By Dan Mulhausen | Tri-City Americans
EVERETT, WA – Coming painfully close to his first career playoff shutout in Game 2, Ty Rimmer made sure his bid on Tuesday was realized.
Aided by two goals from Brendan Shinnimin, Rimmer kicked aside all 23 shots he faced to backstop the visiting Tri-City Americans (3-0-0, 6 pts) to a 4-0 win over the Everett Silvertips (0-3-0, 0 pts) in Game 3 of their Western Conference Quarter-Final series in front of 2,442 fans at Comcast Arena. With the win, Rimmer posted the franchise’s 12th playoff shutout and gave Tri-City a commanding 3 games to 0 lead in the best-of-seven series heading into tomorrow’s Game 4 in Everett.
Both teams played it close to the vest to start Tuesday’s contest, combining for just 12 shots on goal through the first 20 minutes. However, with just over six and a half minutes left in the period, Everett got a golden opportunity to take their first lead of the game and in the series. Following Patrick Holland’s 5-minute major penalty for clipping, the Silvertips went to work on a score-at-will power play. Their best, and only, shot of the man-advantage came in the final seconds, but needed a nice glove save by Rimmer to keep the game scoreless.
Once into the 2nd period, though, the Americans started to take over. Tri-City finished with a 19-6 shot advantage in the period, connecting twice in the first four minutes.
Just 1:41 into the 2nd, Shinnimin went hard towards the net. From out of the corner, Adam Hughesman sent a pass towards the top of the crease, where Shinnimin was able to redirect it past Kent Simpson. Then, just 1:40 later, Zachary Yuen dropped a pass for Shinnimin at the point, who fired one between Simpson’s pads to give Tri-City a 2-0 lead.
It remained a two-goal game until late into the 3rd period, when Everett coach Mark Ferner opted to pull Simpson for the extra attacker, trying to spark his club. But, shortly after Simpson reached the bench, Yuen forced an Everett turnover inside the Tri-City zone before Adam Hughesman corralled the loose puck and carry it up ice. Once across the red line, Hughesman dumped a backhander into the empty net for his 3rd goal of the series and a 3-0 Americans lead.
Finally, 37 seconds after returning to the net, Simpson was beat at the near post by Justin Feser, who let a shot go from the bottom of the left circle. Feser’s first of the post-season capped the scoring in the contest.
Rimmer, after stopping all 23 shots faced, has turned aside 54 of the 57 shots he’s faced in the series to improve to 3-0. Meanwhile, Simpson dropped his third straight game after allowing 3 goals on 30 shots. Both teams went 0-for-1 on the power play, with Everett now 0-of-9 on the man-advantage in the series.
Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is set for tomorrow, March 28 at Comcast Arena. Game time is 7:05 p.m. The Silvertips will need to snap their 9-game playoff losing streak in order to stave off elimination and force a Game 5 back in Kennewick on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Americans will be looking to advance out of the First Round for a fifth straight year. Fans can catch all the action live, via WHL Live, at Kimo’s, the Americans’ home away from home, starting at 7:00 p.m. The game will also be broadcast live on NewsTalk 870 AM, starting with the Sterling Bank Warm-up Show at 6:45 p.m.
With the win, Ty Rimmer becomes just the 6th Americans goaltender to post a playoff shutout, joining Don Blishen, Brian Boucher, Jeff Blair, Chet Pickard and Drew Owsley. Rimmer’s 23 saves ties for the 2nd lowest ever in a Tri-City playoff shutout, 1 better than the franchise mark of 22, set by Owsley (03/29/11 @ Vancouver) and Pickard (04/05/08 vs. Seattle). Five of Tri-City’s 12 total playoff shutouts have come on the road and 7 of the 12 have been by the score of 4-0…With 2 goals tonight, Brendan Shinnimin (14) moved into 3rd all-time on the Americans’ playoff goals scored list and, when combined with the regular season, now has at least one point in 26 consecutive games.
Applebee’s 3 Stars:
1, Brendan Shinnimin, Tri-City
2, Ty Rimmer, Tri-City
3, Ryan Murray, Everett