Columns & Blogs

Game Day: Spokane at Tri-City

The Spokane Chiefs are here for a key U.S. Division matchup, but before we get into that, I'd like to wish my son Kyle a happy 18th birthday. Today also is Jordan Messier's birthday. Big Mess is now 19.

Took a little spin around the concourse to see all what was happening. The Air Force has Thunder Stix at their table, tickets are being given out at the door as fans come in. If you have the right color of ticket, you will go home with a Jimmy Butcher bobblehead. Also of note, there is a raffle going on for a wine bar created out of an old piano. This item is pretty nice, and if you entertain, could be a good addition to your bar area. Tickets are $2 each. Proceeds go to the Wishing Star Foundation. The raffle will continue for the couple of home games, so if you missed tonight, you still have another shot.

The Chiefs brought back their Best of the West ballots tonight. If nothing else, they are good people. The Best of the West will run Sunday Feb. 13. Guess I'd better get to work on that. Still waiting for a few stragglers to get their ballots in.

The game is on FSN tonight at 7 p.m. Also, it will replay at 10 p.m. Kevin Sawyer, one of the on FSN on-air guys, played three seasons with the Chiefs (1992-95) and racked up 989 penalty minutes. Sawyer said "I played for anyone who'd let me play." Bob, who has been opening the door to the visitor's penalty box since the beginning of time, said he spent a lot of time with Sawyer in the box and that they had many conversations. I'm going to have to turn Bob into my confidential informant.

Tonight, we get to see Spokane's Tyler Johnson, who leads the league in scoring with 83 points. He has 38 goals and 45 assists. Also, thr Chiefs will start Mac Engel in goal as James Reid still is healing from a hip injury. Reid is listed week to week. Also on the bench for Spokane is Cole Hamblin, Marek Kalus (head), Collin Valcourt and Reid Gow. Mr. Valcourt is up here in the box with us. Nice kid.

Drew Owsley is in goal for Tri-City. Neal Prokop is on the injured list and will be joined in the stands by Marcus Messier. A win tonight would give coach Jim Hiller 80 in his time with the Americans.

A point tonight would stretch Brendan Shinnimin's point streak to 21 games. Franchise record holder is Colton Yellow Horn at 22.

Jimmy is singing tonight. Puck drops in 8 minutes.

Be back later.


It's tied at 1 after the first period. The Chiefs dominated from the drop of the puck, and Blake Gal scored just 55 seconds in. The Americans eventually got their bearings and Adam Hughesman scored at 11:36. The first is littered with penalties. Spokane has 9 infractions for 32 minutes, while Tri-City has 5 for 16.

Drew got ran over in net, but all is good. Max Moline came to his defense.

I can only imagine that the second period will be even better.


I was right. The Ams scored twice in 20 seconds for a 3-1 lead, then Shinny scores his second of the night on the PP to make it 4-1. Paul Sohor scored the first of the three goals, giving him a Gordie Howe hat trick. The kid never scored a goal playing for Everett and now has 3. I think he likes it here.

A shout out to the Pendleton Police Department, whose officers like to tune in and catch the action. Thanks for keeping the streets safe.


We are 8 minutes into the third and it's still 4-1 TC. Spokane coach Don Nachbaur has the unhappy look. A look I've seen many times.


Ams win 5-2 with Patrick Holland getting an empty netter to seal the deal. I have to say, it was a very good game. For those who didn't have a ticket, I hope you caught it on FSN.

With good hockey on the ice, the Americans have seen good numbers at the box office. Attendance is up 8.2 percent over last year.