Photo by Doug Love
Kennewick, WA- In the final home preseason game, the Tri-City Americans (3-2-1-1, 8 pts) didn’t disappoint the fans at the Toyota Center on Friday night, earning a 3-2 win over the Spokane Chiefs (2-4-0-0, 4 pts).
Tri-City got on the board first, as Michael Rasmussen passed the puck to Juuso Valimaki at the right point. Valimaki fired a slap shot through traffic, finding the top shelf to put the Americans up 1-0. Late in the first, Spokane evened the score, as Curtis Miske skated to the net and slipped the puck into the goal. The shots were tied at nine, as was the score going into the second period.
Midway through the second, Tri-City retook the lead as Jordan Roy skated into the Spokane zone and flicked a backhand shot into the net for a 2-1 advantage. Tri-City led in the shot department, 8-4, and retained a one goal edge going into the third.
In the third, Tri-City looked to close out Spokane, and increased the lead to 3-1 10:29 into the period. Parker AuCoin fired a shot through the five-hole of Tyson Verhelst for the tally. Spokane didn’t give up, as Dominic Zwerger cut the lead to 3-2 with more than seven minutes left in the game. Spokane tried to tie the game, but came up short as Tri-City earned the win.
The Americans spent 23 minutes in the penalty box and were unsuccessful with three power play chances. Spokane couldn’t capitalize on any of its two power play chances and recorded 27 penalty minutes.
Evan Sarthou stopped 17 shots in the win, while Matt Berlin and Tyson Verhelst combined for 29 saves in the loss.
Tri-City will wrap up the preseason against the Spokane Chiefs at Spokane Arena on Saturday, Sept. 19. Game time is at 2 p.m. The Americans will open the regular season on the road on Saturday, Sept. 26, against Spokane, followed by the home opener on Saturday, Oct. 3 at the Toyota Center, also against the Chiefs.
T.C.- Juuso Valimaki (M. Rasmussen, P. AuCoin) 6:15
SPO- Curtis Miske (R. Whittingham) 15:32
T.C.- Jordan Roy (Unassisted) 11:57
T.C.- Parker AuCoin (V. Lukin, B. Purtill) 10:29
SPO- Dominic Zwerger (Unassisted) 12:02
T.C.- 9:8:15- 32
SPO- 9:4:6- 19
T.C.- Evan Sarthou 17/19
SPO- Matt Berlin 14/15, Tyson Verhelst 15/17