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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 870 AM 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. The Tri-City Americans have also been featured in the television series "Z Nation" episode "Day One".

Tri-City Americans
Tri-City Americans logo.png
CityKennewick, Washington
LeagueWestern Hockey League
ConferenceWestern
DivisionU.S.
Founded1966
Home arenaToyota Center
ColorsNavy blue, red, silver, white
                   
General managerBob Tory
Head coachKelly Buchberger[1]
Websitewww.amshockey.com
Franchise history
1966–1967Calgary Buffaloes
1967–1977Calgary Centennials
1977–1982Billings Bighorns
1982–1983Nanaimo Islanders
1983–1988New Westminster Bruins
1988–presentTri-City Americans

HistoryEdit

 
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 successfully shot on an empty net against the Seattle Thunderbirds.

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 game against 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.[2] The Americans surpassed this number on March 13, 2010, in a game against Spokane, with an attendance of 6,053.[3]

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 eventsEdit

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 February 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.

Season-by-season recordEdit

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
2013–14 72 29 33 4 6 178 224 68 5th U.S. Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2014–15 72 31 38 0 3 190 242 65 5th U.S. Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2015–16 72 35 34 2 1 236 253 73 5th U.S. Out of playoffs
2016–17 72 41 28 3 0 272 252 85 3rd U.S. Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2017–18 72 38 25 8 1 255 249 85 4th U.S. Lost Western Conference final
2018–19 68 34 28 5 1 214 230 74 4th U.S. Lost Western Conference quarter-final

WHL Championship historyEdit

Current rosterEdit

Updated October 12, 2019.[4]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Drafted
22   Parker Bell LW L 16 2018 Campbell River, British Columbia Undrafted
29   Paycen Bjorklund RW R 18 2015 Grand Prairie, Alberta Undrafted
19   Connor Bouchard (A) C L 18 2016 Cochrane, Alberta Undrafted
31   Talyn Boyko G R 17 2017 Drumheller, Alberta Eligible 2021
5   Mitchell Brown D R 18 2016 Salmon Arm, British Columbia Undrafted
9   Tom Cadieux D R 17 2017 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Eligible 2020
15   Jan Cikhart LW R 18 2019 Praha, Czech Republic Undrafted
39   Booker Daniel LW L 18 2018 Vanderhoof, British Columbia Undrafted
4   Ian Ferguson D L 17 2018 Chatham, Ontario Eligible 2020
23   Tyson Greenway C L 16 2018 St. Albert, Alberta Eligible 2021
20   Krystof Hrabik (A) C L 20 2018 Prague, Czech Republic Undrafted
12   Samuel Huo C R 18 2019 Richmond, British Columbia Undrafted
17   Kaden Kohle C R 17 2017 Cudworth, Saskatchewan Eligible 2020
32   Nikita Krivokrasov LW L 18 2019 Westminster, Colorado Undrafted
27   Wil Kushniryk LW L 19 2018 Chilliwack, British Columbia Undrafted
24   Edge Lambert RW R 18 2019 Grande Prairie, Alberta Undrafted
28   Marc Lajoie D L 16 2018 St. Albert, Alberta Eligible 2021
21   Bryan McAndrews D L 18 2016 Edmonton, Alberta Undrafted
34   Sasha Mutala (A) RW R 18 2016 Vancouver, British Columbia 2019, 140th Overall, COL
6   Jarod Newell D R 17 2017 Wainwright, Alberta Eligible 2020
25   Kyle Olson (C) C R 20 2014 Calgary, Alberta 2017, 122nd Overall, ANA
37   Jayden Platz D R 19 2018 St. Albert, Alberta Undrafted
26   Landon Roberts LW L 17 2017 Souris, Manitoba Eligible 2020
18   Blake Stevenson RW R 18 2016 Calgary, Alberta Undrafted
41   Samuel Stewart D L 19 2018 Winnipeg, Manitoba Undrafted
35   Beck Warm G L 20 2014 Whistler, British Columbia Undrafted

Team recordsEdit

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
Fewest goals for 172 2004–05
Fewest 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 alumniEdit

Retired numbersEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "He won the Stanley Cup in the NHL. Now he's coaching the Tri-City Americans". Tri-City Herald. July 17, 2018.
  2. ^ Tri-City Herald. January 1, 2009. "Ams ring in new year with victory Archived 2013-02-04 at Archive.today" by Annie Fowler. Retrieved January 6, 2009.
  3. ^ WHL Scoresheet Spokane@Tri-City. March 13, 2010. "WHL Scoresheet Spokane@Tri-City" Retrieved March 23, 2010.
  4. ^ WHL Network, Western Hockey League, retrieved October 12, 2019
  5. ^ Tri-City Herald. September 21, 2012. "Tri-City Americans Celebrate 25 Years Archived 2012-10-05 at the Wayback Machine" by Annie Fowler. Retrieved January 2, 2015.

External linksEdit