KENNEWICK, WA - The Tri-City Americans scored twice on the power play as they beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes 4-1 Friday night.
After a rather strange rendition of the Canadian national anthem, the puck dropped in this game and the Tri-City Americans would open the scoring on their first shot of the night. Just over a minute into the game, Parker Bowles tipped in a Michel Plutnar point shot giving the Americans a quick 1-0 lead. This was the 3rd time in 6 games this season that Rimmer has allowed a goal on the first shot he's faced. After that, Rimmer settled down, but Tri-City would notch one more before the end of the period. Connor Rankin moved in on the power play, blew past the Lethbridge defenceman and roofed a backhander over Rimmer to give the Americans a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes of play. The shots favoured the Ams 10-8.
In the second, the Hurricanes would finally hit the scoreboard. Sam McKecnhie fired a shot over the shoulder of Eric Comrie in the Americans goal to make it a 2-1 game in favour of Tri-City, but that didn't last long. Just 56 seconds later, Justin Feser came down the ice and snapped a shot past Rimmer to give the Americans a two goal lead again, this time 3-1. The Hurricanes had a few more chances as the period moved on, but that's the way the period would end. Lethbridge held the edge in shots 20-18.
In the third, the Hurricanes would pick up their play even more, but they just couldn't find a way to bear Eric Comrie. Lethbridge had several good scoring chances in the final period. The Tri-City goaltender was excellent the entire period as the Canes out shot the Ams 17-7. Tri-City would add one more before the end of the game when Dryden Dow beat Rimmer on the power play and that would it as the Americans would win it 4-1. Lethbridge had numerous scoring chances as they out shot Tri-City 37-25. The loss drops the Hurricanes record to 2-3 on the season. Assistant Coach Chris Chisamore said after the game "we did a lot of good things, but we have to get off to a better start. Stop giving up goals on the first shot of the game."
Hurricanes defenceman Joel Topping faced off against his older brother Mitch for the first time in the WHL. Mitch Topping is a veteran 20 year old defenceman with the Americans and has been in the Western Hockey League for a few seasons now, previously playing with Chilliwack and Victoria. Joel told me before the game both Mitch and himself were very much looking forward to this game.
HURRICANES INJURY UPDATE
A couple of players missed this trip with injury. Ryan Pilon, who the Hurricanes thought would be ready to play this weekend was given a few more days to rest up. Pilon took a hit to the head in Medicine Hat a few weeks ago and is still suffering the effects of that. He should be ready to go sometime next week. Tyler Won also missed the trip. He took a high hit in Kootenay last weekend and suffered a slight upper body injury. He shouldn't be out long either. The Hurricanes did get Axel Blomqvist back this weekend. He missed the last few games with injury. Brady Ramsay sat out the first of a 5 game suspension in Tri-City. He received the suspension for an incident near the end of the Canes game in Cranbrook last weekend.
The Hurricanes will close out this quick trip to the US with a game Saturday night (Oct. 6) at Veterans Memorial Arena in Spokane. Like The Tri-City game, this will be one and only meeting this season between the two hockey clubs. Game time is 8:00 pm (MDT). The pre-game show on CJOC at 7:30. The Canes return home after this game to southern Alberta and get set for a 6 game home stand which begins Tuesday night (Oct. 9) when they host the visiting Prince Albert Raiders.