Wow, one win in six games. I don’t think Dr. Megna has a band-aid big enough for what ails the Americans.
Goalie Drew Owsley has missed nine game coming into tonight. No fault of Drew’s, he was on the bottom of a pile players. Jordan Messier’s shoulder still is not 100 percent, and with Mason Wilgosh and now Adam Hughesman and Max Moline out with knee injuries, all the Americans can do is hope to heal up for the playoffs. Don’t think I forgot Neal Prokop (leg), but he’s been out for 6 weeks and I honestly don’t know if he will be able to come back. We can hope.
Affiliate players Dylan Fluter and Lucas Nickles have played a ton of minutes the last few games, and they have done a respectable job, but if the Americans are going to mak some noise in the playoffs, the top players have to be healthy. Nickles was sent back, but Fluter is still here.
A couple of league-wide notes to catch up on before we get to tonight’s game.
Vancouver’s Brendan Gallagher was named WHL player of the week after netting five goals with five assists in three games.
Saskatoon’s Brayden Schenn was named WHL player of the Month for February. He collected 32 points — including 13 goals and 19 assists — in 13 games.
Spokane’s Mac Engel was named WHL goaltender of the month for February. He posted a 9-2-0-0 record with two shutouts, a 1.83 goals against average and a .930 save percentage.
Seattle defenseman Brenden Dillon, 20, signed a three-year contract with the Dallas Stars on Tuesday. A free agent, he is the T-birds second-leading scorer with 6 goals and 44 assists.
Tonight, the Portland Winterhawks are in town for the last meeting with the Americans in the regular season. Tri-City holds a 5-3 lead in the season series. Portland has not won at Toyota Center this season. The Winterhawks have not won at Toyota Center since Oct. 31 2008 — Mike Johnston's first game behind the Portland bench — a span of 11 games.
Kruise Reddick leads the Ams with 6 goals and 7 assists against the Winterhawks. Owsley had started all 8 games, but Chris Driedger gets the start once again. With all the injuries, the Americans will be skating with 16 player and 2 goalies. Not ideal, but at least all the D-men are healthy.
Portland has goalie Mac Carruth back in action. Carruth, who missed 3 games, was ran over by PG’s Spencer Asuchak on Feb. 22. See that play right here.
Carruth is back, but Ty Rattie is out 7-10 days with an upper body injury, and Riley Boychuk is out with a concussion.
Alumni update: Carey Price stops 40 of 41 shots to lead Montreal to a 3-1 road win over Atlanta.
Puck drops soon. Back later.
The Winterhawks lead 3-1, with Carter Ashton scoring for the Ams.
The Ams are doing quite well despite being shorthanded. It's not hard to see that Portland goon Tayler Jordan is targeting Marcus Messier. Jordan is 6-6, 203 pounds. Little Mess is 5-8, 145. Jordan may be in for a battle if he doesn't start playing nice.
It's 6-2 Portland. Connor Rankin scores for the Ams. It's getting chippy out there. Referees Shane Warschaw and Jason Nissen don't have a very good handle on this game.
Ams score three in the third to make a game of it, but fall short 6-5.