DUBNetwork Feature Game of the Night: Chiefs @ Americans 7:05 PM PST
One of the tightest playoff races to date, between the Spokane Chiefs and the Tri-City Americans is set to write another chapter tonight in Kennewick. Just two points separate the two teams in the standings, Spokane sits third in the US Division with 53 points, meanwhile Tri-City sits 51 points and ever so hungry in the first wild card spot. Tonight’s a meaningful game to say the least for both clubs, as the season has just over 20 games left.
The Spokane Chiefs (24-16-2-3) are starting to slide in the standings as they’ve only garnered a single point in their last four games. Their latest loss coming when they were blanked by the Kamloops Blazers by a 3-0 count last night. Only having scored two goals in their last three games, it is a trend the Chiefs will want to stop tonight, as they’ve scored nine goals in their last two games against the Americans. A more alarming stat perhaps, the team’s leading scorer Ty Smith has been pointless over his last three games, which is now the longest he’s gone this season without any points.
The Tri-City Americans (24-18-2-1) are looking to get off the schneid themselves after dropping back-to-back games coming into battle tonight. A stat that bodes into the Americans favor tonight is that they lead the season series against Spokane 4-2, and won the last game back on January 19th. Coincidentally the Americans were shutout last night in Everett by Dustin Wolf and company by a 3-0 score much like the Chiefs last game. It’s very likely offense will be tough to come by tonight, so the big guns will have to be ready to produce, Nolan Yaremko, Parker AuCoin, and Kyle Olson will have to be locked and loaded against a Chiefs team where goaltending has been a forté of late.
Who to watch:
- Riley Woods (SPO) 24G, 22A- Watch for him to break out tonight as he looks to get the monkey off his back with zero points in his last three, and one point in his last four.
- Sasha Mutala (TC) 11G, 14A- Other than the top line for Tri-City, watch for a rising star in Mutala to contribute offensively when the puck is on his stick.
- Bailey Brkin (SPO) 2.739 GAA, .916 SV%- Allowed three goals in a win against Tri-City in his last start vs. TC, last start in Tri-City did not bode well as he allowed five goals on 24 shots.
- Beck Warm (TC) 2.894 GAA, .914 SV%- He’s been the ironman for the Ams this season, only sitting out 4 games all season, he posted a .975 SV% in his last start vs. Spokane.
The rest of the west:
Regina Pats (13-33-1-1) @ Brandon Wheat Kings (19-19-3-3)
- Regina coming off their first win in ten games last night, doing it in style by shutting out Brandon by a 4-0 score.
Swift Current (9-34-2-1) @ Saskatoon Blades (29-13-6-0)
- Sixth meeting of the season between the teams, last night the Blades beat the Broncos by a 5-2 score putting them up 5-0 in the season series.
Moose Jaw Warriors (26-11-6-2) @ Medicine Hat Tigers (27-16-2-2)
- The red hot Tigers continue to roll, 8-1-1-0 in their last ten and currently riding a four game win streak coming in. They’ve moved into 2nd in the Central division.
Prince George Cougars (16-25-3-2) @ Red Deer Rebels (27-15-2-1)
- Prince George trying to erase an 0-3-2-0 streak, having lost 4-1 at the hands of the Hitmen in Calgary last night.
Prince Albert Raiders (40-6-0-2) @ Kootenay Ice (10-30-7-1)
- Prince Albert looks to get back into the win column after falling to the Giants in a 3-1 loss on Thursday night.
Victoria Royals (24-20-1-0) @ Kamloops Blazers (18-24-2-1)
- The streaking Blazers continue to do their thing, after a losing streak they’ve now bounced back to win three in a row, looking for their second win in seven games against the Royals tonight.
Vancouver Giants (30-12-2-0) @ Kelowna Rockets (19-23-3-1)
- Giants are on a 7-0-0-0 streak after beating Prince Albert Thursday, they look to continue their undefeated streak against Kelowna tonight in meeting #4 on the campaign.
Seattle Thunderbirds (17-22-4-1) @ Portland Winterhawks (28-13-3-2)
- Seventh meeting of the season between the teams, Portland leading the series 4-2 and having won the last rendez-vous on New Years Eve by a 6-3 score.
Lethbridge Hurricanes (25-13-4-4) @ Everett Silvertips (34-12-1-1)
- Hurricanes second game of their road trip, last night beating Seattle by a 4-3 score, Everett shut out Tri-City by a 2-0 score to get their first win in three games.