Tri-City Americans

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Tri-City Americans
Tri-City Americans Logo.svg
City Kennewick, Washington
League Western Hockey League
Conference Western
Division U.S.
Founded 1966
Home arena Toyota Center
Colors Navy blue, red, silver, white
                   
General manager Canada Bob Tory
Head coach Canada Mike Williamson

Website
www.amshockey.com
Franchise history
1966–67 Calgary Buffaloes
1967–77 Calgary Centennials
1977–82 Billings Bighorns
1982–83 Nanaimo Islanders
1983–88 New Westminster Bruins
1988-present Tri-City Americans

The Tri-City Americans are a major junior ice hockey team of the Western Hockey League, based in Kennewick, Washington. The team plays its home games at the Toyota Center. Every game is broadcast locally on the Tri-City Americans flagship radio station 870AM KFLD, and each game can also be heard streaming live at KFLD's UStream Channel, as well as from time-to-time being telecast on Saturday nights on KVEW 42.2.

History[edit]

Original logo, used from 1988/89-1990/91.
Logo from 2003/04-2007/08, now a secondary logo.

The Tri-City Americans franchise is an original franchise of the WHL. They began in 1966 as the Calgary Buffaloes before being renamed the Centennials after one season. The franchise was also known as the Billings Bighorns from 1977–82 before relocating to Nanaimo, British Columbia as the Nanaimo Islanders. After only one season, they moved to New Westminster, British Columbia to become the second incarnation of the New Westminster Bruins. They moved to the Tri-Cities in 1988.

The Americans enjoyed local support until early 2000, the start of 4 owners in 4 years, all wanting to relocate the team to Canada. Between selling off team assets and one owner banning the local newspaper columnist from attending games, the attendance dropped considerably. The lack of any banners in the barn didn't help matters either. Although the ownership group represented by Darryl Porter had stated upon purchasing the team that they would create a local presence (the oft-heard criticism of the ownerships groups), Mr. Porter had still not moved to the Tri-Cities in his 3rd year of ownership. In 2004, Porter attempted to move the team to Chilliwack, British Columbia in Canada. However, the other Western Hockey League teams voted to prevent the move, including all four other American teams as well as 2 Canadian teams. Shortly after this failure, the team was sold to Tri-Cities natives, including Olaf Kolzig, the former goalie for the Washington Capitals, and Stu Barnes of the Dallas Stars, both former Americans players. Since the sale the team has doubled attendance figures and won the first division championship in team history. Porter and his investment group were later granted the Chilliwack Bruins as an expansion franchise.

On November 29, 1989 Americans goaltender Olaf Kolzig became the first goalie to register a WHL goal when he attempted a shot on an empty net against the Seattle Thunderbirds.

On March 24, 1990, while playing a road game against the Seattle Thunderbirds, Americans players responded to heckling and beer throwing by fans by attacking fans behind their bench with their sticks. In the end, 5 fans and 1 police officer were injured.

The Americans annual series with the Highway 395 rival Spokane Chiefs is always intense and full of action, clearly their biggest rival year in and year out. The competitiveness of the two team is such that an annual tradition with the Americans is to play the Chiefs at home on New Year's Eve. The only time this tradition was broken was due to a one-day strike by the Americans over the training tactics of one of the coaches.

In the 2002–03 season, sixteen-year-old goaltender Shannon Szabados became the first female player to compete in the WHL when she played one game for the Americans. In 2010 Szabados won gold in Women's Ice Hockey at the 2010 Winter Olympics playing for Canada.

During the 2007–08 WHL season, the Americans won the US Division regular season championship for the first time after a March 15, 2008 showdown with the division rival Spokane Chiefs in Kennewick, Washington at the Toyota Center. The Americans won the Western Conference regular season championship, and the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy for the best overall regular season record in the WHL. The 2009–10 Season marked the third straight year the Americans won the US Division.

At their annual New Year's Eve game against the Spokane Chiefs on December 31, 2008, the Americans set a record for attendance at a hockey game in the Toyota Center, with 6,042 attendees.[1] The Americans surpassed this number on March 13, 2010, in a game against Spokane, with an attendance of 6,053.[2]

The Americans won the Western Conference championship for the first time in the 2010 playoffs defeating the Chilliwack Bruins, Kelowna Rockets and Vancouver Giants in successive series before dropping the league championship to the Calgary Hitmen in 5 games.

Charitable work and events[edit]

The Americans are charitably-active in the Tri-Cities area. Years ago, the Americans were one of the first teams to do 'The Teddy Bear Toss', which was originally called 'Toy Trick'. This is where the fans would throw stuffed animals onto the rink on a selected night when the home team scores their first goal. The players collect the bears and hand them out to various organizations or the players take them along with them when they visit children in the local hospitals.

A definite first at the Tri-City rink was the Breast Cancer night. Brian Sandy, Senior VP of business operations and Chief Marketing Officer, dreamed up this event, where the ice is tinted pink and the players wear pink jerseys that are auctioned-off at the end of the night. The game on Feb 2, 2008, every jersey sold for the maximum donation of $500 each, with all proceeds supporting breast cancer research.

The Americans also were active in raising start-up funds for the establishment of a local chapter of The First Tee. Players visit schools and hospitals weekly and assist the young hockey players with their practices. Links are provided on their website to other organizations like the local Humane Society, and opportunities have been provided to the Children's Developmental Center to volunteer to aid in the seating at games for a $15,000 check at the season's conclusion.

