@ Tri City (36-22-1-2, 75 Pts 4th in the West)
-Portland is 6-2 vs Tri City this year, going 4-0 in Kennewick and 2-2 vs. them at home.
-Tri is getting hit hard by the injury bug this year. They will be without Forward Phil Tot (15GP, 2G, 5A, 7Pts), Defeseman Brodie Clowes (2GP,+1) and top prospect; Goalie Eric Comrie (37GP, 20-14-1-2, 915 Sv %, 2.62 GAA) for the rest of the year and Forward Tyson Dallman (49GP, 2G,7A,9Pts) should be out until the start of the playoffs.
Add in the fact that rookie forward Justin Gutierrez (45GP,4G,5A,9Pts), 17 year old center Brian Williams(no not the news anchor; 57GP,19G,12A,31Pts) and former Everett Silvertip Center Ryan Chynoweth (35GP,1G,3A,4Pts) are expected out vs. the Hawks and that leaves a very depleted forward group.
-Before you feel too bad for the Americans, you must realize that they have been without that entire group for the last 2 games and beat up on Everett 6-2 and the defending WHL Champion Edmonton Oil Kings 8-1.
-They have relied heavily upon 20 year old Forward Justin Feser(pictured below), who quietly has 92 Pts (37 more then their next highest scorer Swedish import Malte Stromwall).
-Feser was a man possesed last weekend getting 2 Goals and 2 Assists vs the Tips and 1 Goal and 4 Assists vs. Edmonton.
-18 year old mid year signee Troy Trombley has been fantastic for the Americans with a 5-0-0-1 overall record and only 12 goals given up over 7 Games Played for a 2.13 GAA and a 936 Save %. Included in this, of course, is the 41 save performance he put up against the Hawks on February 15th, as well as, a 6-0 shut out of the Spokane Chiefs.
-Paul Buker's piece in the Oregonian today, about the re-match of last years WHL finals, coming in Portland on Wednesday night. It mentiuons Edmonton Goalie Laurent Brossoit has given up 12 goals in his last 90 minutes. Hopefully this trend continues Wednesday, as he will get the start.
-Annie Fowler's piece in the Tri City Herald, talks about Jesse Mychan's successful return to form after suffering a torn achilles in the playoffs last year. If the WHL had a Masterton award for perserverance, it would be tough to argue against giving it to Mr. Mychan.
-Feser was named the the WHL player of the week for last week, not surprisingly (his 2nd time this year).