Former Nelson resident JIm Hiller behind the Tri-City bench.

Former Nelsonite Hiller and Americans advance

Jim Hiller came out on top of the Nelson-connection WHL series that saw his Tri-City Americans win in seven games

Jim Hiller came out on top of the Nelson-connection WHL series that saw his Tri-City Americans win in seven games over former Nelson Junior Leafs sniper Dylan Walchuk and the Spokane Chiefs.

The Americans came into the second round series as the favourites, but it took the Washington state club seven games to dispose of the pesky Chiefs.

The seventh and deciding game went Wednesday night at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.

It was the Chiefs who got on the board first when Walchuk assisted on a powerplay marker by Dominik Uher late in the opening frame. The Americans fought back in the second with a goal by Brian Williams.

Early in the third period the Chiefs went ahead with a Mitch Holmberg goal and an upset was in the making. With just over five minutes left in regulation time Tri-City’s Malte Stromwall scored to tie the game and a minute after that Brendan Shinnimin put the Americans ahead.

The game ended 3-2 and sent the Americans to the Western Conference finals where they will take on the Portland Winterhawks. That series opens tonight in Kennewick.

Hiller grew up playing minor hockey in Nelson. He went onto win an NCAA national championship with Northern Michigan University and played 63 NHL games before moving to Europe where he had a lengthy and successful career.

Since getting behind the bench, Hiller has enjoyed plenty of success including guiding the Americans to a first place Western Conference finish in the regular season this year. He is up for WHL coach of the year honours.

Walchuk was a member of the 2008-09 Nelson Junior Leafs that won a KIJHL championship. He then moved onto to play for the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers.


Just Posted

Leafs stretch winning streak to 8 games

Nelson downed Grand Forks 5-2 on Friday

RDCK moves ahead with Castlegar rec complex upgrade plan

Board approves grant application for $13 million from provincial, federal governments

Cottonwood Lake preservation group surpasses $50,000 fundraising goal

In 28 days, 393 donors have contributed to the fund

Last of southern Selkirk caribou relocated to Revelstoke area

One cow from the South Selkirk herd and two from the Purcells were moved this week

Scammers using Castlegar home for rental fraud

Local realtors say the problem is happening more frequently with their properties

Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

Most Read