Before we get into tonight's game, let's recap the opener vs. Spokane.
Things looked pretty even through the first period, but the Chiefs went to work in the second with four unanswered goals. The Americans had three shots on goal, which in my mind, is unacceptable.
Tri-City struck back in the third with goals by rookie Parker Bowles and Malte Strömwall.
The Americans always make sure to gather up the puck for any player's first goal. The puck is then mounted on a plaque with the date, opponent and score of the game. A nice gesture by the team. Bowles was one of the few players who showed drive and passion. Rookie D-man Wil Tomchuk also looked good. He was was confident against a veteran Spokane team. If he was intimidated, he checked it at the door.
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Veteran play was a mixed bag. Give Jesse Mychan props for working so hard to get in shape and rehab from a severed Achilles tendon. That injury would have had most guys calling it a career, but Mychan worked hard to come back and earn an 'A' on his sweater. He is in the stands tonight. As one of 5 20s, they have to rotate. Jordan Messier, Justin Feser and Patrick Holland are the 20s tonight.
Veteran D-man Mitch Topping lost control of the puck behind his own net — which was empty — late in the game, leading to Spokane's fifth goal. These things happen, but he's too good a player to make those kind of mistakes more than once.
Tri-City and Portland just took the ice for warmups. I'm excited to see Portland's Seth Jones play. The rookie D-man is a pure athlete, which is no surprise. His dad is Popeye Jones, who played 11 seasons in the NBA for Dallas, Toronto, Boston, Denver, Washington and Golden State. I doubt we will see much of Popeye this season — he is an assistant coach with the Brooklyn Nets.
The Winterhawks are a veteran team, led by Ty Rattie, captain Troy Rutkowski, Taylor Peters, Derrick Pouliot and Tyler Wotherspoon. They do have 11 new faces, but the they still have their core group of players.
Ty Rattie is scratched tonight after taking a major for cross-checking at 7:17 of the second period Saturday against Seattle. He also was ejected from the game. The league hasn't handed down a ruling, but all majors with a game misconduct are reviewed.
Tonight, Eric Comrie is in goal for Tri-City, while Justin Hamonic, Mitch Topping are the D and Feser, Parker Bowles and Holland are the forwards. Scratched are Drydn Dow, Brodie Clowes, Tyson Dallman, Mychan and Clint Filbrandt.
For Portland, Brendan Burke is in net, with Rutkowski and Pouliot the D pairing, and Adam De Champlain, Presten Kopeck and Tayor Peters are the forwards. Scratched are Rattie, Taylor Leier, Dominic Turgeon and Kirill Vorebev.
That's it for now. Follow me throughout the game on Twitter at: @TCHIceQueen