Holy Mother of Pink!
Make that raspberry. But a pale shade of raspberry.
That’s the color of the ice here at Toyota Center for the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Game. The Seattle Thunderbirds are in town for the festivities, though they have had little to feel festive about the last four years. They are winless in their last 20 games here. More on that later.
A trip around the concourse was a pink adventure. Pink things everywhere. The T-shirts are nice, the gift baskets have some very nice items, and the pink pucks are cool. Will have to keep an eye on the price of those. Buy-it-now price is $100.
Never miss a local story.
With a buy-it-now price of $750, I expect most of the jerseys to be gone before the end of the first intermission. It's 15 minutes before game time and 12 are already gone, including Eric Comrie, Jordan Messier, Ty Rimmer and Adam Hughesman.
A shout out to the Vancouver Giants and Kamloops Blazers for sending back their Best of the West ballots. According to the time stamp on the fax, Kamloops was the first team to send theirs back. Sorry Kelowna, your streak of being first is over.
On to tonight.
Our favorite violin player, Amanda Tullis of Pendleton, is here to play the national anthem. She has been coming over once or twice a year for several years. She is a senior this year and, from what I’ve heard, has scholarship offers from Vanderbilt and BYU.
The Thunderbirds were here last year for the Breast Cancer Awareness Game, but did not fare so well, coming out on the losing end of a 5-2 game.
The T-birds haven’t won in Kennewick since Jan. 27, 2008, a span of 20 games, and goaltender Calvin Pickard is winless in 13 starts. The kid deserves better.
The last time Calvin was in Kennewick, we tweeted: Just walked through the Toyota center and counted @CPickard37 name on the wall of fame 15 times...... #areyoukiddingme #god
To which his brother Chet replied: @cpickard1 those were the glory days @TCAmericans
Since we’ve last seen Pickard and T-birds, Calvin became the WHL career leader in saves after stopping 42 of 45 shots against Vancouver on Jan. 22. Pickard has added to his total since then — up to 7,083. He eclipsed the mark of 6,958 held by former Thunderbird Danny Lorenz (1986-90).
Pickard gets the start here tonight.
Seattle’s Branden Troock lifted Team Orr to a 2-1 win over Team Cherry in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Wednesday in Kelowna, scoring with just 24 seconds remaining in the third period.
Seattle still is fighting for a playoff spot. It is eighth in the Western Conference, just four points head of Prince George and five up on Everett.
The Americans will be without captain Mason Wilgosh, out with an undisclosed lower body injury. Wilgosh also missed last year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Game, hobbled by a knee injury. Also out is Marcus Messier with an upper body injury.
Rookie Eric Comrie gets the start in goal. Joining Wilgosh and Messier on the scratch list are Justin Hamonic and Malte Strömwall.
Puck drops in 15.
We are scoreless here in the first. Tri-City is outshooting Seattle 7-6.
The pace was fast, but the action was so-so. Too many turnovers by both teams.
Now, 14 jerseys have been sold (that's $10,500), and many others have good bids going.
Now that's more like it.
The Americans take a 2-1 lead with goals by Jesse Mychan and Brendan Shinnimin.
Justin Feser scored a pair of empty-net goals as the Americans win 4-1.
The Breast Cancer Awareness event raised $20,260. A little short of last year, but money is tight for everyone.