The Tri-City Americans take on the Kelowna Rockets for the first time tonight. Game 2 against the Rockets will be tomorrow. Usually the only team that has back-to-back games at Toyota Center is Prince George, because they live a zillion miles away.
The Americans are celebrating their 25th anniversary this weekend. They played their first game at Toyota Center (then Tri-Cities Coliseum) on Nov. 20, 1988. They scored a 4-3 OT win over Seattle. Fans will receive a commemorative poster tonight (already have one hanging in my cubicle). They are nice. See if you can name all the former players.
Americans goalie Eric Comrie is fresh from the Subway Super Series against Russia. Team WHL beat Russia in a shootout on Wednesday, then dropped a 5-2 game to the Russians on Thursday.
Comrie played the last half of the game Thursday in Victoria, British Columbia, allowing one goal on 17 shots. He got rave reviews from the game commentators. Heck of a performance by a 17-year-old.
Tonight, Comrie (12-7-1-1) faces off against Kelowna’s Jordon Cooke, 19, (7-6-1-1), not Jackson Whistle, 17, (5-0-0-0), who started the Rockets last three games — all wins. The Rockets have won 5 in a row and trail the Americans by 2 points (28-26) in the Western Conference standings.
The Americans have been idle since last Saturday’s win over the Kamloops Blazers. They have had a goalie shuffle since then, with Brenden Fiebelkorn leaving the team for personal reasons. The Americans brought back Luke Lee-Knight, who was a free-agent invitee at training camp.
Kelowna coach Ryan Huska has 198 regular-season wins. I like the guy, but 198 is a good round number. It would be good for him to get those milestones at Prospera Place.
Kelowna radio man Regan Bartel just took a picture of my nails on my keyboard. They are a dark green. He's always tweeting to his peeps about my nails when they come down here. I guess he needs to give them visuals.
Kevin Muench, head of WHL officiating is here with us tonight. Always nice to see him.
You can follow me throughout the game on Twitter: @tchicequeen