The Tri-City Americans head to Everett today with a 1-3-0-0 record and in last place in the U.S. Division.
For a reversal of fortune, Americans coach Jim Hiller said it’s simple. Cut down on the mistakes.
“Mistakes are made on both sides, but we have to make less mistakes than the other team,” Hiller said. “When they make a good play and score, you can live with that. When you make a bad play and they score, you have to eliminate those. You can’t hand them those opportunities. It’s easier said than done, but that’s what has to happen.”
Everett (1-2-0-1, 3 points), which lost to Tri-City 3-1 last Thursday, picked up its first win last Friday, 5-3 over Vancouver. Tri-City also will play at Everett on Sunday.
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Last Saturday in a 5-3 loss at Spokane, they Americans worked hard to tie the game at 3-all in the third, only to give up two goals in a span of 19 seconds late in the game to seal the win for the Chiefs.
“It could have been a different result in Spokane,” Hiller said. “We made a mistake — a veteran guy lost his man on the face-off and they scored.”
The Americans will be without overage forward Jesse Mychan tonight. Mychan took a rough ride into the boards in Spokane and still is nursing a couple minor injuries.
That will leave overage forwards Justin Feser and Jordan Messier, and defenseman Drydn Dow to ply their trade. With the overage deadline Oct. 10, the Americans still need to cut one from the roster. They have tonight and three games over the weekend to make their final evaluations.
“There are some nerves and it’s a bit stressful, but I just have to go out and play my game,” Dow said. “I have to go out and show what I have to give. I would love to stay.”
Tri-City made need Dow’s services on the back end. A steady stay-at-home player who also is a key component on the penalty kill, Dow has played just one game so far this season. The Americans, who have a veteran group on the blue line, have given up 15 goals — four on the power play.
“The last couple of games we have started to execute and the work ethic is better,” Dow. “It’s coming, for sure.”
Goalie Eric Comrie has been the last line of defense for the Americans. Despite his 3.51 goals against average and .895 save percentage, Comrie remains positive.
“You play 72 games in this league,” Comrie said. “You can’t focus on one loss too long. If you can come to the rink thinking every day is a new day, things will turn around. We want it too bad for it not to.”
Notes: Medicine Hat forward Hunter Shinkaruk was named WHL Player of the Week. Shinkaruk collected six points, scoring one goal with five assists to go with a plus-2 rating in two games, helping the Tigers to a 2-0-0-0 record. ... The Vancouver Giants have given up on Czech import Ales Kilnar, 19, and are sending him home. Kilnar was taken 44th overall in last June’s CHL import draft but failed to make an impression. He dressed for just one of the Giants first four games, had no points and was a minus-1.