2019’s best cities for hockey fans
There have been 63 Tri-City Americans who have been drafted by National Hockey League teams over the past 30 years.
This weekend, there are a few more Ams hoping to hear their name called when the 57th NHL Entry Draft is held in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The draft begins at 5 p.m. Friday with the first round. It will be televised on NBCSN.
Rounds 2 through 7 will be held on Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. The NHL Network will televise those rounds.
There are no first-round prospects this year for the Americans, but a few of them could get selected.
First and foremost is right wing Sasha Mutala, who is ranked 79th overall by NHL Central Scouting.
Mutala scored 20 goals and had 21 assists for Tri-City this past season.
It’s possible Mutala could go in the third or fourth round.
Center Krystof Hrabik, who scored 21 goals and 30 assists, is ranked 142nd overall by Central Scouting.
Ams defenseman Mitchell Brown, who had 4 goals and 12 assists, is ranked 168th overall.
In addition, Ams center Kyle Olson was drafted two seasons ago by the Anaheim Ducks but never signed with the team, so there is a chance he could be drafted again.
Olson scored 21 goals and 49 assists this past season with Tri-City.
One player who isn’t ranked by Central Scouting is Ams goalie Beck Warm, who had a great season, giving up just 2.94 goals a game and finishing with a 32-23 record.
But Warm is just 6 feet tall, and NHL teams like their goalies much taller.
It all begins Friday.
More Americans notes
• Left winger Nolan Yaremko has elected to play for Mount Royal University in Calgary this fall.
Yaremko finished his Americans career this spring, scoring 28 goals and having 38 assists. He then signed with the Stockton Heat of the American Hockey League, playing in five games and scoring a goal.
• The Ams traded 20-year-old forward Riley Sawchuk to the Edmonton Oil Kings last month in exchange for a third-round 2021 Bantam draft pick.
• Tri-City signed 15-year-old forward Jake Sloan, a third-round Bantam pick in this year’s draft, to a WHL Standard Player Agreement.
• The Americans added 6-foot-2 defenseman Connor Overson to the team’s protected player list last month. Overson will attend the Americans’ main training camp in late August.
Two teams from the Three Rivers Soccer Association are doing well in the 2019 United States Youth Soccer Far West Regional Championships in Boise, Idaho.
The Three Rivers SC 15U Boys team has gone 3-0 in pool play to advance to Friday’s quarterfinals.
The 15-year-olds defeated the Flathead Valley United Green of Montana 2-0, beat the PCU Red of Oregon 1-0, and edged Milan FC Elite of Northern California 2-1 in pool play.
Three Rivers now plays the Oceanside Breakers of Southern California at 11 a.m. Friday in the quarterfinals of the single-elimination portion of the tournament.
Orlando Erazo leads the Tri-City team so far with two goals.
The team is coached by Jason Quintero.
Meanwhile, the Three Rivers Soccer RCL Black, coached by Humberto Chavez, have gone 2-0-1 in pool play for the 13-year-old boys division.
The Tri-City 13s have been dominant, beating Billings United Pink 10-0, routing Idaho Rush Premier 10-0, before tying RSL Arizona North Boys Davidovic 2-2.
Christopher Aquino has scored six goals for Three Rivers, while Alexander Martinez has five, and Humberto Cervantes and Alfredo Jimenez each have three.
The 13s will play the Central Coast Condors of Southern California in the quarterfinals at 11 a.m. Friday.
The Far West Regionals involve the top teams in the western United States, from age divisions 13U through 19U, involving both boys and girls.
The champions in each division of this tournament will advance to the USYS National Championships, set for July 22-27 in Overland Park, Kan.
TC Fire at home Saturday
It’s been a rough week for the Tri-Cities Fire indoor football team.
The Fire had a home game scheduled last Saturday, June 15, against the Wenatchee Valley Skyhawks.
But the game was canceled about an hour before kickoff when there were no dasherboards for the Toyota Center.
Apparently, the four-team American West Football Conference shares two sets of dasherboards to help keep costs down. Wenatchee Valley and Tri-Cities share one set, while Idaho and Reno share the other set.
AWFC Commissioner Don Miller told Fire fans on Facebook that the company the AWFC hired to haul the dasherboards between cities somehow ended up in Nampa, Idaho. With no dasherboards readily available, the game had to be called off.
That was unfortunate for the Reno Express, who had just bused into the Tri-Cities after a 9 ½ hour road trip.
Miller says it wasn’t the Fire’s fault that it happened. But no one has determined if the game will be made up.
Meanwhile, the Fire had to play in Nampa, Idaho, Wednesday night as part of a makeup game. The contest was originally scheduled for last month, but travel issues for the Fire caused the game to be postponed.
Idaho beat Tri-Cities 61-6 on Wednesday night to go to 11-0 on the season. The Fire is now 0-9. Reno is 5-5, while Wenatchee Valley is 4-6.
The Fire will play at home in the Toyota Center at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 22, against Wenatchee Valley.
Tri-Cities then travels to Wenatchee Valley on Friday, June 28.
Dust Devils win
Matthew Acosta drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning with a walk-off single on Wednesday night, giving the host Tri-City Dust Devils a 2-1 win over the Hillsboro Hops.
That makes the Dust Devils 2-4 this season.
Relievers Starlin Cordero and Felix Minjarrez were lights out over the final four innings, shutting down the Hops’ bats.
Cordero pitched two innings, striking out four batters. Minjarrez picked up the win, pitching the final two scoreless innings and fanning three.