Kennewick, WA- Playing the best team and top two scorers in the league is a tough task.
The Tri-City Americans (13-7-1-1, 28 pts) stepped up to the task, taking down the second ranked team in the CHL Kamloops Blazers (17-4-0-1, 35 pts) 4-2 in front of a loud 4,450 at the Toyota Center.
The first period was a physical affair, with both teams coming out and putting big hits on each other. Kamloops had the first good chance of the night, but Eric Comrie made a diving save to keep the game at zeros. And the Americans would get on the board first 6:07 into the period as Mitch Topping fired a slap shot from the point that deflected into the goal to boost the Americans to a 1-0 lead. Midway through the first period, Tri-City would strike again on the power play when Zachary Yuen scored on a wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle. But the Blazers would cut into the lead before the end of the period as Colin Smith would score with 37 seconds left in the period to make it 2-1 after one.
The second period was back and forth with both teams having their chances. Tri-City outshot Kamloops 7-6 in the second and the Americans would increase the lead towards the end of the period as Brian Williams fed the puck to the middle for a Justin Feser one-timer that found the back of the net to increase the lead to 3-1 after two periods.
Kamloops would cut the lead back to one early in the third period as Williams turned it over to Brendan Ranford who put it past Comrie. Kamloops pressed hard in the final minutes of the game but couldn’t score. Tri-City sealed the game when Connor Rankin flipped it out of the Americans zone down the ice into an empty net for the 4-2 win.
Tri-City snaps their three game losing streak against Kamloops. While the Blazers were undefeated in October, they are 1-4 in November while the Americans improve to 4-1 this month.
Feser scored a goal and two assists tonight. With the three points, he passes Bill Lindsay to move into 10th on the Americans all-time points list.
Comrie made 21 saves in the win, while Kamloops’ goalie Cole Cheveldave made 22 saves in the loss.
The Americans have some time to prepare for the Kelowna Rockets (12-6-1-1, 26 pts) coming to Kennewick on November 16 and 17. Game time is 7:05 p.m. for both games. The Americans were 2-0 at home against the Rockets last season, but lost both games in Kelowna. NewsTalk 870 will broadcast the game beginning at 6:45 p.m. with the pregame show. WHL Live will stream the game online beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available at the Toyota Center box office, at any Fred Meyer outlet, at any Ticketmaster location or online at Ticketmaster.com.
Jack in the Box Three Stars:
1. Justin Feser, Tri-City
2 Mitch Topping, Tri-City
3. Colin Smith, Kamloops