I have been wearing the polish off my nails typing in Best of the West results the last few days.
Of the 21 categories, 17 have winners — no, I will not tell you. There have been a few close races and a few runaways. The results come out in Sunday’s Herald.
It's a good thing I've been typing some of those names for years because the spelling of names that come in on the ballots is questionable. For instance, in the Best 16-year-old category, Jordan Thomson of Kamloops was THOMPSON on EVERY ballot. I had to do my homework to find him.
The Americans are home tonight against the Calgary Hitmen. It used to be Toyota Center was a safe haven for the Americans. This year, they are 13-11-0-2 on home ice.
Never miss a local story.
This does not bode well for the Make it a Top Priority to Fes out MD. For each Home win, Justin Feser and Mitch Topping are donating $10 out of their own pockets toward the cause, with the Americans pitching in $10 a game. At this rate, the fundraiser has brought in $390 from the players and the team. I know a whole lot more has been donated at the games. Each dollar is precious to causes, but let’s hope they can add $30 more dollars to the pot tonight.
Tonight is Feser’s 305th consecutive game. The WHL record is 311. He can tie that Feb. 26, and break it March 1. Both games are at Toyota Center. If he plays all 72 games this season, he will finish with 321 consecutive games. I believe that record will stand for many years. As it it, Feser is on pace to obliterate a 21-year-old mark.
The Americans again will be without Beau McCue (ankle) and Ryan Chynoweth (shoulder). Braden Purtill has been filling in nicely, but tonight is his late game before heading back to Winnipeg.
Former Americans Brooks Macek, Spencer Humphries and Chris Driedger are in the lineup tonight for the Hitmen in their lone meeting this season against Tri-City.
Macek, 20, who played 2 1/2 season for the Americans before being traded to the Hitmen in January 2011, is second in team scoring with 26 goals and a team-high 36 assists.
This will be the first time Macek has played against the Americans since he was traded.
During the 2010-11 season, Calgary played at Toyota Center before Macek was traded, and last year Macek did not play when the Americans visited the Saddledome because of a back injury.
Humphries, 20, has four goals and 25 assists and is second among defensemen in scoring for the Hitmen. He was a packaged deal with Macek in exchange for veteran defenseman Matt MacKenzie.
Driedger, 18, was shipped off two seasons ago to make room for Eric Comrie. Driedger is the top netminder for Calgary at 27-12-1-2 with a 2.43 goals against average and a .918 save percentage. His GAA and save percentage rank in the top seven among the league leaders.
Cody Sylvester, the Hitmen’s leading scorer, played his 300th career game Saturday against Seattle.
Former Tri-City American Colton Yellow Horn scored his first AHL goal tonight for the Manchester (NH) Monarchs. He scored at 12:20 of the first period, then assisted on former Calgary Hitman Brandon Kozun's power-play goal at 4:55 of the third period. Yellow Horn, who was named the game's third star, also scored in the shootout, but Manchester lost 5-4.