Medicine Hat, AB - The Tri-City Americans (8-8-0-2, 18 pts) took a 2-0 lead midway through the second period, but the Medicine Hat Tigers (11-3-2-0, 24 pts) came back, defeating the Americans 3-2 in a shootout Friday night at the Medicine Hat Arena.
The loss snapped the Americans' three-game winning streak and dropped the team’s road record to 2-5-0-2.
The Americans controlled the play early in the game, spending the first half of the period almost exclusively in Medicine Hat’s defensive zone. That early momentum continued until Marcus Messier took a hooking penalty at the 9:28 mark. On the Tigers' power play, it was the Americans who had the best scoring opportunity, when Philip Tot stole the puck at the blue line and skated in on the breakaway, but his wrist shot was turned away by Marek Langhamer.
After holding Medicine Hat to just one shot on the man advantage, it was the Americans who went on the power play. Tri-City spent a majority of the final eight minutes a man up, but the scored remained 0-0. As the period was winding down, the Tigers took a shot on Eric Comrie and had appeared to score on the rebound. But, after video review, it was determined the puck crossed the line after time had expired, keeping the score locked at zero.
In his first game of the 2013-14 season, Parker Bowles broke the scoreless tie in the second period, picking up the loose puck just outside of the offensive zone blue line. The 18 year-old made no mistake, snapping the puck past Langhamer’s blocker, giving the Americans a 1-0 lead. Just a minute and 29 seconds later, Beau McCue’s centering pass found the net after deflecting off a Medicine Hat skate, giving Tri-City a 2-0 lead.
With just under four minutes remaining in the second period, Medicine Hat capitalized on Wil Tomchuk’s interference penalty, cutting the Americans lead in half. Steven Owre snapped a wrist shot from the half boards, beating Comrie short side.
A minute and 14 seconds into the third period, McCue’s hooking penalty gave the Tigers an early power play as well as early momentum in the final frame. While Medicine Hat failed to score on the man advantage, they never relinquished the momentum for the rest of the period.
The Tigers tied the game at the 14:18 mark, after an extended shift in the Americans zone. Comrie made several saves, but Logan McVeigh knocked the puck into the net before the Tri-City netminder could freeze it, tying the game at two.
After a back and forth overtime period, the game headed into a shootout. The Tigers' Curtis Valk gave Medicine Hat the upper hand right off the bat, scoring on Comrie with the first shot. Following Langhamer's save on Astles and Bowles, Tommy Vannelli won the shootout for the Tigers with a wrist shot just under the cross bar.
Both goaltenders turned in solid performances, with Comrie and Langhamer allowing two goals apiece in 65 minutes of play, making 30 and 32 saves respectably. Comrie dropped his goals against to 2.57 with his performance on Friday night, currently ranking fifth in the WHL.
The Americans’ Central Division road swing continues tomorrow night, when the team travels to Lethbridge, Alberta to take on the Lethbridge Hurricanes (2-11-1-2, 7 pts) at 6:00 p.m. PDT. Tri-City’s busy weekend concludes on Sunday, when the team takes on the Kootenay Ice (8-6-2-0, 18 pts) in Cranbrook, British Columbia. Fans can catch all the action live, via WHL Live, at the Americans’ official home away from home, Kimo’s in Richland.
Jack In Box Three Stars
1) Steven Owre, Medicine Hat
2) Logan McVeigh, Medicine Hat
3) Eric Comrie, Tri-City