TCH: Rankin ready to lead

Kai-Huei Yau

By Annie Fowler | Tri-City Herald

For three years, Connor Rankin watched and learned from some of the best players in Tri-City Americans history.

Now, going into his fourth season, Rankin no longer has any coattails to ride. It’s his turn to be the go-to guy when the Americans open their 26th season tonight against the Spokane Chiefs at the Toyota Center.

“I love being under pressure like this,” said Rankin, who had 32 goals and 26 assists last season. “It’s nerve wracking, but it’s also exciting. Everyone dreams of leading a team to the finals and winning, and I have an opportunity to do that this year. I’m really looking forward to it. But I’m not the only guy here on the team. We have (Parker) Bowles and (Brian) Williams and those guys who can score. I’m not alone out there.”

He might not be alone, but he is the heir apparent in the scoring department.

“I think if you look at the numbers offensively, returning 30 goals, he’s our leader that way,” Tri-City coach Jim Hiller said. “He will get more ice time than he’s ever gotten. That’s tough, because then you have to play against other teams’ best players. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword, but he’s ready for it. He’s had a good apprenticeship behind those guys. He’s going to lead us.”

Those guys — Kruise Reddick, Brendan Shinnimin, Adam Hughesman, Patrick Holland and Justin Feser — set the standard for Americans hockey for years to come.

 

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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