Carruth Stops 38 in 'Hawks' 3-1 Win; Americans Pushed to the Brink

By Dan Mulhausen | Tri-City Americans

PORTLAND, OR – The Americans did something on Wednesday that they had not done all season.  And, in the process, their season is now on the brink.

Ty Rattie scored the eventual game-winner midway through the 3rd period and Mac Carruth turned aside 38 shots, as the Portland Winterhawks (11-3-0, 22 pts) rallied for a 3-1 win over the visiting Tri-City Americans (8-1-5, 16 pts) in Game 3 of the 2012 Western Conference Finals in front of 7,716 fans inside the Rose Garden.  The win gave the ‘Hawks a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series and are now one win away from going back to the WHL Finals for a second straight year.  Meanwhile, the loss was the Americans’ first in regulation this post-season, who dropped a third straight game for the first time this season.

Coming off two disheartening losses to start the series, the Americans couldn’t have asked for a better start to Game 3.  After Portland’s Taylor Leier took a penalty just 48 seconds into the contest, the power play came through again for Tri-City.  Only 28 seconds into the man-advantage, Patrick Holland ripped a shot off the post, but saw the rebound find Adam Hughesman backdoor.  From there, Hughesman put back his team-leading 8th goal of the post-season to make it 1-0 Tri-City.

But, that would be all the offense the Americans could muster on tonight’s first star, Mac Carruth, who thwarted several great Americans scoring chances throughout the night.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the ice, Ty Rimmer was arguably putting in his best performance of the post-season, keeping the ‘Hawks at bay.

But, as the game approached the midway point, penalties started to mount up for the Americans, putting Tri-City on its heels for much of the remainder of the contest.  Starting with Jordan Messier’s slashing penalty at the 8:17 mark of the 2nd period, Portland took advantage of six of the next seven power plays handed out, including the final 5 in the game and started the 3rd period with a 50-second 5-on-3 advantage.

And, although it didn’t come on the man-advantage, just 23 seconds after their first opportunity expired, the ‘Hawks pulled even.  At the 10:40 mark of the 2nd period, Marcel Noebels stripped Holland of the puck, then turned and fired a quick shot past Rimmer to record his second goal of the series.

Then, midway through the 3rd period, and back on the power play, Rattie notched his second game-winning goal in as many games, when he beat Rimmer up over his blocker for a 2-1 Portland edge.

With just under two minutes remaining in regulation, head coach Jim Hiller elected to pull Rimmer for the extra attacker.  But, with 34 seconds left in regulation, Brad Ross grabbed a loose puck out of the corner and sent it the length of the ice, scoring just inside the right post to seal the victory.

Rimmer finished the night by recording a playoff-high 44 saves in another tough-luck loss.  Meanwhile, Carruth’s 38 saves earned him his 11th playoff win.  Both teams finished the night 1-for-6 on the power play.

With Game 4 set for tomorrow, Thursday, April 26, it’s now a do-or-die situation for the Americans.  Game time is 7:00 p.m. at the Rose Garden.  Facing their first elimination game this post-season, the Americans will be looking to force a Game 5 back in Kennewick on Saturday.  Meanwhile, the ‘Hawks, who skated out to a 3-0 series lead in the conference semi-finals only to have Kamloops come back to force a Game 7, will be looking to ensure history does not repeat itself this time around.  Fans can catch all the action live, via WHL Live, at Kimo’s, the Americans’ home away from home, starting at 7:00 p.m. The game will also be broadcast live on NewsTalk 870 AM, starting with the Sterling Savings Bank Warm-up Show at 6:45 p.m.

Notes:
With an assist on Adam Hughesman’s goal, Brendan Shinnimin’s point streak has now reached 37 straight games...Including the post-season, the Americans had not lost three consecutive games since Feb. 26-Mar. 1 of last season, a span of 103 games.

Applebee’s 3 Stars:
1, Mac Carruth, Portland
2, Ty Rimmer, Tri-City
3, Marcel Noebels, Portland

 

 

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Comments
C
Too bad for our injuries in that Everet series. Part of the game but hard to not think "what if".
Apr 26, 2012 - 04:33 AM

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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