Kennewick, WA- Evan Sarthou made 31 saves to earn his first WHL victory, as the Tri-City Americans (6-8-0-1 13 pts.) defeated the Swift Current Broncos (6-8-0-1 13 pts.) 4-1 Tuesday night at the Toyota Center.
The victory was Tri-City’s fourth in its last five home games and third straight over the Broncos. With the loss, Swift Current stretched its losing streak to five games, heading home from a U.S. Division road swing empty handed.
The Americans opened the scoring on the very first shift of the game. Just 34 seconds into the first period, Philip Tot scored his fourth of the year off of a Beau McCue rebound. But three consecutive penalties took momentum away from Tri-City, spending six of the first 12 minutes shorthanded. Solid penalty killing and strong goaltending by Sarthou kept the Americans lead intact.
Swift Current scored the tying goal 1:14 into the second period. At first look, it appeared that Sarthou had pulled the puck off the goal line, but upon video review, the officials ruled the puck had crossed the line, awarding the goal to the Broncos.
Braden Purtill regained Tri-City’s lead at 8:14 when he took a pass from Mitch Topping, then backhanded the puck short side on Eetu Laurikainen.
Swift Current got good pressure in its first couple of shifts of the third period, but a Brian Williams score at 1:29 of the final period took momentum away from the Broncos and gave the Americans its first two-goal lead of the night.
That goal would be all the offense the Americans needed, as Sarthou and the Tri-City defense stifled the Swift Current offense. Tot added an empty net goal late in the game to close the book on the Americans’ 4-1 victory.
Swift Current came into the game with the league’s fourth ranked power play, but Tri-City held the Broncos scoreless on four man advantage opportunities. The American defense looked strong all night while minimizing the Bronco’s attack.
In his two career WHL starts, Sarthou has allowed a combined three goals . So far in his rookie campaign, the Black Diamond, WA native has a goals against average of 2.61 with a 0.914 save percentage. Eetu Laurikainen got the start for the Broncos, making 31 saves on the night.
The Americans wrap up its five-game home stand this weekend with a pair of games at the Toyota Center, starting on Friday night when they play host to the U.S. Division rival Seattle Thunderbirds (9-3-0-1, 19 pts) at 7:05 p.m. The following night, the Brandon Wheat Kings (7-5-0-0, 14 pts) will be in town for the first and only meeting of the season. Tickets are available through all Ticketmaster outlets, including the Toyota Center box office, all Fred Meyer locations, or online at ticketmaster.com.
Jack In Box Three Stars
1) Evan Sarthou, Tri-City
2) Justin Hamonic, Tri-City
3) Braden Purtill, Tri-City