EVERETT, WA – For the Americans, it was déjà vu all over again on Saturday night in Everett. But, this time, they made sure there would be no third period collapse.
Brendan Shinnimin scored twice and set-up another, while Drew Owsley stopped 23 shots to guide the visiting Tri-City Americans (22-11-1-1, 46 pts) past the Everett Silvertips (16-18-2-3, 37 pts) 3-1 in front of 5,213 fans at Comcast Arena. With the win, Tri-City improved their winning streak to three games, while snapping their three-game losing skid to Everett. Meanwhile, the ‘Tips have now lost three straight but still hold a 3-2 lead in the 10-game season series with the Americans.
In the final game before the Winter Break, the Americans saw their first, and only, third-period lead slip away at the hands of the ‘Tips. They took a 2-1 lead into the final period of that game, only to lose 4-2. Two weeks later, Tri-City found themselves in the exact same situation, up 2-1 headed into the final period of play.
But first, the Americans would take a 2-0 lead thanks to two goals from Shinnimin. First, with 4:32 left to play in the first period, Sam Grist separated the puck from an Everett defender, then sent Shinnimin into the ‘Tips’ zone. From the high slot, Shinnimin flicked a wrist shot below the stick of Kent Simpson, giving Tri-City the 1-0 lead.
Then, with 8:57 gone of the second period, Shinnimin took advantage of a fortunate bounce. Brock Sutherland kept an Everett pass in the zone and then tried to feed Shinnimin, who was camped back door on Simpson. But, Sutherland’s pass deflected off Shinnimin’s stick and went behind the net. However, the puck ricocheted off the kick plate and bounced back into the slot, where it glanced off Simpson and into the net.
But, with four minutes remaining in the second period, and unable to capitalize on a power play opportunity, Tri-City saw fortune even itself out. Just as his penalty expired, Kellan Tochkin came out of the penalty box and onto the ice, where he took a drop pass from Clayton Cumiskey and buried a shot on Owsley, pulling Everett to within one.
Tri-City, holding onto their one-goal lead in the third period, did not do themselves any favors, as they gave Everett two power play chances in the first half of the period. But, behind several big saves from Owsley, the Americans held off the hard-charging ‘Tips. Finally, on a power play of their own in the final minute of play, Tyler Schmidt connected on a shot from the high slot, capping the scoring in the contest.
Owsley, who has lowered his goals against average from 3.35 to 2.68 since the Thanksgiving holiday, picked up his 19th win of the season and has now won six of his last seven starts. Meanwhile, Simpson fell to 11-13-2-3 on the year after stopping 26 of the 29 shots he faced in the loss. The Americans finished the night 1-for-3 on the power play and was a perfect 2-of-2 on the penalty kill.
Tri-City, winners of 10 of their last 12, will now head back to the friendly confines of the Toyota Center, where they will prepare to play host to the Seattle Thunderbirds (16-14-3-4) on Tuesday, January 4. Game time is 7:05 p.m. The Americans lead the nine-game series 5-0, but with two of those wins coming via the shootout. Meanwhile, Seattle, which has lost three of their last four, will look to snap their 14-game losing streak in Kennewick. Tickets are available through all Ticketmaster outlets, including online at ticketmaster.com, the Toyota Center box office, or all Fred Meyer outlets. The game will also be broadcast live on NewsTalk 870 AM, starting with the Sterling Savings Bank Warm-up Show at 6:45 p.m.