Cougars Down Americans 5-1

Doug Love

Kennewick, WA. –  The Tri-City Americans (17-15-1-2, 37 pts.) fell behind early, surrendering two first period goals, and never managed to rebound as the Prince George Cougars (13-17-2-3, 31 pts.) skated away with the 5-1 win in the annual Teddy Bear Toss game on Friday night.

2,511 stuffed animals were collected at the Toyota Center, which will now be distributed to charities across the Mid-Columbia.

Tri-City’s line-up on Friday featured an average age of 17.60, including having all three overages in the stands, as the roster continues to be withered by mid-season injuries.  The loss brought the Americans’ home record to 11-7-0-0 on the season, as it approaches the halfway point.

The Cougars opened the scoring at 4:48 after a failed clearing opportunity by the Americans gave the Cougars an extra scoring chance. Todd Fiddler made the most of it, beating Eric Comrie with a high slap shot.

Tri-City quickly swung momentum back in its favor, narrowly missing on several scoring chances. However, a too-many-men penalty would cost them, as the Cougars scored 10 seconds into the man advantage on Klarc Wilson’s ninth goal of the year.

The Americans had a chance to cut into Prince George’s lead late in the first period when Lucas Nickles was sprung for a shorthanded breakaway opportunity by Marcus Messier. But, the 19-year-old was denied by the right pad of Ty Edmonds.

At 1:31 of the second period, Connor Rankin scored on his own rebound, cutting the Cougars’ lead to just one and sending the bears flying down onto the Toyota Center ice.

After Rankin’s goal, the Americans started to shift momentum its way. But at 4:10, Justin Gutierrez and Brian Williams took minor penalties on the same play, giving the Cougars a 5-on-3 power play. Just 34 seconds into the man advantage, Fiddler found the loose puck in the crease before Comrie could freeze it for his second goal of the evening. Prince George would extend its lead to three goals before the period was over, getting a goal from Jansen Harkins at the 7:30 mark.

Tri-City began the third period with the man advantage, looking to get back in the game. But, the power play unit was unable to beat Edmonds. The best chance the Americans had to get within two goals was a penalty shot awarded to Messier at 11:31. But, Edmonds was able to make the save.

Aaron Macklin would add a late goal on the power to give the Cougars a 5-1 edge. The Cougars went 3-for-6 on the man advantage, holding the Americans scoreless in its four opportunities.   

The Americans will conclude the first half of its regular season schedule Tuesday night, when it visits the Seattle Thunderbirds (21-13-0-1, 43 pts.) in the last game before the WHL takes its holiday break. Fans can catch all the action live, via WHL Live, at the Americans’ official home away from home, Kimo’s in Richland.


Jack In Box Three Stars

1) Todd Fiddler, Prince George
2) Klarc Wilson, Prince George
3) Connor Rankin, Tri-City

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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