Kennewick, WA – Behind Beau McCue scored two goals, the Tri-City Americans (23-21-2-2, 50 pts.) jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, defeating the Moose Jaw Warriors (13-26-3-4, 33 pts.) 4-1 Wednesday night at the Toyota Center.
It was the third straight victory for the Americans, who have now won six consecutive games on home ice. The win also pulled Tri-City within four points of the Vancouver Giants (23-18-5-3, 54 pts.) for the seventh spot in the Western Conference.
Eric Comrie’s shutout streak was ended after seven periods of scoreless hockey, but the net minder held the Warriors to just one goal on the night, turning aside 29 shots.
The Americans opened the scoring at 4:17 of the first period, when Lucas Nickles forced a turnover at the defensive zone blue line, sending Tri-City in on a 3-on-2 odd man rush. After taking the pass from Nickles, Braden Purtill sent it across to Phil Tot, who one timed it past Justin Paulic.
At 16:01, the Americans extended its lead, scoring just after its power play had expired. The Warriors attempted to clear the puck after Sam Fioretti had stepped back on the ice. But, Justin Hamonic managed to corral the puck at the blue line and send it towards the net, where Beau McCue knocked the loose puck in the net.
The Warriors came into the second period looking to cut into Tri-City’s two-goal lead, out shooting the home side 11-6 during the middle frame. However, at the 6:10 mark, it would be the Americans who would extend its lead. Purtill’s sixth goal of the season put Tri-City up 3-0, after banking the puck in off of Paulic’s right skate.
Then, at 8:12 of the third period, McCue all but iced the game for the Americans with his second goal of the night. The play was started by Brandon Carlo, who stepped up in the neutral zone to force a turnover, then skated it into the offensive zone before setting up McCue.
The Warriors’ Tanner Eberle, at 10:21 of the third period, snapped Comrie’s attempt at a second consecutive shutout, as Moose Jaw capitalized on a Josh Thrower roughing penalty. The lone goal would be all that Comrie and the Americans’ defense would allow, shutting the door for the rest of the game, marking the third straight game that the team has allowed a goal or less.
The Americans close out the home stand this Friday night, when it takes on the U.S. Division rival Seattle Thunderbirds (29-14-2-3, 63 pts.) in the fifth annual CH2M Hill Nuclear Night at the Toyota Center. Tickets are available through all Ticketmaster outlets, including the Toyota Center box office, all Fred Meyer outlets, or online at ticketmaster.com.
Jack In Box Three Stars
1) Beau McCue, Tri-City
2) Phil Tot, Tri-City
3) Braden Purtill, Tri-City