First things first: Congrats to the Medicine Hat Tigers and Red Deer Rebels who advanced to the second round of the WHL playoffs Wednesday night.
Medicine Hat swept Memorial Cup host Saskatoon after a 3-1 win. Former Americans D-man Derek Ryckman plays for the Tigers.
Red Deer defeated Prince Albert 3-2 on Wednesday for a sweep of the Raiders.
An All-American Reunion: In AHL action, former Americans forward Brendan Shinnimin and the Portland Pirates will face the Manchester Monarchs and a pair of former Tri-City Americans on Friday. The Monarchs, who have former Americans forward Colton Yellow Horn on their roster, just signed former Americans goalie Ty Rimmer, who spent his overage season with the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
Rimmer, 21, was signed to a tryout agreement on Monday. He led WHL netminders with 65 games played, 3,836 minutes played and 2,106 saves during the regular season. Last season, Rimmer was 31-12-2 in 46 games for Tri-City.
In 19 games with Manchester, Yellow Horn has 6 goals and 9 assists.
From the desk of Americans radio man Craig West: Bill McDonald, 60, is the new head coach of the CIS’s Lakehead Thunderwolves. He replaces Mike Busniuk, was the interim head coach after replacing Joel Scherban four games into this season. Busniuk was an Americans assistant under Bob McCammon.
Paperwork: Today, I filled out my Western Conference Player of the Year ballot. Each team nominated a player and the ballot lists the 10 names. Will be interesting to see how all this washes out. Points are good, but doing more with less is more impressive. Oh the drama.
Still waiting for my Memorial Cup credential form to come in the email. I fill it out every year with high hopes. The one year I would fail to send it back, the Americans would be winning a Cup without me. After 11 years of ups and downs, long trips and OT games with Spokane, that is not going to happen.
From Game 3: Just as I thought, Connor Rankin scored the game-winner Tuesday night, but we have to go with the official game sheet until the change is made. That happened late Wednesday, sometime after I filed my story. I knew by the way he celebrated that he had put it in. After three years, you just know.
Tonight, is Game 4 between the Americans and Chiefs. Spokane leads 2-1. Tri-City will host Game 5 on Saturday in a 2-3-2 format.
Spokane would not have been able to host Game 5 at Spokane Arena because of the Women’s NCAA basketball regional.
Luke Lee-Knight is in goal again for Tri-City. He was outstanding Tuesday (minus the first period) in a 5-4 OT win. I chalk the first period up to a couple of weeks of sitting in the bench.
Let’s hope Cool Hand Luke has a repeat performance.
You follow me throughout the game on Twitter: @tchicequeen