WHL Roundup: Americans double up Hurricanes to begin road trip
Tri-City Americans (6) at Lethbridge Hurricanes (3)
Tri-City (28-19-7-1) // Lethbridge (26-24-6-0)
With four decently-challenging games staring them down on their road trip, the Tri-City Americans passed the first test with flying colours, earning a 6-3 win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the only game on the WHL schedule Tuesday.
Heading into the game with an 0-3-0-1 record, average just two goals per game over that span, the Americans received two-goal efforts from Parker AuCoin and Riley Sawchuk powered the Ams offence while a goal and two assists from Juuso Valimaki (Calgary Flames) also helped contribute to the Ams’ 28th win of the season.
Sawchuk and Brad Morrison traded goals in the first. From the beginning of the second, the Americans never trailed. AuCoin’s first of the game came 3:41 into the middle period, followed minutes later by Taylor Ross’ 15th of the season to tie up the game.
Valimaki would convert later on in the period though, pushing the Americans ahead by a goal after 40 minutes. Logan Barlage would tie up the game with his fifth of the season early in the third, but the Ams would tack on goals from AuCoin, captain Michael Rasmussen (Detroit Red Wings) and Sawchuk’s second of the game into the empty net to clinch the victory.
Patrick Dea stopped 27 of 30 shots for the victory, his 15th of the season. Reece Klassen stopped 29 of 34 shots for the Hurricanes in the loss.
Seven different players picked up a single assist for the Americans in the victory, including Jake Bean (Carolina Hurricanes) who will face his former team when the Americans take on the Calgary Hitmen Wednesday, February 14 (7:00 p.m. MST).
Dylan Cozens had a pair of assists to give him 41 points (16G-25A) in 42 games this season, keeping him within striking distance of rookie scoring leader Peyton Krebs from the Kootenay ICE, who has 45 points (15G-30A) in 52 games.
Morrison’s goal put him one point shy of 250 for his WHL career.
While the Americans head north to take on the Hitmen, the Hurricanes will continue their three-game home stand Friday, February 16 ((7:00 p.m. MST) when they welcome the Saskatoon Blades to town.
Using up the game they had in hand on the Seattle Thunderbirds, the Americans moved within a point of the T-Birds for third place in the U.S. Division. The Hurricanes meanwhile missed an opportunity to pull themselves to within three points of the Medicine Hat Tigers for the division lead, but still have two gams in-hand to get closer.
The WHL is honoured to recognize @WHLHurricanes Director of Player Development Bob Bartlett with the WHL Distinguished Service Award.
— The WHL (@TheWHL) February 14, 2018
— Tri-City Americans (@TCAmericans) February 14, 2018