Feser’s Hat Trick Propels Americans Past Giants

John Allen

Kennewick, WA- After clinching a playoff berth last night, the Americans have their sights set on the fourth seed in the conference.

Justin Feser made sure of a Tri-City Americans (34-22-1-2, 71 pts) win, scoring a hat-trick as the Americans held off a comeback attempt by the Vancouver Giants (15-44-2-0, 32 pts) in the final minutes of the game to earn a 5-4 win in front of 3,386 at the Toyota Center.

With the win, Tri-City jumps over Spokane into fourth place in the Western Conference with a one point lead over the Chiefs.

The Americans swept the season series against Vancouver 4-0 and Tri-City has won three straight overall.  

Tri-City started off strong, getting on the score sheet first. Jesse Mychan fired a shot at the net and was denied, but Malte Strömwall was there to clean up the rebound, putting the puck in the net to take a 1-0 lead. The Americans took a 2-0 lead later in the period on the power play as Feser fired a wrist shot into a tight window over Jared Rathjen’s right shoulder to score. Vancouver was able to get on the board late in the period as Blake Orban slipped a puck through Troy Trombley’s legs to cut the lead to one. Each team had 11 shots in the period but the Americans had the lead after the first.

The Americans came out and increased the lead back to two early. Connor Rankin brought the puck into the zone, dropped it off for Parker Bowles who skated towards the right face-off circle to open up a shooting lane and fire it into the net. The Giants came right back and cut the lead to 3-2 as Jackson Houck dropped off the puck for Cain Franson in front of the net, snapping a shot into the goal on the power play. Tri-City answered with a goal. Strömwall was denied on a breakaway but Feser was there to put home the rebound to score his second of the game and increase the lead to 4-2 after two periods.

Vancouver came out looking to tie the game. The Giants cut the lead to 4-3 seven minutes into the third as Houck got the puck past Trombley on the power play. A golden opportunity came up for Vancouver to tie the game as the Americans took a power play midway through the period. But the captain shut the door on the Giants by picking up a loose puck, skating past a defender and slipping the puck into the goal shorthanded to complete the hat trick and take a 5-3 lead. Vancouver fought hard to tie the game, as Houck scored his second of the game with just over two minutes left in the game. Trombley held strong in the net down the stretch and the Americans defense was able to hold on to secure the win.

Feser recorded his third hat trick of the season and his second against the Giants.

The Americans were 1-for-3 on the power play tonight, but continued to be poor on the penalty kill at home, allowing the Giants to convert 2-of-5 chances.

Trombley made 27 saves in the win while Rathjen made 24 saves in the loss.

Tri-City will play game three of the six game home stand as they welcome the Everett Silvertips (21-34-1-4, 47 pts) to the Toyota Center on Friday, February 22 for the Eighth Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Night. Game time is at 7:05 p.m. The Americans are 5-2 all-time on BCA Night, winning last season 4-1 over the Seattle Thunderbirds. Tri-City has played Everett eight times this season, with the Americans coming out on top in six of those contests. NewsTalk 870 will broadcast the game starting at 6:45 p.m. with the pregame show. WHL Live will stream the game online beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are still available at the Toyota Center Box Office, any Fred Meyer outlet, at any Ticketmaster location or online at Ticketmaster.com.

Jack in the Box Three Stars:
1. Justin Feser, Tri-City

2. Jackson Houck, Vancouver
3. Malte Strömwall, 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