Columns & Blogs

Game Day: Portland at Tri-City

It's Sunday hockey here at Toyota Center, where the Americans are playing the Portland Winterhawks.

Tri-City is coming off a 4-1 win over Spokane on Saturday, while Portland beat Seattle 6-3.

Speaking of Seattle, former Thunderbirds coach Rob Sumner, who was fired after last season, now is an NHL scout for the Calgary Flames. He will be missed in the WHL, but it's nice to see he's still in the game and we will be seeing a lot of him.

In case you didn't notice, there is a gallery of photos on the Herald website of Saturday's game. Take a look here.

The Winterhawks still are without NHL campers Taylor Aronson (Nashville), Sven Bartschi (Calgry), Riley Boychuck (Buffalo), Oliver Gabriel (Columbus), Ryan Johansen (Columbus), Joe Morrow (Pittsburgh), Nino Niederreiter (Islanders) and Brett Ponich (St.Louis). Tyler Wotherspoon (Shoulder) still is recovering from off-season surgery. He still is a couple weeks out.

The Americans are missing Brendan Shiinimin and Matt MacKenzie, who got move to AHL affiliates this past week.

Tonight, rookie Eric Comrie will man the net. Scratches are Riley Guenther, Tyson Dallman, Justin Gutierrez, and Olli Dickson.

Rookie Brendan Burke is in goal for Portland as Mac Carruth takes a night off. In addition to the NHL campers, the Winterhawks have scratched Adam Smith, Ryley Bennefield and Matthew Franczyk. On Portland's roster is former Tri-City list player Cody Castro. Good for him, but I have to wonder if he's just taking up a spot until others get back. Only time will tell.

I have had a few emails seeking info about the heritage jerseys the Americans were wearing Saturday. I asked. They were made in Quebec. They are finished and have left the building, but they haven't crossed the border yet. I'm told they are en route, but their arrival date is unknown. When I know, I'll pass it along.


Rookie Brian Williams has the Americans on the board at 2:22. The kid was impressive last night, and he is continuing that tonight.

Mason Wilgosh added a goal at 18:22 to give the Americans a 2-0 lead after the first period. Comrie had 11 saves in the period.


Connor Rankin had hat trick in the second to give the Ams a 5-0 lead, but Portland came charging back with two shorties and two on the power play. It was 6-4 Tri-City at the end of the second.

The Americans will soon learn that a big lead is no excuse not to lay defense.

Portland would score one in the third to make it 6-5, but that would be all the Americans would give up as they held on for the win.

It was the first loss for Portland, which should a lot of moxee in coming back from such a big deficit. When they get a couple players back from camp, they will be a force to be reckoned with.

Until next time.