Americans Skate Past Blades 3-1

Doug Love

Kennewick, WA- Behind three first period goals, the Tri-City Americans (16-12-1-2, 35 pts.) jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, defeating the Saskatoon Blades (10-18-1-2, 23 pts.) 3-1 Tuesday night at the Toyota Center.

Coming into tonight’s game, the Blades featured the league’s top power play unit, scoring on 29.3 percent of its man advantage opportunities. But, it was the Americans’ special teams unit who displayed the scoring touch, going two-for-four on the power play, while holding Saskatoon scoreless on its three opportunities. It was the fifth straight game that Tri-City has registered at least one power play goal.

Eric Comrie turned in another strong performance, allowing one goal on 26 shots. The 18-year-old now holds the WHL’s second best save percentage at 0.926 along with a goals against average of 2.41 in 26 games this season.

The Americans opened the scoring at 5:47 of the first period, when a Graeme Craig roughing penalty gave the Americans its first man advantage of the game. Taylor Vickerman took the pass from Phil Tot and snapped the puck past Alex Moodie, giving Tri-City an early 1-0 lead. The goal was Vickerman’s first since returning to the lineup after missing 25 games with an upper body injury. The Americans added another power play goal later in the period after Connor Rankin found the back of the net at the 17:51 mark.

Following Rankins’ goal, Alex Moodie was replaced by former Tri-City net minder, Troy Trombley, at 17:51 after allowing the second goal of the night. It was the 6’6” goaltender’s first time at the Toyota Center since being traded to the Blades on September 17. But, with just 0.5 seconds left on the clock, Beau McCue gave the Americans a three-goal lead chipping the puck past his former teammate.

The Americans looked to hand the Blades a knockout blow in the second period, pressing for its fourth goal of the evening. But, after a long shift in the offensive zone, the Americans turned the puck over and the Blades’ Logan Harland took the pass from Graham Millar on a 2-on-1 and one timed it over Eric Comrie’s shoulder, putting Saskatoon right back in the game at 3-1.

With a few dangerous looking plays in the first few minutes, the Blades came out in the third period looking to close the gap. But, tight defense and strong goaltending kept the Americans’ lead intact for the remainder of the game.

The Americans will now hit the road for a pair of games against the Prince George Cougars (11-16-1-3, 26 pts.) this Friday and Saturday night at the CN Centre. Both games faceoff at 7 p.m. Fans can catch all the action live, via WHL Live, at the Americans’ official home away from home, Kimo’s in Richland.

Jack In Box Three Stars
1) Connor Rankin, Tri-City
2) Phil Tot, Tri-City
3) Marcus Messier, Tri-City

 

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Playoff Stats

Goalie GP W SO GAA SV%
Eric Comrie 5 1 0 3.46 0.917
Evan Sarthou 0 0 0 0.00 0.000
Player G A PTS PIM
Jessey Astles 1 0 1 2
Parker Bowles 1 2 3 4
Brandon Carlo 0 1 1 8
Ty Comrie 0 0 0 0
Jordan Davies 0 0 0 0
Morgan Geekie 0 0 0 0
Matthew Gelinas 0 0 0 0
Justin Gutierrez 1 3 4 2
Justin Hamonic 1 0 1 6
Riley Hillis 0 0 0 0
Justin Marreck 0 0 0 0
Devon McAndrews 0 0 0 0
Beau McCue 0 1 1 0
Lucas Nickles 0 0 0 4
Jackson Playfair 0 0 0 2
Michal Plutnar 0 0 0 2
Braden Purtill 0 0 0 2
Rodney Southam 0 0 0 0
Josh Thrower 0 0 0 5
Mitch Topping 0 2 2 4
Philip Tot 3 4 7 0
Taylor Vickerman 0 0 0 0
Brian Williams 3 2 5 4
Parker Wotherspoon 0 2 2 2
Standings
  • B.C. Division |
  • Central Division |
  • East Division |
  • U.S. Division |
Team GP W L OTL SL PTS
Kelowna Rockets 72 57 11 0 4 118
Victoria Royals 72 48 20 1 3 100
Vancouver Giants 72 32 29 7 4 75
Prince George Cougars 72 27 37 3 5 62
Kamloops Blazers 72 14 53 2 3 33
Team GP W L OTL SL PTS
Edmonton Oil Kings 72 50 19 2 1 103
Calgary Hitmen 72 48 17 3 4 103
Medicine Hat Tigers 72 44 24 3 1 92
Kootenay Ice 72 39 28 2 3 83
Red Deer Rebels 72 35 32 1 4 75
Lethbridge Hurricanes 72 12 55 2 3 29
Team GP W L OTL SL PTS
Regina Pats 72 39 26 4 3 85
Swift Current Broncos 72 38 25 3 6 85
Brandon Wheat Kings 72 34 29 6 3 77
Prince Albert Raiders 72 35 32 3 2 75
Moose Jaw Warriors 72 21 42 3 6 51
Saskatoon Blades 72 16 51 2 3 37
Team GP W L OTL SL PTS
Portland Winterhawks 72 54 13 2 3 113
Seattle Thunderbirds 72 41 25 2 4 88
Everett Silvertips 72 39 23 7 3 88
Spokane Chiefs 72 40 26 3 3 86
Tri-City Americans 72 29 33 4 6 68