seattle’s number in recent years, including a 22 game winning streak against the Thunderbirds dating back to February 1, 2008. The two teams are almost dead even in the overall series, with the Americans holding a 101-100-7-1 with 13 ties against the Thunderbirds. The Americans are coming off a thrilling victory in Vancouver, coming from behind in the third period to win 4-3, while Seattle is coming off of a victory over the league point leading Kamloops Blazers.

Players to Watch
Seattle:
LW Roberts Lipsbergs: An 18-year-old rookie from Latvia, he has come on strong in November and leads the team in points after scoring his first career goal against the Americans in October.     

LW Riley Sheen: Sheen is the fourth leading scorer on the Thunderbirds and had a goal the last time these two teams met in Kent.     
Tri-City:
RW Beau McCue: McCue came on strong during the four game road trip, scoring a goal against Kamloops and then recording the game winning goal against Vancouver.    

C Parker Bowles: The 17-year-old Kelowna native had two goals during the four game road trip and is second on the team in rookie scoring behind McCue.  

Keys to the Game
Streaking: Coming into this season, Tri-City had won nine in a row against Seattle and a 22 game winning streak against the Thunderbirds at home. Seattle ended the first streak earlier this season with a 3-1 win in Kent. Could another streak fall today? While nothing is ever guaranteed in sports, the Americans have been the closest thing to that the last four years.  
Rookie Battle: Beau McCue and Parker Bowles have been coming on strong lately for the Americans, combining for six goals and an assist during the four game road trip. Roberts Lipsbergs leads the Thunderbirds in scoring and Alexander Delnov is third on the team in scoring. Lipsbergs and Delnov are third and fourth in the league in rookie scoring. Both teams will need contributions from their rookies to win the game.  

Next Game
Seattle:
Dec. 7 at Everett

Tri-City: Dec. 7 at Portland

Game Day Promotion
The Americans host the Seattle Thunderbirds at the Toyota Center on the annual Fred Meyer Teddy Bear Toss Night, presented by URock Radio and Tú Decides newspaper.  Fans are encouraged to bring new and gently used stuffed animals to the game. Then, when the Americans score their first goal of the night, fans can toss their stuffed animals onto the ice, where they will be collected and donated to various charities throughout the Mid-Columbia.  All fans in attendance age 18 and over will receive a coupon for a Free Large 3-Topping Pizza, courtesy of Papa John’s.  And, Season Ticket Holders, remember to redeem those Bring A Friend coupons, located inside your ticket booklets.  Avoid long lines on game day by redeeming them at the Americans office prior to the game.