WHL Roundup: James leads Americans to rout of Ice


The Portland Winterhawks and Tri-City Americans emerged victorious from Thursday’s preseason action in the Western Hockey League at the Toyota Centre in Kennewick, Wash.

Spokane Chiefs (5) at Portland Winterhawks (6) (SO) – Kennewick, Wash.
Portland (2-2-0-0) // Spokane (2-1-0-1)

In a rare afternoon meeting, the Winterhawks outlasted a divisional rival, downing the Spokane Chiefs 6-5 in the shootout.

Winterhawks center Jake Gricius led the way for the Winterhawks with a goal and two assists as five different Portland skaters found the back of the net in the victory. Ten different Winterhawks recorded at least one point in the game while center Ty Kolle was the lone Portland skater besides Gricius to have a multi-point effort.

Five different Chiefs players scored in the game, led by a three-point effort from defenceman Luke Gallagher. Rykr Cole, Jack Finley and Ty Smith also had multi-point games for the Chiefs.

Portland bolted out of the gate with three goals in a 9:52 span, including goals 17 seconds apart from Bronson Sharp and Jaydon Dureau. The Chiefs turned the tables on the Winterhawks in the second period, receiving goals from Riley Woods, Adam Beckman and Gallagher in a 97 second span to even up the game.

Hayden Ostir and Tyson Feist put the Chiefs up late in the third period, but the Winterhawks roared back with goals from Kolle and Brad Ginnell to even up the game. After overtime solved nothing, Ilijah Colina was the lone player to score in the shootout. That result gave Shane Farkas his second win of the pre-season over the Chiefs while Declan Hobbs took the loss for Spokane.

Up next for the Winterhawks is an early Friday clash against the Kootenay Ice. Meanwhile, the Chiefs will play the role of the visiting team in a Friday afternoon contest against the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Kootenay Ice (0) at Tri-City Americans (7) 
Kootenay (0-1-0-0) // Tri-City (3-0-1-0)

The Tri-City Americans’ exploded for another offensive showing Thursday evening against the Kootenay Ice.

Americans captain Maxwell James led the way with four goals and five points while Nolan Yaremko potted a pair of goals and finished with four points in the contest. Parker AuCoin notched the other goal for the Americans as they remained unbeaten in regulation through the pre-season.

Sergei Sapego had three assists while Vladislav Lukin picked up a pair of helpers. Four other players picked up a single assist in the contest.

Between the pipes, Patrick Dea and Beck Warm made a combined 30 saves for the team’s first shutout of the pre-season. Dea finished with 18 saves to Warm’s 12.

James put his side up midway through the first period and added his second of the contest 5:45 into the second period. Yaremko struck for a pair of second period goals. James added two more goals in the third period while AuCoin’s fourth goal of the pre-season helped put the icing on the home victory.

The Ice were unable to get anything going offensively despite closely matching the Americans’ shot total (32-30 for Tri-City). On the power play, the Americans scored on two of four opportunities while the Ice were unsuccessful on their four chances with the man-advantage.

The pre-season continues for the Americans Friday as they host the Red Deer Rebels. As for the Ice, there’s no rest for the weary, with an early Friday game against the Winterhawks.


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