Tri-City Americans

Ams back to work, face Moose Jaw tonight

KENNEWICK — All was quiet Monday at Toyota Center.

Tri-City Americans coach Jim Hiller gave his team the day off after playing five games in six days. The Americans return to the ice tonight, hosting the Moose Jaw Warriors.

"It has been a tough grind the last couple of weeks," said Americans goaltender Drew Owsley, who leads the WHL with 32 wins. "We need to give the legs a rest. It's hard on your body to play that much. We have a tough bunch of guys, but it's nice to have a day off."

Forward Brooks Macek agreed.

"The legs get heavy and you have to rest," Macek said.

"Cheese (trainer Brian Cheeseman) keeps us stretched out and makes sure we drink lots of water. We'll be ready for (today)."

The Americans may need all the energy they can muster against the Warriors, who won a 7-6 game against Portland on Monday afternoon.

Moose Jaw did the Americans (40-15-1-2, 83 points) a small favor in beating the Winterhawks, who trail the Americans by six points in the U.S. Division.

Tri-City trails the Brandon Wheat Kings by three points and Saskatoon by one point in the race for the Scott Munro trophy for the best record in the WHL.

The Warriors (28-22-4-4, 64 points) are 2-2 against the U.S Division, while the Americans are 3-2 against the Eastern Division with wins over Prince Albert, Brandon and Swift Current. They lost games to Regina and Saskatoon.

"They are dangerous up front," Hiller said of the Warriors. "I've talked to teams out East and they say their forwards are good."

Tri-City is coming off a 3-1 win over Kamloops on Sunday, putting an end to a three-game losing streak.

"I think we have been pretty good at getting back on the horse at times when we have stumbled," Hiller said. "We got back at it in Spokane, and the last two games the effort has been there."

Hiller said he hopes to have Kruise Reddick -- who took a puck to the foot last week -- back in the lineup by the weekend, and Todd Kennedy (knee) soon there after.

"We don't want to rush him," Hiller said of Reddick. "Todd has been training hard off the ice. He will hit the ice this week and we will see how far away he is."

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