Vancouver, BC- Not even a movie script could have predicted tonight’s ending.
Justin Hamonic tied the game late in the third and Beau McCue scored his second goal of the game with six seconds left to lift the Tri-City Americans (17-10-1-1, 36 pts) past the Vancouver Giants (7-20-0-0, 14 pts) 4-3 in Pacific Coliseum.
Tri-City extends their win streak to four in Vancouver and three in a row overall against Vancouver. The Americans also snapped a three game losing streak and a five game road losing streak.
The Americans struck first 4:48 into the contest as a turnover by Vancouver led to Lucas Nickles putting home a goal for an early 1-0 lead. Vancouver would tie the game midway through the period on the power play as Wes Vannieuwenhuizen hit a slap shot from the blue line into the net. The Americans led in opportunities and outshot the Giants 15-10, but each team had one goal after one period.
Tri-City would regain the lead in the second period as Beau McCue would fire a shot through the legs of Vancouver goaltender Liam Liston to make it 2-1. But Vancouver would tie the game once again late in the second period as Cain Franson would smack a loose puck into the goal. Vancouver came out stronger in the second period and had more opportunities than Tri-City, including a 19-9 shot advantage, but the game was tied going into the third period.
The Giants carried that momentum into the third. Vancouver outshot Tri-City early in the third period and it finally paid off as Tristan Sieben put a loose puck into the net with 7:21 left in the game to give the Giants a 3-2 lead. The game was winding down as the Americans tried to tie the game, and an unlikely hero scored as Justin Hamonic put a loose puck into the goal to make it 3-3 with just over two minutes left in the game. A late penalty by Zachary Yuen gave the Giants a chance to end the game in regulation, but it was the Americans that ended the game as McCue beat Liston on a breakaway with six seconds left to give the Americans a 4-3 win.
Luke Lee-Knight got his first start in net and was sensational, stopping 38 shots in the win. Liston stopped 32 shots in the loss.
Tri-City comes back to the comfort of the Toyota Center for one game to take on the Seattle Thunderbirds (13-13-1-0, 27 pts) for the first time this season in Kennewick. Game time is at 7:05 p.m. Seattle won the first meeting between the two teams 3-1 in October. Tri-City has a 22 game winning streak against Seattle in Kennewick dating back to the 2007-08 season. NewsTalk 870 will broadcast the game beginning at 6:45 p.m. WHL Live will stream the game starting at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available at the Toyota Center Box Office, at any Fred Meyer outlet, at any Ticketmaster location or online at Ticketmaster.com.
Jack in the Box Three Stars:
1. Beau McCue, Tri-City
2. Luke Lee-Knight, Tri-City
3. Cain Franson, Vancouver