Americans Third Period Rally Falls Short with 4-2 Loss to Giants

John Allen

Vancouver, B.C. – The Tri-City Americans (18-19-2-2, 40 pts.) made a valiant comeback effort in the third period, but were never able to recover from the Vancouver Giants' (21-14-5-2, 49 pts.) quick start in the first period, as the Americans fell 4-2 at the Pacific Coliseum on Sunday evening.

It was the eighth loss for the Americans in its last nine games, dropping the team below the .500 mark with Sunday’s outcome. Tri-City fell to 1-2-0-0 in the season series against the Giants and will look to even it up when the teams face each other for the fourth and final time on January 19.

Lucas Nickles nearly gave the Americans the lead in the early stages of the first period, picking up a rebound in front of Giants goaltender Jared Rathjen. But, his backhand attempt rang off the post and stayed out.  

After a failed clearing attempt by the Americans, the Giants opened the scoring at 4:38 of the first period. Brett Kulak’s initial shot was blocked, but the puck redirected onto the stick of Alec Baer, who had a wide open net.

The Americans got more bad luck just 53 seconds later, when Rob Trzonkowski’s shot hit Eric Comrie in the chest protector, then rolled over his shoulder and down his back into the net, giving the Giants a 2-0 lead six minutes into the game.

Tri-City had problems getting its offense going in the second period and were outshot 12-0 in the first 13 minutes before Brandon Carlo was finally able to register the Americans first shot of the period.

At 16:09 of the second, Matthew Gelinas was issued a five minute major for checking to the head and a game misconduct. Dalton Thrower extended the lead 22 seconds into the power play, giving the Giants a 3-0 lead after 40 minutes of play.

The Americans entered the third period down a man and a three-goal deficit to overcome. But, Lucas Nickles' shorthanded goal just 49 seconds into the period got the Americans back into the game.

Down by two with four minutes remaining in the third, head coach Jim Hiller pulled Comrie to give his team an extended 6-on-5 opportunity. And, with 1:32 remaining, Phil Tot's 11th goal of the season made it a one-goal game.

In the final minute, Tri-City had a chance to score the game tying goal, with the puck deep in the Giants' end. But, after a turnover at the blue line, Jackson Houck scored in the open net to seal the 4-2 victory for the Giants.

Comrie finished the game with 31 saves, allowing three goals in the 56:34 he spent on the ice. In 35 starts this season, the 18-year-old net minder is allowing just 2.59 goals per game while holding a 0.922 save percentage.  

The Americans return to the Toyota Center this Tuesday night for a 7:05 p.m. matchup against the Kamloops Blazers (10-27-2-2, 24 pts.). Tickets are available through all Ticketmaster outlets, including the Toyota Center box office, all Fred Meyer locations, or online at ticketmaster.com.

Jack In Box Three Stars
1) Jackson Houck, Vancouver
2) Brett Kulak, Vancouver
3) Mason Geertsen, Vancouver

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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