Americans Bounce Back Against BruinsPosted: Updated:
CHILLIWACK, BC – Following a night where nothing seemed to go right, the Americans responded with all the right moves on Sunday.
Adam Hughesman scored twice, while Carter Ashton, Brendan Shinnimin and Tyler Schmidt each had three point nights, as the visiting Tri-City Americans (35-15-2-1, 73 pts) caged the Chilliwack Bruins (24-27-2-2, 52 pts) 6-1 in front of 3,804 fans at Prospera Centre. With the win, Tri-City moved back to within one point of the second-place Spokane Chiefs, who dropped a 3-1 decision in Seattle. The Americans also evened the four-game season series with the Bruins at 1-game apiece. Meanwhile, Chilliwack saw their three-game winning streak come to an end as they cling to the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
After a less than stellar performance in Spokane, the Americans' top line of Hughesman, Shinnimin and Ashton were the centerpieces of Tri-City's offense on Sunday.
Just 5:14 into the contest, Shinnimin took a stretch pass from Schmidt, who then broke in all alone on Lucas Gore. Shinnimin proceeded to net his 25th goal of the season, to give Tri-City the early lead. Then, four and a half minutes later, Hughesman banged in his first of two on the night during a scramble in front of Gore, making it 2-0.
Late in the first period, however, Chilliwack pulled to within one when Ryan Howse notched his team-leading 40th goal of the season from in the slot. But, it proved to be as close as the Bruins would get.
Only 1:24 after Howse's goal, and with 1:01 remaining in the first, Ashton stuffed his 23rd goal of the year past Gore, as Tri-City regained their two-goal lead headed into the break.
Tri-City though, made things harder on themselves in the second period, as they handed the Bruins four of their seven total power plays, including two partial 5-on-3's. But, the Americans not only managed to kill off all four man-advantage opportunities for the Bruins, they also outchanced them 11 to 8 in the period, carrying their 3-1 lead into the final period of play.
After a scoreless second, the scoring resumed at the 3:08 mark of the third period when Kruise Reddick shelved a one-timer on Gore. Then, near the midway mark of the period, and on the power play, Hughesman recorded his team-leading 38th goal of the season to make it 5-1. Finally, with 6:41 left in regulation, David Conrad registered his second goal in as many games, capping the scoring in the contest.
It was a solid night for Tri-City goaltender, Chris Driedger, who was making just his fourth WHL start in place of the injured Drew Owsley. Driedger stopped 20 of the 21 shots he faced to improve to 3-1 on the year. Meanwhile, Gore allowed six goals on 39 shots in 53:32 of work before giving way to back-up Braden Gamble. Gamble played the final 6:28, stopping all 5 shots he saw. The Americans finished the night 2-for-3 on the power play and was a perfect 7-of-7 on the penalty kill.