We’re back here at Toyota Center for Friday Night hockey vs. the Brandon Wheat Kings. The Americans always struggle to lure fans away from local prep football. We’ll see what the attendance is here later tonight, but for now, the orange seats are starting to fill up.
In a short amount of time, Americans goalie Ty Rimmer has proven to be one of the best in the WHL.
He comes into tonight’s game ranked second in the WHL in GAA at 1.64 and save percentage at .950. He never came close to those numbers in Prince George, but I don’t believe he had the same caliber of team in front of him in the hinter lands of British Columbia.
During one play Wednesday against Prince Albert, Rimmer stretched out and poke checked the puck away from a PA player, giving his team time to get down the ice and lend a helping hand. He finished with 29 saves, and the Ams needed every last one of them to beat the Raiders.
We won't be seeing Rimmer tonight, as rookie Eric Comrie is getting the start. Hard to see the man with the hot hand on the bench.
Marcus Messier has served his four-game WHL suspension and is back in action tonight? On the Tri-City scratch list are Riley Guenther, Tyson Dallman, Mackenzie Royer, Justin Gutierrez and Brian Williams.
Of note, Brendan Shinnimin, who did not go to the penalty box Wednesday, needs just three penalty minutes to reach 250 for his career.
Tonight is Adam Hughesman's 275th WHL game, all with Tri-City.
Mark Stone, the WHL's scoring leader, has points in all seven of Brandon’s games this season (6 goals, 12 assists), as does LW Alessio Bertaggia (6 goals, 4 assists).
Brandon’s injured list includes LW Dominick Favreau (lower body, three weeks), RW Jens Meilleur (upper body, three weeks) and D Brodie Melnychuk (broken wrist, two weeks). Along with the injured, Dylan Kuczek is scratched for tonight’s game.
The Wheat Kings, just two games into their U.S. Division trek, have already traveled 1,140 miles (that's 1,824 kilometers for those north of the border). I hope that bus is comfy.
The officials for tonight are referees Steve Papp and Jeff Ingram, and linesmen Jason Cramer and Chris Sweeting.
It’s Alzheimer’s Awareness night here at Toyota Center. The first 1,000 fans will receive a pack of Forget Me Not seed packs. There will be raffles and other fundraising activities throughout the night. I happen to know that Red Roote Salon & Day Spa in Kennewick put together a nice gift basket of items and services for the raffle.
The Tri-City fans are supportive of all of the fundraisers here at Toyota Center. I don’t see tonight being any different.
Hoops vs. Hockey: An interesting note appeared today on the WHL website — With the NBA canceling the first two weeks of its 2011-12 season, the Portland Winterhawks are moving their Saturday, November 12 game against the Spokane Chiefs from Veterans Memorial Coliseum to the Rose Garden. Game time will remain 5 p.m.
The puck drops in 20.
Brandon's Ryan Pulock scores a pair of goals to give the Wheat Kings a 2-1 lead.
Malte Strömwall scored for the Americans, and goalie Eric Comrie stopped a penalty by Alessio Bertaggia at 11:45.
We have a really good game going on here at Toyota Center. Brandon leads 3-2, but the action is fast and the chances are quality ones.
The Wheat Kings took a 3-2 lead on a goal by Tyrel Seaman, who won a face-off, then took a a pass from Mark Stone for his second tally of the year.
$4,151 raised for the Alzheimer's Association tonight.
Brandon holds on for 3-2 win.