It's Friday and I'm here at the rink while my co-workers are in the office trying to make sense of dozens of high school basketball games. Lucky me.
Robyn, who is my source of all things alumni up here in the box, has brought to my attention that former Ams forward Mitch Fadden is out indefinitely with a blood clot in one of his legs. He had a bruise on the back of his leg, which then got struck again. He is on blood thinners and may miss the rest of the season for the Florida Everblades. At present he leads the ECHL in scoring with 15 goals and 35 assists (for those like me who can't count, that's 51 points). The Everblades are 0-3 since he's been out of action.
There is a full slate of WHL games tonight (that would be 22), but the one to be interested in are Spokane at Kootenay and Portland at Kelowna. Spokane and Kootenay play again tomorrow outside at Avista Stadium in Spokane. Tonight's box alludes to the fact that tonight's game has started, but there's nothing in the box.
The teams just came out on the ice. Ams fans will get their first look at Carter Ashton, and so will I. I did watch him play most every game at the WJC, and was impressed.
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Kamloops is decked out in orange jerseys and blue pants with an orange stripe down the side. The large Blazers emblem that usually in on their uniform is gone. They have KAMLOOPS across the from in white lettering and their number beneath that. The Blazer logo is small and on each shoulder. This is the first time they have worn these jerseys on the road, so I'm told.
Tonight, Drew Owsley in in goal with Drydn Dow and Jordan Messier on the bench.
For Kamloops, Cam Lanigan is in the crease. Bernhard Keil is on the scratch list along with Brady Gaudet.
As you all know by now, Kamloops is the team that banned Gregg Drinnan from having contact with the players, coach and other personnel. Than ban was lifted Tuesday.
During Don Nachbaur's second year as the coach of the Americans, the team went through a tough stretch. There weren't many positive things to write about for a bit, but Don told me that if players, coaches and organizations can't handle negative press at the junior level that they would never survive at the next level.
A bit of advice the Blazers should consider.
Looks like a good crowd here for a Friday night.
Let's drop the puck and get this show on the road.
My oh my. For those of you not here, Carter Ashton is fun to watch. He scored the first goal of the game and has an assist as the Ams lead 3-1 after the first period.
Adam Hughesman has two goals. Hughey and Shinny are paired with Carter and I have to say, they make a good line.
The Ams will start the second on a power play after Brendan Ranford felt the need to give Tyler Schmidt a face wash with his glove. Silly kid.
Two minutes into the second, the Kootenay Ice are up 3-1 on Spokane. Go ICE!
The Ams hold a 5-2 lead here, which can only mean 1 thing — We're going to Burger Ranch. I don't even go an I gain weight just hearing about it.
Ams forward Neal Prokop was hurt at 11:45. He went to check Kamloops' Josh Caron and went down. He was helped off the ice, but was favoring his left leg. Not sure what the prognosis is.
For those keeping track of the U.S. Division standings, Kootenay leads Spokane 5-2 in the third, and Kelowna leads Portland 4-3 at the end of 2. We'll keep an eye on those games.
7-3 Tri-City. Jim Hiller said Neal will be fine. Don't know if he will play against Vancouver on Saturday. They are being cautious.
Spokane and Portland both lose. They should be feeling Tri-City breathing down their necks.