By Annie Fowler | Tri-City Herald
Eric Comrie put in an honest effort Sunday night with 44 saves, but a lack of goals by Tri-City at the other end has the Americans trailing 2-0 in their Western Conference first-round series with Kelowna.
The Rockets scored two goals in the first period, including the game-winner by Ryan Olsen on the power play, en route to a 3-1 victory over the Americans before a crowd of 5,041 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, British Columbia.
“We started the game well and with energy,” said Americans coach Jim Hiller in a phone interview. “We starting taking penalties and we got into trouble. We are getting the saves, but we need the goals.”
The best-of-7 series shifts to Toyota Center, where the Americans will host Game 3 on Tuesday and Game 4 on Wednesday.
“We have one of the best crowds in the WHL; they’re going to come out loud and proud and we’re going to try to feed off that as much as we can,” Comrie told The (Kelowna) Daily Courier. “We have a good team and we have great 20-year-olds who want to go out with a bang. Our team isn’t backing down. We still think we have the series in a good position.”
Comrie stopped all 18 shots he faced in the third period — including a highlight reel left pad save on a shot by Olsen with about 51⁄2 minutes left in the game — but the damage had already been done.