Kennewick, WA- The Tri-City Americans played with a fire that not even the defending WHL champions could stop on this night.
The Tri-City Americans (36-22-1-2, 75 pts) had 11 players tally a point and scored six unanswered goals, helping them blow out the Edmonton Oil Kings (43-15-1-4, 91 pts) 8-1 in front of 5,083 pleased fans at the Toyota Center.
The Americans have won a season high five games in a row and have tied their season high home win streak at four games. The Americans have won four straight against the Oil Kings and two in a row at home.
Edmonton is number one in the league in both special teams’ categories, but not on this night. Tri-City was 3-for-4 on the power play and killed off the only Edmonton power play.
Edmonton came out strong and set the tone of the game early. The Oil Kings outshot the Americans 12-6 in the opening period and held possession in the Americans zone for a majority of the period. But it was Tri-City that got on the scoreboard first. Mitch Topping fired a wrist shot over the left shoulder of Laurent Brossoit on the power play to make it 1-0 Americans after one period.
Tri-City carried the momentum into the second period. Zachary Yuen fired a shot from the slot that found the back of the net on the power play to increase the lead to 2-0. Edmonton slowed the Americans momentum less than a minute later as Henrik Samuelsson was able to slip the puck into the net to cut the lead to one. Beau McCue got on the score sheet for the second straight night as he cleaned up a rebound on the power play to make it 3-1 Tri-City. Justin Feser got on the board five minutes later, as he was able to fire a shot past Brossoit to increase the lead to three. The Americans outshot the Oil Kings in the period 19-13 and looked to shut the door on Edmonton in the third.
The Americans scored early in the third period as Parker Bowles fed Connor Rankin, firing a shot over the blocker of Brossoit to increase the lead to 5-1. Every player was getting in on the scoring, including Fraser Bulbuc, playing in his third career WHL game. Feser threw a puck toward the net and Bulbuc tipped it into the net for his first career WHL goal. Less than two minutes later, Jesse Mychan redirected a puck into the net to make it 7-1 Tri-City. Mychan added the cherry on top, scoring his second of the night with a minute remaining to put a stamp on the victory.
Tri-City has scored five or more goals in the last five games, outscoring opponents 31-9 during that span. The Americans have defeated the top two teams in each conference during that streak.
Feser was a point machine tonight, scoring a goal and adding four assists. He played in his 340th career game, making him second on the Americans all-time games played list.
Troy Trombley continued his impressive play, stopping 36 shots in the win. Brossoit made 28 saves in the loss.
After playing the top team in the Eastern Conference, the Americans will welcome the top team in the Western Conference as the Portland Winterhawks (51-9-1-2, 105 pts) make their final appearance in the Toyota Center on Tuesday, Feb. 26. Game time is at 7:05 p.m. Portland has won six of the eight meetings between the two teams, but Tri-City earned a win in the most recent game 6-2 in Portland on Feb. 15. Portland dominated the last time these two teams met in Kennewick 7-0 on Nuclear Night. 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, at 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. Troy Trombley, Tri-City
3. Jesse Mychan, Tri-City