KENNEWICK, WA – Two years ago, the Pats handed the Americans their worst loss of the season. On Saturday night, the Americans made sure to return the favor.
Patrick Holland had a 3-point night and six different skaters scored, as the Tri-City Americans (19-6-0-0, 38 pts) thumped the visiting Regina Pats (13-11-1-1, 28 pts) 6-1 in front of 4,554 fans at the Toyota Center. With the win, Tri-City stretched their winning streak to four games, while notching their season-best fifth straight victory on home ice. Meanwhile, the Pats suffered their worst defeat of the season, finishing their U.S. Division swing with a 1-3-0-1 record.
Tri-City got their offense rolling early, scoring three times in the first period to open the scoring. Just 4:46 into the contest, and on the power play, Adam Hughesman made a great play in tight on Matt Hewitt, lifting the puck up and over the Regina netminder’s shoulder, for his 19th goal of the season.
Only 2:12 later, Jordan Messier attempted to hit Mason Wilgosh, who was camped backdoor. However, Messier’s pass glanced off a Regina defender’s skate, and past a surprised Hewitt, making it a 2-0 lead. Finally, at the midway point of the period, Holland’s great individual effort one-on-one was rewarded, when he slipped a shot between Hewitt’s pads for his 5th mark of the season and a 3-0 Tri-City lead.
Late in the second period, Regina would get some puck luck to break Comrie’s shutout. After three attempts by the Americans to clear the zone, the puck found the stick of Ricard Blidstrand, who let a wrist shot go from the left point. The shot made its way through traffic, and past Comrie, who never got a great read on the puck’s path.
But, on the very next shift, Mason Wilgosh was able to knock back a Mitch Topping rebound, to quickly regain Tri-City’s three-goal cushion. Then, 1:42 later, Hughesman and Brendan Shinnimin connected again to make it a 5-1 game. Following a great pass through traffic, from the near post, Hughesman fed Shinnimin in the slot, who found space above Hewitt’s blocker to record his 9th tally of the season.
Finally, midway through the third period, Malte Strömwall broke in with Lukas Walter, opting to leave a drop pass for Justin Feser in the slot, who buried his 11th goal of the season on back-up goaltender Adam Beukeboom.
Hewitt finished the game with 13 saves on 18 shots through 40 minutes of work. Beukeboom then wrapped up the final 20 minutes, collecting 10 saves in relief. Meanwhile, Comrie turned in another solid performance, turning aside 20 of 21 shots to earn his 8th win of the season. Tri-City finished the night 1-for-4 on the power play and was a perfect 5-of-5 on the penalty kill.
After sweeping their three-games-in-four-nights homestand, the Americans will now take Sunday off before turning their attention to their next match-up on Wednesday, November 30 against the Kelowna Rockets (10-12-2-1). Game time is 7:05 p.m. at Prospera Place. The Rockets, winners of four of their last five, and Americans each have one win thus far in the 4-game season series, with both teams having won on home ice. Meanwhile, Tri-City enters Wednesday’s contest having won six of their last seven road games. Fans can catch all the action live, via WHL Live, at Kimo’s, the Americans’ home away from home, starting at 7:05 p.m. The game will also be broadcast live on NewsTalk 870 AM, starting with the Sterling Savings Bank Warm-up Show at 6:50 p.m.
Applebee’s 3 Stars:
1, Patrick Holland, Tri-City
2, Jordan Messier, Tri-City
3, Brendan Shinnimin, Tri-City