KENNEWICK, WA – What is the best way to celebrate being named the Western Hockey League’s goaltender of the month? Ty Rimmer highly suggests a shutout.
Jordan Messier and Brendan Shinnimin each scored twice, while Rimmer stopped all 42 shots he faced to lead the Tri-City Americans (30-7-0-0, 60 pts) to a 5-0 win over the Moose Jaw Warriors (24-11-4-1, 53 pts) in front of 3,598 fans at the Toyota Center. With the win, Tri-City earned their 11th straight win, setting a new franchise mark for consecutive wins in a single-season. Meanwhile, the Warriors, which have now lost their last six meetings with the Americans, fell to 1-2-1-0 on their swing through the U.S. Division.
After being tagged as the Canadian Hockey League’s top-ranked team for the first time in franchise history earlier in the day, the Americans wasted little time jumping on top of the #10-ranked Warriors. Just 1:01 into the contest, and on the power play, Messier found the back of the net for the second straight game. Then, five minutes later, Tri-City connected again, this time off the stick of defenseman Zachary Yuen, quickly skating out to a 2-0 lead.
In the second period, though, Rimmer and the Tri-City defense took over, holding Moose Jaw scoreless despite a 19 to 6 Warriors shot advantage and four power plays, including a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:34. But, every time they needed a stop, Rimmer and/or the defense came up with the save or blocked shot.
Still holding onto their fragile 2-goal lead after two periods of play, the Americans were finally able to give themselves some breathing room in third.
Back on the power play five minutes into the final period, Shinnimin picked up his first of two on the night. Then, two minutes later, and on another man-advantage, Shinnimin buried his own rebound following a great play by Adam Hughesman to get him the puck.
Now up 4-0 midway through the final period, the contest took a turn for the worse, as the frustration and penalty minutes began to mount.
Finally, though, on yet another power play with under three minutes left in regulation, Messier wrapped up the scoring with his 12th of the year.
In net, Rimmer earned his league-leading 4th shutout of the season, matching his season total from last year and giving him 8 for his WHL career. Rimmer now sits at 18-4 on the year after winning his 7th straight start. In 37 overall meetings between Tri-City and Moose Jaw, it also marked the first time that either side had been held scoreless. Meanwhile, Luke Siemens, who went 3-0-1-0 vs. Tri-City last season as a netminder for Everett, allowed 5 goals on 24 shots in the loss. The Americans finished the night 4-of-9 on the power play, both season-highs, and went a perfect 6-of-6 on the penalty kill.
Tri-City will now conclude their four-game homestand on Friday, January 6, when they play host to the Seattle Thunderbirds (16-19-0-1). Game time is 7:05 p.m. at the Toyota Center. The Americans, winners of the last three meetings between the two clubs, will put their 11-game home winning streak on the line while Seattle, which comes in having lost their last two, looks to snap its 18-game drought inside the Toyota Center. 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 be aired live on ROOT Sports, starting at 7:00 p.m. The game will also be broadcast live on NewsTalk 870 AM, starting with the Sterling Savings Bank Warm-up Show at 6:45 p.m.
Applebee’s 3 Stars:
1, Ty Rimmer, Tri-City
2, Patrick Holland, Tri-City
3, Zachary Yuen, Tri-City