Tri-City Americans News

My Oh My; Americans Down 'Tips in Season Opening Thriller
September 21, 2007

Dan Mulhausen Tri-City Americans

EVERETT, WA - Picked to finish 19th in the Western Hockey League, the Tri-City Americans came into tonight's contest against the Canadian Hockey League's fourth-ranked team just hoping to prove they belonged. In front of 6,577 fans at the Everett Events Center, the Americans did just that as Taylor Procyshen and Erik Felde combined for four goals to lift the Tri-City Americans (1-0-0-0, 2 pts) to a 6-5 victory over the Everett Silvertips (0-1-0-0, 0 pts) in a thriller to start the 2007-08 campaign.

Over the past three seasons, the Tri-City Americans have been outscored in their season opener 15-to-5, resulting in a 0-2-0-1 record. But on Friday, the Americans got the season off on the right foot by hanging with the 'Tips goal for goal.

It was Everett that struck first in the contest, as Dan Gendur recorded a power play goal in the game's first 1:17. But, in what would be a recurring theme in the contest, the Americans answered back with just under six minutes remaining in the first period. Also on the power play, Procyshen took a backdoor pass from Petr Stoklasa and beat Everett goaltender Leland Irving to tie the game at 1-apiece.

But, nearly a minute after Procyshen's goal, the 'Tips responded with a Matt Strong goal to retake the lead, 2-1. But, Tri-City used a bit of luck to knot the game at 2. Following up on a Johnny Lazo shot, Travis Gorman, while sliding on his rear end, was able to push the puck past Irving for his first goal of the season. However, with 1:26 remaining in the period, Everett answered once more, this time off the stick of Jonathan Harty, sending the 'Tips into the locker room leading 3-2.

In the second period, Felde used his speed to give Tri-City their first lead in the contest. At the 3:54 mark of the period, Felde went in unassisted on Irving to even the game at 3. Then, with 5:33 remaining in the second period, Felde broke into the Everett zone on a 2-on-1 and beat Irving for his second goal of the contest.

The Americans lead was brief, however, as the 'Tips tied the game at 4-apiece with only 11 seconds gone in the third period. While on the power play, Everett's Lukas Vartovnik redirected a Brandon Campos pass past Tri-City net minder Chet Pickard, to even the game. Then, 1:39 later, Everett retook the lead after Jesse Burt rammed the puck past Pickard to make it 5-4.

But, the 'Tips got into penalty trouble mid-way through the final period and, with eight minutes remaining in regulation and on the power play, Procyshen netted his second of the game to knot the game at 5-all. In the end, with 2:29 left to play in regulation, it was 20-year-old Shaun Vey who collected the game winner, as he went five-hole on Irving to put Tri-City on top for good.

Despite a last minute flurry from Everett, Pickard held off the Everett offensive one final time to pick-up the win. Irving allowed six goals for only the second time in 140 games in the loss. The Americans finished 3-for-9 on the power play, while Everett was 3-of-10 on the man-advantage.

The Americans' road trip will take them northeast to Kelowna tomorrow, Saturday, September 22 as they face-off against the B.C. Division Rockets. Last season, Tri-City swept the four-game series between the two clubs, giving the Americans their first series victory over the Rockets since the 1998-1999 season. Game time is 7:00 PM at Prospera Place in Kelowna. You can catch all the action live, via WHL WebTV, at Kimo's Sports Café in Richland or on the radio on 97.5 KOLW FM. Tickets are still available for the Americans home opener on Friday, October 5 against the Spokane Chiefs through all Ticketmaster outlets, including the Toyota Center box office, all Fred Meyer locations and online at