Kamloops, BC- The Tri-City Americans (17-22-2-0, 36 pts) had a lead after the first period, but Matt Needham’s hat trick helped the Kamloops Blazers (19-14-4-2, 44 pts) come from behind and earn a 3-2 win in front of 4,139 at Sandman Centre on Friday night.
Tri-City got on the board first, as Beau McCue put the puck in the net for a 1-0 lead 8:28 into the opening period. Kamloops had the shot advantage in the first period 9-7, but the Americans held the lead going into the second period.
Less than 30 seconds into the second, Kamloops evened the game, as Matt Needham fired a wrist shot from the slot that found twine to tie the game at one. Two minutes later, Needham added his second goal of the game to give the Blazers a 2-1 lead. Tri-City was outshot 16-10 in the second, and looked to get back on track in the third period.
Midway through the third, Tri-City tied the game as Dylan Coghlan fired a thot that lit the red lamp, evening the score at two. Needham answered for the Blazers a couple minutes later, completing the hat trick to help Kamloops regain the lead 3-2. The Americans had the shot advantage, 13-7, in the third, but couldn’t get another goal to tie the game, as the Blazers held on for the win.
Each team had two power play chances, with neither team scoring a goal. Both teams spent four minutes each, eight total, in the penalty box.
Evan Sarthou made 29 saves in the loss while Connor Ingram stopped 28 shots in the win.
Tri-City will finish the five-game road trip tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 9, against the Kelowna Rockets (28-10-2-0, 58 pts). Game time is at 7:05 p.m. at Prospera Place. Kelowna won the first meeting between the two teams, 3-1, at the Toyota Center. Listen to the game on NewsTalk 870, or watch the game through WHL Live or at Kimo’s, your Americans home away from home.
Jack in the Box Three Stars
1. Matt Needham, Kamloops
2. Connor Ingram, Kamloops
3. Dylan Coghlan, Tri-City
WHL Box Score: CLICK HERE