The Spokane Chiefs are here for your enjoyment tonight.
The Americans and Chiefs each won their home openers against each other, and haven’t faced each other since. Tonight is Game 3 of a 12-game series.
After tonight, the Americans embark on a five-game road trip — including three games in the Central Division against Kootenay, Medicine Hat and Lethbridge. Tri-City returns to Toyota Center Nov. 19th against Kamloops.
The Americans have a trio of Thanksgiving games on tap (save your sanity and take your relatives), with Portland at Toyota Center the day before the turkey and pie hit the table, and Swift Current and Regina coming through Friday and Saturday.
The Chiefs stretched their win streak to seven games with a 6-1 win over visiting Victoria on Wednesday. The Chiefs, who are 8-0 at Spokane Arena, are winless through three road games this season.
In the 23rd year of the rivalry, the Chiefs lead the regular-season series 140-119-1-5 with 13 ties. Ty Rimmer gets the start tonight for Tri-City. He looked solid in relief of Eric Comrie on Tuesday. I see him being a difference maker tonight. Riley Guenther, Justin Hamonic, Lucas Nickles, Tyson Dallman and Mackenzie Royer are scratched.
Mac Engel is in net for the Chiefs. On the scratch list are Cole Hamblin, Tyler King, Cody Nelson, and a player to be named later.
Officials tonight are referees Adam Griffiths and Colby Smith, and linesmen Justin Hull and Ron Dietterle.
Alumni update: Former Tri-City forward Carter Ashton is having a solid season with the Norfolk Admirals (AHL). Carter has 9 goals and five assists in 10 games. He has scored in all but one game. He ranks second in AHL scoring. The Admirals (6-2-0-1) have the best record in the AHL.
A big welcome to my in-laws who are visiting from Medford, Ore. My father-in-law Bob is a big hockey fan (Chicago Blackhawks).
Puck drops in 15.
What? No singer for the national anthem? That, was a big different.
Also, Rimmer joins the rest of the lineup on the blue line for the anthem. I can honestly say, he is the first in the 10 years I've been covering the team. I will have to inquire.
Justin Feser is taking the opening face-off against Spokane's Mike Aviani, once the TV people get their commercials done.
We are all tied up here at the rink — 1-1. Brendan Shinnimin scored for the Ams, while Blake Gal found the net for Spokane.
With just 33 seconds left in the first, Gal put Tri-City defenseman Zach Yuen head first into the boards. Video replay shows Gal taking several strides before hitting Yuen, who was defenseless. There was no need for that hit. Spokane coach Don Nachbaur was none too happy with the call.
Not sure how Yuen is doing. We will see when the second period starts. Gal, is done for the night.
Yuen is back out on the ice to start the second.
If only the Americans could convert on the power play. They are 0-for-5 on the night through two.
No scoring in the second, but there has been some outstanding goaltending at both ends.
Shinnimin scored the game-winner at 12:59, and Justin Feser added an empty-netter with 1 minute left to seal the 3-1 win for the Americans.
It was a good game, one of the better I've seen this year.