Tri-City Americans

Ams make preseason sweep of Spokane

The Tri-City Americans made a clean sweep of the Spokane Chiefs in the preseason.

Rookie Brian Williams scored the game-winner with 7:51 remaining in the game to lead the Americans to a 4-2 victory Saturday at the Toyota Center.

Williams got his stick on a loose puck in the crease and poked it into the net for his third goal of the preseason.

"I took my biggest whack at it and hoped it went in," Williams said. "I didn't see it go in, but I heard the crowd."

The win put the Ams at 5-2 for the preseason.

"We had some breakdowns versus Spokane the last few games and it was nice to see our goalies cover those mistakes," said Tri-City coach Jim Hiller, whose team was 3-0 against the Chiefs in the preseason. "That sums up the last week for us. During the preseason, we look less at the result -- though you want to win -- and more at the players in different situations. We've had tight games and won at the end."

Tied at 2 after Spokane's Liam Stewart scored at 9:05 of the third, the Americans used Williams' goal and an empty netter by Adam Hughesman to finish off the Chiefs.

"I thought I didn't have my best game," said Hughesman, who also had two assists. "I want to be a leader on this team and I have to bring my 'A' game every night."

In the third consecutive game between the two team, the Americans opened the scoring, taking advantage of their first power play in the opening period as Connor Rankin, playing his first game, scored his first goal of the preseason at 12:58.

Drydn Dow took the initial shot, with the rebound going to Justin Feser to the left of Spokane goalie Mac Engel. Feser's ensuing shot was deflected by Engel to the top of the crease, where Rankin was lurking and batted the puck into the net.

"It was my first game and the first couple of minutes were tough until I got used to it," said Rankin, who missed the previous six games with a mild concussion. "Feser and Malte (Strmwall) made it easy for me."

Tri-City turned a 1-0 first-period lead into a 2-0 game just 1:13 into the second period, with Rankin notching his second goal of the night, beating Spokane goalie Mac Engel over his shoulder from the left post.

"Hughesman made a great play to me," Rankin said.

The Chiefs pulled within 2-1 at 12:11 as Davis Vandane blasted the puck from the high slot past Eric Comrie, just two minutes after the rookie goalie took over for Ty Rimmer.

Feser added two assists for the Americans, while Rimmer finished with 17 saves and Comrie stopped 8 of 10 shots.

Engel had 23 saves for the Chiefs.


The Chiefs traded D-man Tyler Vanscourt to Prince Albert for goaltender Luke Lee-Knight. ... Spokane D-man Reid Gow was scratched after taking a stick to the face last Saturday from Tri-City's Max Moline. Gow got 37 stitches inside of his right nostril.