Tri-City Americans Bounce Back, 5-2 Win Over VancouverPosted: Updated:
VANCOUVER, BC - As the pressure of each passing playoff game increases, Drew Owsley and the Americans' ability to rebound after a loss becomes more and more impressive.
Owsley improved to 5-0 after suffering a playoff loss, stopping 30 shots and guiding the Tri-City Americans (10-3-2, 20 pts) past the Vancouver Giants (10-4-0, 20 pts) 5-2 in Game 4 of the Kal Tire Western Conference Finals in front of 7,428 fans at Pacific Coliseum. With the win, Tri-City knots the best-of-seven series at 2 games apiece with the series shifting back to Kennewick for Game 5 tomorrow, April 23. Game time is 7:05 p.m. at Toyota Center.
The Americans appeared to be in for a rough night on Thursday, as they were outshot 15 to 9 through the first 20 minutes. And, in the process, they fell behind midway through the period. While on the power play 9:32 into the first, Brendan Gallagher collected his 11th playoff goal when his centering pass from the goal line glanced off Jarrett Toll's skate and past a startled Owsley, giving the Giants a 1-0 lead.
Two minutes later, though, Tri-City got a couple bounces to go their way and evened the score. Seconds after he kept Kruise Reddick's face-off win inside the zone, Brett Plouffe let a shot go that deflected off the stick of a Vancouver defenseman and past Mark Segal for his first goal of the playoffs.
Then, five minutes into the second period, the Americans started to turn things around. After he won the battle for the puck in the corner, Justin Feser found Jarrett Toll in the high slot. Toll then fired the puck on net where, parked at the top of the crease, Jordan Messier was able to redirect the shot past Segal and notch his third goal in as many games.
However, a third straight penalty call on Tri-City put the Giants back on the power play. And, with 40 seconds remaining on the man-advantage, Milan Kytnar sent a pass right onto the tape of David Musil's stick, who guided the puck into the open net and tied the game at 2.
But, on their first opportunity of the night, the Tri-City power play quickly regained the lead for the Americans. Just 22 seconds in, Brendan Shinnimin fired a shot that bounced off of two different skates, and then went straight to Adam Hughesman waiting at the near post. From there, it was an easy put back for Hughesman, who collected his second goal this post-season.
After a couple of early chances for Tri-City just seconds into the third period, it was rough sailing for both squads over the remaining 20 minutes of the game. As time ticked away and still down by one, Vancouver coach Don Hay pulled Segal for the extra attacker with 1:25 remaining in regulation. But, with 47 seconds left, Shinnimin poked the puck loose from Craig Cunningham and passed it up to Reddick. Once Reddick passed center ice, he launched a shot dead center into the empty net to put the Americans up 4-2.
Following the goal, the Giants used their lone timeout then elected to pull Segal again. In a similar play, Reddick was able to get the puck into the hands of Feser, who from near the exact same spot, found the back of the empty net to cap the scoring in the contest.
Even before the extra attacker hit the ice, the Giants provided plenty of pressure in the Tri-City zone over the final minutes of regulation. However, another strong performance from Owsley and the Americans' defense allowed few quality opportunities for Vancouver down the stretch.
In the end, Owsley picked up 30 saves to record his 10th playoff win, moving him into sole possession of 3rd place on the Americans' all-time wins list. Meanwhile, Segal stopped 20 of the 23 shots he faced in the loss. Tri-City finished the night 1-for-2 on the power play, while Vancouver was 2-for-3 on the man-advantage.
Applebee's 3 Stars:
1, Drew Owsley, Tri-City
2, Kruise Reddick, Tri-City