Saskatoon, SK- The Tri-City Americans (5-3-0-0, 10 pts) haven’t earned a win against the Saskatoon Blades (0-6-0-0, 0 pts) in Saskatoon in 18 years.
That streak came to an end Thursday night, as the Americans scored four unanswered goals to come from behind and earn a 5-3 win in front of 3,797 at the Credit Union Centre.
Saskatoon got off to an early start, as Sam McKechnie scored 2:40 into the game to make it 1-0 Blades. About two minutes later, Cory Millette scored on the power play to give the Blades a 2-0 lead less than five minutes into the game. The Americans tried to climb back into the game and outshot the Blades 12-7 in the period. Tri-City broke through with less than a minute remaining in the first period, as Brian Williams found the back of the net to cut the lead to 2-1 after one period.
The second period began the same as the first, as the Blades scored early again, this time by Jordan Thomson to increase the Blades lead to 3-1. But that would be the last goal for the Blades as the Americans were able to turn the game around from that point. Parker Bowles scored 8:48 into the second period to cut the lead to 3-2. Four minutes later, Parker Wotherspoon lit the red light, scoring on the power play to tie the game at three.
Tri-City took its first lead of the game late in the second period, as Rodney Southam scored the first short-handed goal of the season for the Americans to make it 4-3 heading into the third period.
In the third period, the Blades pressed to get the equalizer, outshooting the Americans 15-7 in the third period. But Evan Sarthou was up to the challenge, stopping all 15 shots in the period. Tri-City put the game away late with an empty net goal by Beau McCue to cap off the victory.
The win is the first for the Americans in Saskatoon since 1996, and the second win all-time in Saskatoon for Tri-City.
The teams combined for 50 penalty minutes, 30 of which were Tri-City penalty minutes. Tri-City didn’t have a power play against Prince Albert, but converted 2-of-5 chances tonight. Saskatoon was 1-for-5 on the power play, but gave up a crucial short-handed goal to Southam that was the game winner.
Americans goaltender Evan Sarthou shook off a shaky start and played great, earning his second win of the season by stopping 28 shots. Saskatoon goaltender Nik Amundrud made 27 saves in the loss.
Tri-City is now 3-1 on the Eastern Canada road trip, and will look to make it three wins in a row this Friday, Oct. 10, against the Regina Pats (4-2-1-0, 8 pts) at the Brandt Centre. Game time is at 6:00 (PST). Tri-City earned a win in the lone meeting last season, 5-3, at the Toyota Center. Fans can watch the game through WHL Live or at Kimo’s, the Americans home away from home. The game will be broadcast on NewsTalk 870, starting at 5:45 p.m.
Jack in the Box Three Stars
1. Brian Williams, Tri-City
2. Parker Bowles, Tri-City
3. Cory Millette, Saskatoon