Lethbridge, AB – The Tri-City Americans (9-8-0-2, 20 pts) jumped ahead of the Lethbridge Hurricanes (2-12-1-2, 7 pts) early with four first period goals and never looked back, as the Americans dominated the Hurricanes for an 8-1 victory Saturday night at the Enmax Centre.
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With the victory, the Americans have now won seven of its last 11 games, and are above .500 for the first time this season. Tri-City’s eight-goal performance was also the highest offensive production it has produced all season, breaking its previous season high of six goals, set on September 24 against the Portland Winterhawks.
Tri-City jumped all over the Hurricanes early, capitalizing on a Lethbridge penalty taken just one minute into the game. Brian Williams took the pass from Brandon Carlo, and snapped it through the legs of Boes, giving Tri-City the early 1-0 advantage. Marcus Messier would add to that lead just 22 seconds later, scoring his second of the season at 2:36 of the first period.
The Americans second power play of the period was only thirty seconds long, but that was all the time it needed, as Parker Bowles snapped the rebound home, extending the lead to 3-0. With the goal, Bowles has now tallied goals in each of his first two games after missing the first 18 with an upper body injury.
Tri-City’s third goal chased Boes from the game, after allowing goals on three of the Americans’ first seven shots. He was replaced by Christopher Tai. Before the first period had expired, Devon McAndrews got into the action, scoring his first WHL goal with a wrist shot through the legs of Tai, giving Tri-City a commanding 4-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.
The Hurricanes came at the Americans with more energy in the second period, forcing Eric Comrie to make several big saves in the early stages. Lethbridge failed to score on a two minute power play, but just moments after McAndrews had stepped back on the ice, Kolten Olynek redirected a Lenny Hackman shot past Comrie, cutting into the Americans lead for the first time in the game.
Lethbridge held momentum for the majority of the second period, firing 16 shots on Comrie. But, Jessey Astles regained Tri-City’s four goal lead at the 18:20 mark, with a nifty breakaway deke for his third of the season.
With two Americans penalties in the dying seconds of the middle frame, the Hurricanes started the third period with a 5-on-3 man advantage, and the opportunity to get back in the game. However, Tri-City’s third-ranked penalty kill held the Hurricanes off the board.
After Tri-City returned to full strength, it took control for the remainder of the game, outshooting Lethbridge 15-3 in the third period. With his first WHL goal, Ty Comrie gave the Americans a 6-1 lead at the 13:11 mark, snapping a wrist shot past Tai on a 2-on-1 rush.
Astles capped off his career game with a power play goal at 15:08 of the period. The goal was the 20-year-olds second of the game, marking the first multi-goal effort of his WHL career. Astles also added two assists for a career-high four points on the night.
With just 2:29 remaining, Philip Tot added the Americans’ eighth goal of the game, scoring in his first game back in Lethbridge since being traded by the Hurricanes to the Americans during the 2012 off season.
Tri-City finished the game with a season-high three power play goals, going 3-for-6 on the night, while holding the Hurricanes scoreless on six man-advantage opportunities.
Comrie turned in another solid performance, allowing one goal on 26 shots against the Hurricanes, lowering his goals against average to 2.47 on the year. Boes made just four saves on seven shots before being replaced by Tai, who made 27 saves for the Huricanes.
The Americans play the last of its three-game Central Division road trip tomorrow evening in Cranbrook, British Columbia, when it takes on the Kootenay Ice (8-6-2-0, 18 pts) at 6:00 p.m. PST. Fans can catch all the action live, via WHL Live, at the Americans’ official home away from home, Kimo’s in Richland.
Jack In Box Three Stars
1) Brian Williams, Tri-City
2) Connor Rankin, Tri-City
3) Devon McAndrews, Tri-City