March 13, 2013, Kennwick, WA (ISN) – With three games left in the 2012-13 regular season, the Tri-City Americans have guaranteed themselves an First Round playoff match-up against their U.S. Division rivals, the Spokane Chiefs, in the 2013 WHL Playoffs.
The 12-game regular season series, which will wrap-up with a home-and-home doubleheader this weekend, is currently knotted at five wins apiece.
While final seeding for the post-season will come down to the last weekend of the regular season, and the two teams in a tight race for the #4 and #5 seeds, the clubs have finalized the first six games of the series regardless of who finishes with the #4 seed and home-ice advantage. Due to the Spokane Arena hosting the first two rounds of the 2013 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament in two weeks, Games 1 and 2 will be played in Spokane, while Games 3, 4 and potentially 5 will be played at the Toyota Center. If necessary, Game 6 will return the Spokane Arena and, whichever team finishes with the #4 seed will host the potential Game 7 on Wednesday, April 3rd.
“Due to the city and Spokane Arena hosting the Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament, our availability for dates was limited,” explained Chiefs’ General Manager, Tim Speltz. “We appreciate the Americans’ cooperation and flexibility in scheduling the dates to give us the opportunity to play in our building when we have it available to us.”
Speltz continued by saying that, “the NCAA Tournaments are fantastic events for our Arena and the City of Spokane. The Chiefs, the Spokane Arena and our fans thank Bob Tory and his organization for being a good league partner.”
Tory added that, “Due to the situation of Spokane’s building availability, we were forced to become creative in finding solutions that met the needs of both teams. With limited dates, and the cooperation of Tim Speltz and the Spokane Chiefs, we were able to come up with a solution that works well for both franchises considering the circumstances.”
The Chiefs and Americans meet in the post-season for a third consecutive season, with both teams earning a series win against their arch rivals in the Western Conference Semi-Finals the last two years. Tri-City advanced to the Conference Finals last year after knocking off the Spokane in Game 7 in Kennewick. Meanwhile, in 2011, the Chiefs moved on to the Conference Finals after ousting the Americans 4 games to 2. It will mark the 4th time in the last 6 years that the long-time rivals will meet in the post-season and the seventh all-time playoff meeting between the clubs, but will be the first time since 2002 that they will face-off in the First Round.
Fans are encouraged to check the Americans’ website, www.amshockey.com, in the coming days for further playoff information. 8-Game and 16-Game Playoff packages are on sale now through the Americans’ offices by calling (509) 736-0606 or by stopping by the Toyota Center. Single game tickets will on sale starting tomorrow, Thursday, March 14 at 11:00 AM through all Ticketmaster outlets, including the Toyota Center box office, all Fred Meyer outlets, or online at ticketmaster.com.
2013 WHL Playoffs – Western Conference Quarter-Finals
Game 1: Friday, March 22, Tri-City Americans at Spokane Chiefs, 7:05 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Arena
Game 2: Saturday, March 23, Tri-City Americans at Spokane Chiefs, 7:05 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Arena
Game 3: Tuesday, March 26, Spokane Chiefs at Tri-City Americans, 7:05 p.m. at Toyota Center
Game 4: Thursday, March 28, Spokane Chiefs at Tri-City Americans, 7:05 p.m. at Toyota Center
Game 5: Saturday, March 30, Spokane Chiefs at Tri-City Americans, 7:05 p.m. at Toyota Center *If necessary
Game 6: Tuesday, April 2, Tri-City Americans at Spokane Chiefs, 7:05 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Arena *If necessary
Game 7: Wednesday, April 3, TBD *If necessary