By Annie Fowler | Tri-City Herald
The Tri-City Americans’ holiday celebration featured Connor Rankin as Santa Claus and the Prince George Cougars as the Grinch.
Rankin scored 1:31 into the second period Friday night to bring down a festive array of 2,511 stuffed animals, but PG goalie Ty Edmonds finished with 31 saves as the Cougars topped the Americans 5-1 before a generous Teddy Bear Toss crowd of 4,958 at Toyota Center.
“It’s just not enough,” said Tri-City coach Jim Hiller. “If that’s the best we have, it’s not near enough. I know the players have more. They have to find more. They can’t be satisfied with that. They need to push past it.”
The Americans played without overage forwards Jessey Astles and Phil Tot, who were nursing minor injuries. Without them, the Americans put a young lineup on the ice.
“They were banged up,” Hiller said. “We wouldn’t have sat them for any other reason.”
The Americans (17-15-1-2, 37 points), who have lost three in a row, are off tonight before finishing the first half of the season Tuesday at Seattle.