Current roster[edit]

Goaltenders
# Player Age Hometown NHL Draft[3]
1 United States Eric Comrie 19 Newport Beach, California Winnipeg 2013
35 Canada Luke Lee-Knight 21 Calgary, Alberta Undrafted
Defencemen
# Player Age Hometown NHL Draft
2 Canada Wil Tomchuk 20 Fort McMurray, Alberta Eligible 2013
4 Canada Drydn Dow 22 Calgary, Alberta Undrafted
5 Canada Brodie Clowes 18 Calgary, Alberta Eligible 2014
6 Canada Justin Hamonic 19 Winnipeg, Manitoba Undrafted
7 Czech Republic Michal Plutnar 20 Chotěboř, Czech Republic Undrafted
10 Canada Zachary Yuen 21 Vancouver, British Columbia Winnipeg 2011[4]
25 Canada Mitch Topping 21 Red Deer, Alberta Eligible 2012
34 Canada Clint Filbrandt 19 Calgary, Alberta Eligible 2013
Forwards
# Player Age Hometown NHL Draft
9 Canada Lucas Nickles 20 Salmon Arm, British Columbia Undrafted
12 Canada Tyson Dallman 20 Prince Albert, Saskatchewan Undrafted
15 Sweden Malte Strömwall 20 Luleå, Sweden Undrafted
16 United States Beau McCue 19 Missoula, Montana Eligible 2013
17 Canada Philip Tot 21 Calgary, Alberta Undrafted
18 Canada Ryan Chynoweth 19 Cranbrook, British Columbia Eligible 2013
20 Canada Lukas Walter 21 Langley, British Columbia Undrafted
21 Canada Marcus Messier 20 Canmore, Alberta Undrafted
22 Canada Justin Feser 22 Red Deer, Alberta Undrafted
23 United States Justin Gutierrez 18 Anchorage, Alaska Eligible 2014
26 United States Brian Williams 19 Claremont, California Eligible 2013
27 Canada Connor Rankin 19 North Vancouver, British Columbia Eligible 2013
29 Canada Jesse Mychan 22 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Undrafted
39 Canada Parker Bowles 19 Kelowna, British Columbia Eligible 2013

Season-by-season record[edit]

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties OTL = Overtime losses Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

Season GP W L T OTL GF GA Points Finish Playoffs
1988–89 72 33 34 5 - 300 299 71 4th West Lost West Division semi-final
1989–90 72 39 28 5 - 433 354 83 3rd West Lost West Division semi-final
1990–91 72 36 32 4 - 404 386 76 4th West Lost West Division semi-final
1991–92 72 35 35 2 - 363 376 72 2nd West Lost West Division quarter-final
1992–93 72 28 41 3 - 245 312 59 6th West Lost West Division quarter-final
1993–94 72 19 48 5 - 272 373 43 6th West Lost West Division quarter-final
1994–95 72 36 31 5 - 295 279 77 4th West Lost West Division final
1995–96 72 45 25 2 - 336 255 92 3rd West Lost West Division semi-final
1996–97 72 22 43 7 - 225 288 51 7th West Out of playoffs
1997–98 72 17 49 6 - 264 371 40 7th West Out of playoffs
1998–99 72 43 23 6 - 311 219 92 2nd West Lost West Division final
1999–00 72 24 39 7 2 231 288 57 6th West Lost West Division quarter-final
2000–01 72 21 36 8 7 217 284 57 7th West Out of playoffs
2001–02 72 31 31 10 0 260 271 72 3rd U.S. Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2002–03 72 20 44 3 5 240 335 48 4th U.S. Out of playoffs
2003–04 72 31 27 10 4 205 197 76 3rd U.S. Lost Western Conference semi-final
2004–05 72 26 34 8 4 172 196 64 4th U.S. Lost Western Conference quarter-final
Season GP W L OTL SOL GF GA Points Finish Playoffs
2005–06 72 30 35 4 3 188 221 67 4th U.S. Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2006–07 72 47 23 1 1 240 190 96 2nd U.S. Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2007–08 72 52 16 2 2 262 176 108 1st U.S. Lost Western Conference final
2008–09 72 49 20 0 3 263 184 101 1st U.S. Lost Western Conference semi-final
2009–10 72 47 22 1 2 272 193 97 1st U.S. Lost final
2010–11 72 44 24 2 2 286 223 92 3rd U.S. Lost Western Conference semi-final
2011–12 72 50 18 2 2 281 190 104 1st U.S. Lost Western Conference final
2012–13 72 40 27 2 3 246 227 85 3rd U.S. Lost Western Conference quarter-final

WHL Championship history[edit]

Team records[edit]

Team records for a single season
Statistic Total Season
Most points 108 2007–08
Most wins 52 2007–08
Most goals for 433 1989–90
Least goals for 172 2004–05
Least goals against 176 2007–08
Most goals against 386 1990–91
Individual player records for a single season
Statistic Player Total Season
Most goals Kyle Reeves 89 1990–91
Most assists Brian Sakic 122 1990–91
Most points Brian Sakic 162 1990–91
Most points, rookie Bill Lindsay 85 1989–90
Most points, defenceman Steve Jacques 84 1989–90
Best GAA (goalie) Chet Pickard 2.28 2008–09
Goalies = minimum 1500 minutes played

NHL alumni[edit]

Retired numbers[edit]

8 - Brian Sakic

14 - Stu Barnes, Todd Klassen[citation needed]

33 - Olaf Kolzig

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tri-City Herald. January 1, 2009. "Ams ring in new year with victory" by Annie Fowler. Retrieved January 6, 2009.
  2. ^ WHL Scoresheet Spokane@Tri-City. March 13, 2010. "WHL Scoresheet Spokane@Tri-City" Retrieved March 23, 2010.
  3. ^ Tri-City Herald. September 24, 2011. "Meet the 2011-2012 Tri-City Americans" by Annie Fowler. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
  4. ^ Tri-City Herald. June 26, 2011. "Ams' Yuen drafted in 4th round" by Annie Fowler. Retrieved September 30, 2011.

External links[edit]