Americans Beat Prince George, 3-1Posted: Updated:
AMERICANS SET NEW HOME RECORD MARK IN 3-1 WIN OVER COUGARS
Tri-City collects franchise-best 30th home win of the season
KENNEWICK, WA - Entering the 2008-09 season, over the past two seasons, the Tri-City Americans held a home record of 56-14-0-2. In that span, they also established new franchise-bests for home wins in a season, collecting 27 in 2006-07 and 29 in 2007-08.
Well, on Sunday night they rewrote the record books yet again, as Brett Martyniuk stopped 16 shots and Lane Werbowski notched the game-winner to lead the Tri-City Americans (49-19-0-3, 101 pts) past the visiting Prince George Cougars (25-44-0-3, 53 pts) 3-1 in front of a sold-out crowd of 5,944 fans at Toyota Center. With the win, the Americans swept their four-game season series with the Cougars and set a new franchise-high for home wins in a season (30). The win also lifted Tri-City over the 100-point plateau for the second straight season. Meanwhile, the Cougars wrapped up their regular season with their fifth straight defeat.
With the drop of the puck to start the contest, the Americans took control. Tri-City outshot the Cougars 18 to 5 over the first 20 minutes and finished the game with a 42 to 17 shot advantage. Finally, with just over seven minutes remaining in the first period, Jarrett Toll let a shot go from the top of the circle, beating rookie goaltender Michael Salmon.
The lead stood until the midway point of the second period, when Tyler Halliday ruined Martyniuk's shutout bid. While on the power play, Martyniuk made the initial save on Halliday's shot, but the puck bounced up and over the goaltender, tying the game at 1.
Despite Tri-City's heavy shot advantage, the game remained tied going into the final period of play. Finally, at the six-minute mark of the third period, Lane Werbowski was able to knock in a Mitch Fadden rebound, putting the Americans on top for good. Then, with 10 seconds remaining in regulation and Salmon pulled for the extra attacker, Fadden broke-up a Cougars' pass and nailed the empty netter, capping the scoring in the contest.
In one of his best performances of the year, Martyniuk earned his seventh win of the season. Meanwhile, in just his second career start, Salmon finished the night with 39 saves in the tough-luck loss. The Americans ended the night 0-for-4 on the power play, while Prince George was 1-for-3 on the man-advantage.
Tri-City will now wrap-up the 2008-09 regular season on Tuesday, March 17, as they make-up their postponed game with the Spokane Chiefs. Game time is 7:05 p.m. The Americans are still shooting for their second straight 50-win season and are looking to even-up the best-of-12 regular season series with the Chiefs. Meanwhile, Spokane will be battling for the #3 seed in the Western Conference, as they currently sit one point back of Kelowna. Fans that purchased tickets to Saturday's postponed game can use their same tickets on Tuesday, including those that purchased 'standing room only' tickets.