Plutnar's Overtime Buzzer Beater Lifts Americans Past RoyalsJan 04, 2013 - 14:11 PST
Written By: Baide, Matt
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