Plutnar’s Overtime Buzzer Beater Lifts Americans Past Royals

Victoria, BC- Tri-City and Victoria were evenly matched once again, as the game could not be decided in regulation.

When it looked like it was going to a shootout, Michal Plutnar fired a shot from the point that deflected into the air, landed in front of the crease and trickled through the legs of Patrik Polivka into the back of the net with 0.3 seconds on the clock in overtime, giving the Tri-City Americans (22-14-1-2, 47 pts) a 3-2 win against the Victoria Royals (19-15-1-2, 41 pts) in dramatic fashion.  

Tri-City has won two straight while Victoria dropped their second straight game. Tri-City extends their win streak in the Save-On Foods Memorial Arena to four games.

Victoria got off to a quick start as Jordan Fransoo hit a slap shot that deflected off the back boards, and hit off the back of Eric Comrie into the net for a 1-0 lead. Tri-City would swing the momentum in their favor midway through the period as Brian Williams would fire a slap shot into the back of the net to tie the game at one. Both teams had their fair share of chances with Victoria outshooting Tri-City 8-7, but Tri-City was able to carry momentum heading into the second period.

The second period was quiet with both goalies stealing the show. Tri-City had 11 shots compared to Victoria’s 10, but neither team could score. Lucas Nickles was stopped on a breakaway by Polivka, and Comrie made a couple of incredible saves to keep the game tied.

The Royals would break the tie in the third period. Steven Hodges grabbed a loose puck in front of the net and fired a wrist shot that got past Comrie to make it 2-1 early in the third. But the Americans would persevere and tie the game again. Zachary Yuen would fire a slap shot through traffic and into the net to make the game even at two. Both teams had chances to end the game, with Hodges getting stoned on the doorstop by Comrie and Polivka holding strong on a late Americans power play. Neither team could end the game in regulation which forced the game to overtime.

In overtime both teams had their chances and it seemed like the game was going to be decided in a shootout until Plutnar stunned the crowd in Victoria.

With points tonight, Williams and Connor Rankin extend their second half point streaks to four games. Justin Feser’s assist tonight moves him into 10th alone on the Americans all-time assist list.

Comrie made 27 saves in the win, while Polivka made 31 saves in the loss.

Tri-City will need a good night’s sleep because they will play again tomorrow, as they take on the Victoria Royals for the second straight game. Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m. NewsTalk 870 will broadcast the game beginning at 6:45 p.m. with the pregame show. WHL Live will stream the game online starting at 7:00 p.m.

Jack in the Box Three Stars:
1. Michal Plutnar, Tri-City

2. Zachary Yuen, Tri-City
3. Steven Hodges, Victoria

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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