Friday, September 27, 2013
Tri-City Americans (1-2-0-0, 2 pts) at Seattle Thunderbirds (2-0-0-0, 4 pts.)
Showare Center, Kent, WA; 7:35 p.m.
Listen: NewsTalk 870; 7:20 p.m.
Watch: WHL Live
Seattle: 09/25/13 At Vancouver (6-0, Win)
Tri-City: 09/24/13 At Portland (6-2, Win)
2013/14 Point Leaders
Seattle: Alexander Delnov 2G-3A-5PT, Branden Troock 2G-2A-4PT, Connor Honey 1G-3A-4PT
Tri-City: Brian Williams 3G-1A-4PT, Beau McCue 2G-0A-2PT, Taylor Vickerman 1G-1A-2PT, Mitch Topping 0G-2A-2PT
The Tri-City Americans travel to the Showare Center in Kent, WA for the first of ten meetings with the Seattle Thunderbirds this season. Historically these two teams have been evenly matched over its 25-year rivalry with the Americans leading the all-time series 106-103-7-1 (13 ties). However over the past seven years, Tri-City has had the upper hand, winning each of the last seven season series. In nine meetings last season the Americans went 5-4-0-0 but will look to improve on its 2-3-0-0 mark at the Showare Center. After dropping its first two games at home the Americans hit the restart button against the defending WHL Champions handing the Portland Wintherhawk’s its first regulation loss of the season this past Tuesday. The Thunderbirds on the other hand have not missed a beat to start the season, winning each of its first two games, including a 6-0 drubbing of the Vancouver Giants on Wednesday. Giving up only 3 goals combined in its first two games, the Thunderbirds will prove to be a tough test for the Americans. Tune into NewTalk 870 or on WHL Live at 7:35 to see if Tri-City can string together wins for the first time this season.
Players to Watch
Branden Troock- Troock has been the Thunderbirds most reliable forward, recording goals in each of the team’s first two games. As one of the teams goal scoring leaders the Americans will have to be the first this season to shut Troock down in order to capture its second victory.
Matthew Barzal- All though he hasn’t broken out yet, Tri-City had better know where he is at all times. As the number one overall draft pick in the 2012 Bantam draft, Barzal is dangerous everytime he hits the ice. He has yet to score his first career goal and the Americans look to keep it that way.
Danny Mumaugh – After sitting on the bench for the team’s first game, Mumaugh got his 2013-14 season off to a great start against Vancouver this past Wednesday recording a 31 saves shutout against the Giants. If he gets the nod tonight, the Americans offense had better be on its game again.
Brian Williams- Williams got off to a slow start, being held to just one assists in the first two games of the season. But that all ended on Wednesday when he checked in with not only his first goal of the season, but his first three goals, finishing the game with a hat trick against Portland. Williams will look to carry that momentum in to tonight’s games.
Mitch Topping- Topping played an important role for the Americans in its first win against the Portland Wintherhawks, not only helping the offense with 2 assists, but shutting down the dangerous Portland offense. Topping will need to play that role again tonight shutting down a Thunderbird defense that can score in big numbers.
Connor Rankin- The team’s returning leading scorer from last season scored his first goal this past Wednesday and the Americans hope that is just the start of things to come for Rankin. With a team as young as the Americans it will be leaning on the veteran forwards like Rankin and Williams to lead the team’s offensive attack this season.
Keys to the Game
Carry The Momentum: The Americans got that jolt of energy that it needed with the 6-2 victory against the Portland Wintherhawks and now it needs to string together these efforts. Tri-City will need its offense to pick up right where it left off on Wednesday taking on a Thunderbirds team capable of scoring in big numbers and limiting its opposition on defense. Tri-City has struggled playing from behind this season, it will need to get off to another fast start tonight if it plans to hand the Thunderbirds its first loss of the 2013-14 season.
Defensive Gems: As well as the team played scoring 6 goals on Wednesday, one area that may go over looked is the Americans defensive play, holding a dangerous Portland Offense to just two goals. Tri-City held the Winterhawks scoreless on seven power play opportunities, including a full two minte 5-on-3 where the defending WHL Champions failed to get one shot on goal. After allowing 6 goals in the first game against Spokane, Eric Comrie has been solid allowing just two goals in each of the last two games. With 9 goals in its first two games, the Thunderbirds are capable of scoring with the best of them in this division and the Americans had better be ready for them.
Seattle: At Portland 9/28/13
Tri-City: At Spokane 9/28/13