Everett, WA – For the second consecutive meeting, the Tri-City Americans (11-9-0-2, 24 pts) failed to register a goal against the Everett Silvertips (13-3-2-0, 28 pts), as the Americans fell 2-0 Friday night at Comcast Arena.
It was the first time in eight games that the Americans were unable to earn at least a point, having won six of its previous seven games. Tri-City has now been shut out twice during the 2013-14 season, both coming at the hands of the Silvertips.
Coming into the game, Everett and Tri-City featured two of the league’s three best defensive teams, and it showed. The Silvertips outshot the Americans 12-7 in the first period, forcing Eric Comrie to make some good saves in the middle part of the period, but neither team managed to generate many dangerous scoring opportunities.
Tri-City’s best pressure came late in the period, when Everett took a too-many-men penalty at the 17:49 mark. The Americans got a couple of shots on Daniel Cotton, but the score remained scoreless after 20 minutes of play.
The Silvertips opened the scoring 1:30 seconds into the second period. Tyler Sandhu took the pass from Manraj Hayer and one timed the puck past Comrie, giving Everett the 1-0 lead.
Everett trapped the Americans in its own zone for most of the middle frame, outshooting Tri-City 15-3 in the second period. The shot production was the fewest the Americans had managed in a period since the second period of the September 28 game in Spokane.
Comrie made several big saves to keep Tri-City within one goal, but none was more important than the breakaway save with just minutes remaining in the period. Outshot 27-10 through 40 minutes, the Americans were still easily within striking distance.
After a 40-minute delay, where the Comcast Arena crew dealt with an ice related issue, the third period finally began.
An early Silvertips power play lead to the Americans best scoring chance of the game, when a rolling puck bounced over an Everett stick, springing Lucas Nickles on a shorthanded breakaway. But, Cotton got his left pad on the puck to maintain the one-goal lead.
The Americans had several scoring chances in the third period, but still managed just four shots in the final 20 minutes. With Comrie out for the extra attacker, Tri-City pressed hard, but Mirco Mueller iced the game for the Silvertips with an empty-netter with 1:17 remaining in regulation.
Tri-City was outshot 35-14 on the night, setting a new season low for shots on goal during the 2013-14 season.
Comrie played another stellar game for Tri-City, keeping his team in the game the entire way. The Tri-City net minder faced 34 shots, allowing just one goal. Cotton picked up the shutout for the Silvertips, stopping all 14 shots he faced.
The Americans will head home to play the second leg of the home-and-home doubleheader against Everett tomorrow night. Faceoff is set for 7:05 p.m. at the Toyota Center. 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) Daniel Cotton, Everett
2) Eric Comrie, Tri-City
3) Tyler Sandhu, Everett