Feature Game of the Day: Spokane (20-12-2-2) @ Tri-City (18-13-1-1) 8:05PM Pacific
We travel West for the final game of 2018 for tonight’s pick for game of the night. The Spokane Chiefs head to Tri-City to take on the Americans.
These two teams met just two nights ago in Spokane and Tri-City will be out for revenge after the Chiefs scored a very late goal with just three seconds left on the clock to take a 2-1 win. The win put the Chiefs six points in front of the Americans for third in the US Division, though the ‘Ams have three games in hand.
This will be the fourth game of the season between the two teams, the Americans hold a 2-1-0-0 season series lead.
Tri-City will be looking for more from their 2019 NHL Draft eligible forward, Sasha Mutala, who has two goals and two assists in the three games the teams have played thus far. He’s currently rated as a ‘B’ prospect by NHL Central Scouting, one of just five WHL players to be given that ranking. Through 31 games he has eight goals and 11 assists.
Spokane will counter with Luke Toporowski, a ‘C’ prospect by NHL Central Scouting. He’s scored twice in the three matchups with Tri-City. He did not play in the early season game though. Through 35 games he has 11 goals and 16 assists.
Five Americans players have surpassed 30 points on the season including Nolan Yaremko, Parker AuCoin, Aaron Hyman, Isaac Johnson and Kyle Olsen. There are three Chiefs with more than 30 points, two of which have now surpassed 40 points they are Riley Woods, Eli Zummack and Ty Smith (who is with Team Canada at the WJC). Rookie forward Adam Beckman sits one point back of 30 and is second in WHL rookie scoring.
Who might start between the pipes?
Spokane: Bailey Brkin 14-6-1-1, 2.53 GAA .923 sv% Having by far his best season in the WHL, came over in a trade with Kootenay last season.
Tri-City: Beck Warm 17-13-1-0 3.06 GAA .907 sv% Has all but 1 of the Americans wins this season.
Spokane: Riley Woods 23G 20A 43Pts. Has not scored a point in any of his last 6 games. Just one goal against the Americans
Tri-City: Nolan Yaremko 16G 20A 36Pts. Had 4 goals over 2 games before going pointless in his last 3 games. 3 goals and 4 assists against the Chiefs this season.
Other New Years Day Action:
Brandon Wheat Kings (15-13-3-3) @ Moose Jaw Warriors (19-8-5-1)
Scorers three and four in the WHL face off in this one, Stellio Mattheos has 26 while Tristin Langan has 27. The Wheat Kings have lost three straight and are eight points behind the Warriors.
Seattle Thunderbirds (11-18-4-0) @ Portland Winterhawks (20-11-3-2)
Zack Andruisiak has 25 goals on the season, good for 7th in the WHL. Joachim Blichfeld leads the WHL with 32. Seattle hasn’t had a regulation win in their last five games (0-4-1-0), Portland has points in five straight games (2-0-3-0).
Victoria Royals (17-14-1-0) @ Kootenay ICE (8-24-5-1)
The Royals are on game three of a six game central division road swing. They are 1-1-0-0 through the first 2 games. The ICE have lost three straight and have won just once in their last 10 games.
These FANTASTIC jerseys make their return today! The ICE will be wearing their Cranbrook Colts uniforms against the Victoria Royals!
— Kootenay ICE (@WHLKootenayICE) December 31, 2018