Photo credit John Allen
(ISN) – Kennewick, WA- It was a big game for the Tri-City Americans in Game 3 of the First Round 2015 WHL Playoff series.
While Tri-City fought till the very end, it wasn’t enough to defeat the Kelowna Rockets, as Kelowna earned a 5-3 win in front of 3,257 at Toyota Center on Tuesday night.
Tri-City started off the game fast and got some early shots on Kelowna goaltender Jackson Whistle. Kelowna picked up its physical play throughout the first, swinging the momentum in its favor. It paid off 15 minutes into the period, as Riley Stadel was able to score to put the Rockets ahead 1-0 after the first period.
The Americans continued to press in the second period by getting pucks to the net, but still couldn’t get anything by Whistle. Kelowna increased the lead to 2-0 midway through the second as Tomas Soustal lit the red lamp. Tri-City finally got on the board on the power play, as Beau McCue deflected a shot from the point into the net to cut the lead to 2-1. But it was less than two minutes before the Rockets regained a two goal lead, as Cole Linaker scored on the power play to push the lead to 3-1 after two periods.
Early in the third, the Americans struck to get back into the game, as Jordan Topping fired a wrist shot into the net to cut the lead back to one goal. It was back to a two goal lead midway through the third as a 3-on-1 opportunity turned into a Baillie power play goal, pushing the lead to 4-2 Rockets. Tri-City tried to get back into the game, but a goal from Chance Braid made the score 5-2 with time winding down. McCue scored his second of the game with less than two minutes remaining to cut the lead to 5-3, but it wasn’t enough as the Rockets earned the win.
Photo credit John Allen
The Americans capitalized on 1-of-9 power play chances while spending 12 minutes in the penalty box. Kelowna was 2-of-3 on the power play with 22 minutes in the penalty box.
Eric Comrie stopped 20 shots in the loss while Jackson Whistle made 19 saves in his third straight win.
The Americans and Rockets are back in action tomorrow, Wednesday, April 1, for Game 4 of the 2015 WHL First Round Playoff series at Toyota Center. Game time is at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster locations, including the Toyota Center Box Office, any Fred Meyer outlet or online at Ticketmaster.com.
Jack in the Box Three Stars
1. Tyson Baillie, Kelowna
2. Cole Linaker, Kelowna
3. Beau McCue, Tri-City