Americans Stumble with 3-1 Loss to Oil KingsJan 31, 2014 - 13:06 PST
Written By: Tole, Ben
Edmonton, AB – After a scoreless first period, the Tri-City Americans (25-22-2-3, 55 pts.) allowed three goals in the second period, as the Edmonton Oil Kings (36-13-0-1, 73 pts.) went on to defeat Tri-City 3-1 Friday night at Rexall Place.
The loss snapped Tri-City’s six-game point streak, dating back to its January 18 victory against the Spokane Chiefs.
Eric Comrie made 35 saves for the Americans, allowing more than two goals for the first time in seven games. The Edmonton-native finished the month of January with a 1.35 goals against average and a 0.962 save percentage in 11 contests.
Both teams had several opportunities to open the scoring in a spirited first period, but two of the WHL’s top goaltenders were on top of their games, keeping the game scoreless after 20 minutes of play.
The Oil Kings took control of the game in the second period, outshooting Tri-City 21-6 in the middle frame. At 7:46 of the second, Curtis Lazar opened the scoring with his 28th goal of the season, capitalizing on the rebound after Comrie had made the initial save on Brett Pollock.
Edmonton added an insurance marker just 47 seconds later, with Lane Bauer’s sixth goal of the season, who redirected Griffin Reinhart’s point shot past Comrie. Aaron Irving extended the Edmonton lead to three at the 18:27 mark, beating the Tri-City net minder with a well-placed wrist shot over Comrie’s pad.
The Americans had more offensive success in the third period, firing 15 shots on Tristan Jarry in the final 20 minutes, as it looked to fight its way back into the game.
But, it wasn’t until the final minute of play that Brian Williams was finally able to solve the Oil Kings' net minder, scoring his 32nd goal of the season on a power play at 19:33. Williams is now tied for third in the WHL in goals scored, behind only division rivals Mitch Holmberg and Oliver Bjorkstrand.
Before returning home for two home games at the Toyota Center next weekend, the Americans conclude its three-game Alberta road trip with a Saturday night contest against the Red Deer Rebels (27-21-0-2, 57 pts.) at the Enmax Centrium. Fans can catch the action live, via WHL Live, at the Americans’ official home away from home, Kimo’s in Richland, starting at 6:00pm (PST).
Jack In Box Three Stars
1) Curtis Lazar, Edmonton
2) Tristan Jarry, Edmonton
3) Eric Comrie, Tri-City