Saskatoon, SK- The Eastern Canada mojo finally ran out for Tri-City.
Matej Stransky had an assist and the game winning goal in overtime to give the Saskatoon Blades (5-7-0-0, 10 pts) a 3-2 win over the Tri-City Americans (7-3-1-1, 16 pts) in the Credit Union Centre.
Saskatoon scored first when Stransky fed an outlet pass to Josh Nicholls, who had a breakaway to the net and put it past Eric Comrie for a 1-0 lead 31 seconds into the game. But Tri-City would tie the game when Connor Rankin threw the puck through the crease and Lucas Nickles slapped it home to tie the game at one. Rodney Southam earned the first assist of his career on the play.
In the second period, the roles reversed as the Americans took the lead. Nickles fed a pass to Rankin in front of the goal, putting it past Andrey Makarov to make it 2-1 late in the period. Saskatoon would tie it 1:37 later, as Nicholls took a Philip Tot turnover and put a wrist shot into the net to tie the game at two.
Tri-City had the advantage in the shot department in the third period 14-8, but the Blades had two power plays to the Americans one. But neither team could score in the third period and the Americans would go into overtime for the second straight game.
But 1:16 into the overtime, Shane McColgan fed the puck to Stransky between the faceoff circles and put a shot past Comrie to end the game 3-2 in favor of Saskatoon.
Tri-City snapped their four game winning streak, and has lost four straight games in Saskatoon dating back to 2007. The Americans are 0-2 with three ties all-time against the Saskatoon Blades in overtime. Even with the loss, the Americans earned a point and have not lost a game in regulation since September 29 at Spokane.
With the goal and assist, Rankin now has a point in every game on the Eastern Canada road trip, including four goals and an assist. The same goes for Nickles, who has three goals and three assists on the road trip.
Eric Comrie made 31 saves in the loss, while Makarov made 26 saves in the win.
Tri-City has a day off before their last two games of the road trip. They will take on the Regina Pats (5-5-1-0, 11 pts) in the Brandt Centre on Friday. Game time is at 6:00 p.m. The Americans have a two game win streak against Regina, winning last year 6-1 in Kennewick. Regina has lost two straight to the Americans in Saskatchewan, losing 6-4 in the last meeting in 2010. NewsTalk 870 will broadcast the game beginning at 5:45 p.m. with the pregame show. WHL Live will stream the game online beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Jack in the Box Three Stars:
1. Josh Nicholls, Saskatoon
2. Eric Comrie, Tri-City
3. Matej Stransky, Saskatoon