TCH: Americans' Hamonic big on defense

By Annie Fowler | Tri-City Herald

Portland coach Mike Johnston if fully aware of who Justin Hamonic is. After playing the Tri-City Americans three times in the last month, the 6-foot-4, 210-pound defenseman leaves an impression.

“He’s a big, physical guy,” Johnston said. “He is imposing out there. He takes up a lot of space and closes in on guys quick. He doesn't give you a lot of room, especially in the neutral zone, so you really have to be aware of where he is on the ice.”

Hamonic, 19, has come a long way since his rookie season two years ago when he played just 39 games.

“He’s probably one of the best examples of that slow, steady climb,” said Tri-City coach Jim Hiller. “This year, he seems to have taken a real leap from preseason to now. He thinks the game really well. He’s being more assertive and taking charge. We rely on him a lot more and that builds confidence. In big opportunities, he has been able to rise to the challenge.”

A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Hamonic was taken in the fifth round of the 2009 WHL bantam draft. When he came into the league at 17, the Americans had a strong corps of defensemen that included Zach Yuen, Drydn Dow, Mitch Topping, Sam Grist and Derek Ryckman. Hamonic knew he would have to earn his ice time.

“I knew coming in I was one of the young guys and I wouldn’t play a lot,” Hamonic said. “We had good forwards (Brendan Shinnimin, Adam Hughesman and Patrick Holland) and a strong D. I stuck it out and worked hard and improved every day. It’s paid off throughout my career. That’s the thing I’m trying to pass on to the young guys — don’t give up, don’t lose hope. It will pay off if you work hard.”

Hamonic’s hard work and perseverance have come back to him tenfold.

 

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Playoff Stats

Goalie GP W SO GAA SV%
Eric Comrie 5 1 0 3.46 0.917
Evan Sarthou 0 0 0 0.00 0.000
Player G A PTS PIM
Jessey Astles 1 0 1 2
Parker Bowles 1 2 3 4
Brandon Carlo 0 1 1 8
Ty Comrie 0 0 0 0
Jordan Davies 0 0 0 0
Morgan Geekie 0 0 0 0
Matthew Gelinas 0 0 0 0
Justin Gutierrez 1 3 4 2
Justin Hamonic 1 0 1 6
Riley Hillis 0 0 0 0
Justin Marreck 0 0 0 0
Devon McAndrews 0 0 0 0
Beau McCue 0 1 1 0
Lucas Nickles 0 0 0 4
Jackson Playfair 0 0 0 2
Michal Plutnar 0 0 0 2
Braden Purtill 0 0 0 2
Rodney Southam 0 0 0 0
Josh Thrower 0 0 0 5
Mitch Topping 0 2 2 4
Philip Tot 3 4 7 0
Taylor Vickerman 0 0 0 0
Brian Williams 3 2 5 4
Parker Wotherspoon 0 2 2 2
Standings
  • B.C. Division |
  • Central Division |
  • East Division |
  • U.S. Division |
Team GP W L OTL SL PTS
Kelowna Rockets 72 57 11 0 4 118
Victoria Royals 72 48 20 1 3 100
Vancouver Giants 72 32 29 7 4 75
Prince George Cougars 72 27 37 3 5 62
Kamloops Blazers 72 14 53 2 3 33
Team GP W L OTL SL PTS
Edmonton Oil Kings 72 50 19 2 1 103
Calgary Hitmen 72 48 17 3 4 103
Medicine Hat Tigers 72 44 24 3 1 92
Kootenay Ice 72 39 28 2 3 83
Red Deer Rebels 72 35 32 1 4 75
Lethbridge Hurricanes 72 12 55 2 3 29
Team GP W L OTL SL PTS
Regina Pats 72 39 26 4 3 85
Swift Current Broncos 72 38 25 3 6 85
Brandon Wheat Kings 72 34 29 6 3 77
Prince Albert Raiders 72 35 32 3 2 75
Moose Jaw Warriors 72 21 42 3 6 51
Saskatoon Blades 72 16 51 2 3 37
Team GP W L OTL SL PTS
Portland Winterhawks 72 54 13 2 3 113
Seattle Thunderbirds 72 41 25 2 4 88
Everett Silvertips 72 39 23 7 3 88
Spokane Chiefs 72 40 26 3 3 86
Tri-City Americans 72 29 33 4 6 68