The Toyota Center in Kennewick, Washington is inviting ice hockey enthusiasts to become witness to a series of upcoming games in which the Tri-City Americans will be defending their honor. Teams that will be challenging the Tri-City Americans include Seattle Thunderbirds, Prince Albert Raiders, Spokane Chiefs and Everett Silvertips. Multiple playoffs are expected to be held between the Americans and Spokane Chiefs. Ice hockey games that took place in 2013 brought in 18 victories for the Tri-City Americans over ice hockey teams from Kootenay, Spokane, Portland, Seattle, Kamloops, Victoria, Swift Current, Brandon, Lethbridge, Everett, Saskatoon and Prince George. So far 2013-14 has proved to be successful for the junior franchise and Tri-City Americans tickets for the rest of the 2014 season are expected to sell out.
About Toyota Center
Inaugurated in 1988, the Toyota Center previously known as Tri-Coliseum is one of Washington’s most popular multi-purpose facilities. Costing over ten million dollars to construct the area is popular for hosting ice hockey events, concerts, circuses, banquets and trade shows. Providing as much as 7500 seats for audiences for one show, the Toyota Center serves as home to Tri-City Americans since 1988 and Tri-Cities Fever since 2005. Over the years, the facility has hosted concerts that have presented artists namely Avenged Sevenfold, Shinedown, Alice Cooper, Slipknot and Rob Zombie. If this wasn’t enough the vicinity has invited several WWE events such as Friday Night Smackdown and Monday Night Raw. This time the center is becoming host to a series of exciting ice hockey games where the Tri-City Americans will be taking on several rivals.
The Tri-City Americans
Established in 1966, the Tri-City Americans is a Western Hockey League franchise that was initially formed as Calgary Buffaloes. Within one year the name of the team was changed to the Centennials. Throughout their career the team has underwent many relocations and name changes such as being named the Billings Bighorns from the year 1977 to 1982, after which they became the Nanaimo Islanders when the team relocated to Nanaimo, British Columbia in 1982. In 1983, the Americans were seen making their way to New Westminster to become New Westminster Bruins. It finally became the Tri-City Americans ever since the team’s relocation to Tri-Cities. Currently a major junior ice hockey team, the Americans is managed by Bob Tory with Jim Hiller filling in the position of head coach. Supporting the colors blue, white, red and silver the team recorded its first WHL goal in 1989 when goaltender Olaf Kolzig shot a goal at an empty net in a match with Seattle Thunderbirds as the opposing team.
Records & Achievements
One of Tri-City Americans’ greatest rivalries has been established with the Spokane Chiefs. Annual series held between these two teams are always known to be action-packed. Each New Year’s Eve the two teams are known to battle it out for victory. In the team’s 2002 season, the Tri-City Americans brought forth its first female goaltender, the sixteen year old Shannon Szabados who became the first female to compete in the WHL. Szabados went onto compete in the 2010 Olympics, becoming a gold medalist in Women’s ice hockey. 2008 became memorable for the franchise, as its game against the Spokane Chiefs held at the Toyota Center brought in a record attendance of 6,042 attendees. In 2010, the team broke its own record by bringing in 6,053 spectators at another game held between the Chiefs and the Americans.
Throughout the team’s career it has bagged three US Division Western Conference titles from 2008 to 2010. It has also won the Western Conference Championship in 2010 beating ice hockey titans such as Kelowna Rockets, Chilliwack Bruins and the Vancouver Giants. The Tri-City Americans are gearing up to take down several of their rivals once again.