Thursday, Toyota Center had a basketball court in the middle of the floor. Tonight, it’s back to an ice rink as the Americans host the Everett Silvertips. Saturday, it will be a football field (with a poor excuse for artificial turf) as the Tri-Cities Fever open their season with the Everett Raptors.
Raptors? Yep, the third name for the indoor football team, which started out as the Kent Predators, then midway through last season, they became the Seattle Timberwolves. A move to Everett in the offseason and they morphed into the Raptors. Lord help us. Next, they will move Bellevue and become the Mallwalkers.
I’ll stick with hockey. They players change year to year, but the mascots stay the same.
The Everett Silvertips are here again. Tuesday, Brendan Shinnimin lit the lamp for three goals and handed out three assists in a 7-2 win.
Mason Wilgosh is back for the Americans after missing 13 games with a broken bone in his foot. Jesse Mychan (upper body), Marcus Messier (upper body) and Tyson Dallman (lower body) still are out, but word around the rink is that Dallman is close to returning.
Eric Comrie will man the net for Tri-City tonight, while fellow rookie Austin Lotz is in net for Everett.
A couple of big games in the Western Conference tonight: Spokane at Portland and Kamloops at Vancouver. We'll keep an eye on those.
Brett Connolly watch: I was in contact with a writer from Tampa Bay on Thursday, asking if he'd heard anything about Connolly coming back to juniors. He replied that with recent trades and injuries that Connolly likely will stay in Tampa Bay. The Americans can still be hopeful. Guess we'll all know come Feb. 27.
Puck drops in 15.
Everett has a 2-1 lead here after the first period. Brendan Shinnimin scored his 45th goal of the season for Tri-City, while Adam Hughesman had an assist for his 93rd point.
In case you missed it, I did a piece on Everett assistant coach Mitch Love. Looking at some past stories when he played in the AHL, I found that he had a theme song when he played with the Houston Aeroes. The story didn't say what it was, so I asked him today. It was George Thorogood's "Who do you love." Very fitting, but I think "Love Hurts" by Nazareth would have been better.
In the Key games of the night, Portland leads Spokane 1-0 at the end of the first, and Kamloops leads Vancouver 1-0 with 12 minutes to play in the first.
Still 2-1 here at the rink.
The Americans had a 4-minute power play, but had just four shots on goal.
In other games, Portland leads Spokane 4-2 at the end of two, and Kamloops leads Vancouver 2-0 at the start of the second.
Shinnimin has another hat trick, Adam Hughesman scores the game winner and the Americans win 4-2.
Shinnimin leads the WHL scoring race with 106 points, one ahead of Brandon's Mark Stone.
Shinnimin's short-handed goal on a give-and-go with Patrick Holland was a thing of beauty. If is doesn't make the WHL Plays of the Week next Friday, there is something wrong with the people who choose those.