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The Tri-City Americans are a major junior ice hockey team of the Western Hockey League, based in Kennewickmarker, Washingtonmarker. The team plays its home games at the Toyota Centermarker. Every game is broadcast locally on the Tri City Americans flagship radio station Newstalk 870 KFLD AM, and each game can also be heard streaming live at Sportsfrequency.com.

History

Original logo, used from 1988/89-1991/92
Logo from 2003/04-2006/07
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 Columbiamarker as the Nanaimo Islanders. After only one season, they moved to New Westminster, British Columbiamarker 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 Daryl 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, Darryl Porter attempted to move the team to Chilliwack, British Columbiamarker in Canada. However, the other Western Hockey League teams voted to prevent the move, including all four other Americanmarker teams as well as 2 Canadianmarker 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.

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 Years 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.

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, Washingtonmarker at the Toyota Centermarker. 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.

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 Centermarker, with 6,042 attendees.

Charitible work and events

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-Citymarker 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

Goaltenders
# align=left Player Age Hometown NHL Draft
30 Drew Owsley 18 Lethbridge, Albertamarker Eligible 2010
35 Brett Martyniuk 18 Winnipeg, Manitobamarker Eligible 2010


Defencemen
# align=left Player Age Hometown NHL Draft
3 Jarrett Toll 20 Maple Ridge, British Columbiamarker Free Agent
4 Drydn Dow 17 Calgary, Albertamarker Eligible 2011
5 Eric Mestery 19 Winnipeg, Manitobamarker WSH '08
6 Riley McIntosh 19 Coquitlam, British Columbiamarker Eligible 2010
10 Zachary Yuen 16 Vancouver, British Columbia Eligible 2010
23 Tyler Schmidt 19 Winnipeg, Manitobamarker Eligible 2010
27 Brett Plouffe 20 Winnipeg, Manitobamarker Free Agent
39 Brock Sutherland 18 Brandon, Manitobamarker Eligible 2010


Forwards
# align=left Player Age Hometown NHL Draft
7 Cody Castro 17 Pasadena, Californiamarker Eligible 2010
9 Nils Moser 16 Canmore, Albertamarker Eligible 2011
11 Kruise Reddick 19 Manor, Saskatchewanmarker Eligible 2010
13 Sergei Drozd 19 Minsk, Belarusmarker Eligible 2010
15 Brooks Macek 17 Winnipeg, Manitobamarker Eligible 2010
16 Tanner Olstad 17 Calgary, Albertamarker Eligible 2010
17 Adam Hughesman 18 Winnipeg, Manitobamarker Eligible 2010
18 Mason Wilgosh 18 Winnipeg, Manitobamarker Eligible 2010
19 Jordan Messier 17 Canmore, Albertamarker Eligible 2010
21 Johnny Lazo 20 Winnipeg, Manitobamarker Free Agent
22 Justin Feser 17 Red Deer, Albertamarker Eligible 2010
24 Brendan Shinnimin 18 Winnipeg, Manitobamarker Eligible 2010
25 Neal Prokop 19 Winnipeg, Manitobamarker Eligible 2010
32 Todd Kennedy 19 Kamloops, British Columbiamarker Eligible 2010
41 Patrick Holland 17 Lethbridge, Albertamarker Eligible 2010


Season-by-season record

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


Team records

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



Retired numbers

8 - Brian Sakic

14 - Stu Barnes, Todd Klassen

33 - Olaf Kolzig

References

  1. Tri-City Herald. January 1, 2009. " Ams ring in new year with victory" by Annie Fowler. Retrieved January 6, 2009.


External links




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