EVERETT, WA – Arguably one of Tri-City’s most consistent players the past two months, it was finally Patrick Holland’s turn to take the spotlight.
After video review changed the scoring line, Holland was credited with his second career hat trick, helping guide the visiting Tri-City Americans (24-7-0-0, 48 pts) past the Everett Silvertips (5-21-0-5, 15 pts) 5-1 in front of 5,081 fans at Comcast Arena. With the win, Tri-City stretched their winning streak to 5 games, tying their season-best, as well as notching their fourth consecutive road win. Meanwhile, for the second time in a week, Everett fell at the hands of the Americans, watching their losing skid hit 9 games in the process.
The score would not suggest it, but most of Saturday’s game was your typical Tri-City vs. Everett affair…close with good goaltending mixed in. It wasn’t until the final 2:37 of the first period that the Americans finally solved Kent Simpson. Taking a backdoor feed from Brendan Shinnimin, Adam Hughesman fired a shot off the left post but, instead of bouncing out, the puck hit just right and slowly trickled across the goal line. With the goal, Hughesman moved into 5th all-time on Tri-City’s scoring list, passing Dylan Gyori.
Just 2:05 into the second, though, Everett responded to tie the game at 1. What eventually turned into a 2-on-1 breakaway, JT Barnett buried a cross-ice feed from Cody Fowlie, over the blocker of Eric Comrie, giving Barnett 7 goals on the year.
With time winding down in the second, a heads up play gave Holland the opportunity to give Tri-City the lead. Brian Williams intercepted Brennan Yadlowski’s clearing pass at the leftwing half wall, and then skated into the left circle before his shot rang off the right post. Unsure if Williams’ attempt crossed the line, Holland crashed the net, poking the puck across the line for his first goal of the night.
At the 5:16 mark of the third period, Holland was heard from again as he skated coast-to-coast before firing a backhand off the right pad of Simpson to put Tri-City ahead 3-1. It was the first of 3 Tri-City goals in the third period, including two by Holland, to put the game out of reach.
As the period passed the halfway point, and on the power play, Connor Rankin worked the puck free behind the Everett net, where Shinnimin scooped it up and headed out towards the slot. In tight on Simpson, Shinnimin lifted a shot over the surprised netminder, stretching the Americans’ lead to 3.
Finally, with 4:14 left in regulation, an innocent shot by Holland in the slot found its way between Simpson’s pads, completing the hat trick and capping the scoring in the contest. For Holland, he now has points in 19 of his last 23 games, including 5 multi-point games in his last 7.
In net for Tri-City, Comrie finished the night by stopping 21 of 22 shots to win his fifth straight start and improve to 11-3 on the year. Meanwhile, Simpson stopped 31 of the 36 shots he faced in the loss. Tri-City went 1-for-5 on the power play and was a perfect 4-of-4 on the penalty kill.
With just one home game in the last two weeks, the Americans will return to the friendly confines of the Toyota Center tomorrow, Sunday, December 11 when they take on the division rival Portland Winterhawks (20-10-2-1). Game time is 5:05 p.m. Tri-City currently leads the 10-game season series 4-0, with two of the four games having been decided by just one goal. Portland, which has dropped their last two games coming in, currently boast the Western Conference’s highest scoring offense. Meanwhile, Tri-City will put their 6-game home winning streak on the line as they look to extend their overall winning streak to 6 games. Tickets are available through all Ticketmaster outlets, including online at ticketmaster.com, the Toyota Center box office, or all Fred Meyer outlets. The game will also be broadcast live on NewsTalk 870 AM, starting with the Sterling Savings Bank Warm-up Show at 4:45 p.m.
Applebee’s 3 Stars:
1, Patrick Holland, Tri-City
2, Brendan Shinnimin, Tri-City
3, Cody Fowlie, Everett