SPOKANE, WA – Justin Feser and Patrick Holland each scored twice, while Ty Rimmer kicked aside 36 shots and the visiting Tri-City Americans (43-15-1-2, 89 pts) pulled away late for a 7-3 win over the Spokane Chiefs (32-22-4-3, 71 pts) in front of 10,367 pink-clad fans on the team’s annual Breast Cancer Awareness Night.
With the win, Tri-City stretched its winning streak to five games, which includes two wins over the rival Chiefs. Meanwhile, Spokane has now dropped six of their last seven, including their last three vs. Tri-City.
Feser, who had not scored since Valentine’s Day, got things going for Tri-City in the 1st. Just 1:13 into the contest, and from the right circle, Feser flung a shot on Chiefs’ starter, Eric Williams. The puck found its way through Williams’ pads and into the net, giving Feser his 30th goal of the season. Then, just before the midway point of the period, the Americans climbed out to a 2-0 lead. Adam Hughesman had his shot ring off the post. But, there to capitalize was Zachary Yuen, who batted the puck out of midair and past Williams.
But, inside the final 4 minutes of the 1st period, the Chiefs pulled even. With 3:24 left in the period, Dylan Walchuk and Dominik Uher broke out on a 2-on-1 breakaway before Uher finished the play with his 27th goal on the year. Then, just 19 seconds later, Mitch Holmberg brought the puck out of the left corner before beating Rimmer between his pads.
The game remained knotted at 2 until the second half of the 2nd period, when the Americans reclaimed their two-goal lead. First, with 8:49 left in the period, Holland cleaned up a Hughesman rebound in front, giving Tri-City the lead. Then, three minutes later, and while playing four-aside, Feser connected again on Williams, this time low on the stick side, to make it a 4-2 game.
It also ended the night for Williams, who was pulled from the contest after allowing 4 goals on 19 shots. Mac Engel replaced Williams for the final 25 minutes
Down by two to start the 3rd, the Chiefs came out aggressive. And, after sustained pressure in the Tri-City zone, Spokane was finally able to get through on Rimmer. Seconds before the midway point of the period, Blake Gal took a pass out of the corner from Uher and shelved a shot over Rimmer’s blocker, pulling the Chiefs back to within one.
But, it was as close as Spokane would get, as the Americans rolled off three unanswered goals to round out the scoring.
With 5:49 left in regulation, Brendan Shinnimin and Holland created a 2-on-1 opportunity, with Shinnimin bringing the puck up the ice. Shinnimin pulled back his attempt at the near post, then fed Holland at the top of the crease, who buried the near empty-netter. Then, two minutes later, and on their second power play of the game, Hughesman ripped a shot inside the near post for his 37th marker of the season. Finally, with Engel pulled from the extra attacker, Shinnimin won a race with Gal into the Chiefs’ zone and then scored into the empty net to continue his goal streak.
After stopping 36 of the 39 shots he faced, Rimmer earned his third straight win and 25th of the season. Meanwhile, Williams finished with 15 saves and was tagged with the loss, while Engel stopped 8 of 10 in relief. Tri-City finished the night 1-for-2 on the power play and was a perfect 5-of-5 on the penalty kill.
The Americans will now wrap-up their tripleheader weekend tomorrow, February 26 when they head across the mountains for a match-up with the Seattle Thunderbirds (21-37-1-1). Game time is 5:05 p.m. at ShoWare Center. Tri-City will be gunning for their 20th road win of the season, while Seattle looks to snap its seven-game losing streak against the Americans. Fans can catch all the action live, via WHL Live, at Kimo’s, the Americans’ home away from home, starting at 5:00 p.m. 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.
Following Patrick Holland’s 4-point night, the Americans’ roster now sports three players with 90 or more points on the year. It’s the first time since 1991-92 (Terry Degner, Brian Sakic and Vladimir Vujtek), that a Tri-City roster has featured three 90+ point skaters…By playing tonight, Adam Hughesman (327) passed Jason Beeman for 4th on Tri-City’s all-time games played list…Also, with a goal tonight, Adam Hughesman (127) pulled into a tie with Dylan Gyori for 5th on Tri-City’s all-time goals scored list…With a goal tonight, Brendan Shinnimin ran his goal streak to 9 games, the second longest streak in the WHL this season.
Applebee’s 3 Stars:
1, Justin Feser, Tri-City
2, Ty Rimmer, Tri-City
3, Patrick Holland, Tri-City