Ams Survive Game Two and take 2-0 Series LeadPosted: Updated:
One night after team defense stole the show, it was the offense's turn to take center ice. Justin Feser – with a goal and two assists – was one of five different skaters to score, lifting the #4 Tri-City Americans (2-0-0, 4 pts) past the visiting #5 Vancouver Giants (0-1-1, 0 pts) 5-4 in Game 2 of their Conference Quarter-Final meeting at the Toyota Center. With the win, the Americans, who have won a season-high five straight dating back to the regular season, now lead the best-of-seven series 2-0, which shifts to Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum for Game 3 on Tuesday, March 29. Game time is 7:00 p.m.
Unlike Friday's game where the clubs needed fortunate bounces just to score, goals came coming early and often in Game 2. Just 24 seconds into the contest, and on the first shot of the game, Brendan Gallagher found daylight between the pads of Drew Owsley, giving the Giants an early 1-0 lead.
Sparked by the early deficit, the Americans responded with three goals of their own. Only 2:32 after Gallagher's goal, the first came off the stick of Brendan Shinnimin, who redirected Tyler Schmidt's shot from the point, tying the game at 1. Then, as the period neared the midway point, and playing four-aside, Patrick Holland used his speed to get around the Giants' defense and beat Mark Segal for his first goal of the playoffs. Then, with 5:51 left in the period, and playing shorthanded, Justin Feser tipped Holland's pass past Segal, giving Tri-City a 3-1 lead.
But, just 1:03 before the first break, Vancouver cut their deficit to one after Michael Burns recorded a power play marker on a pass from Greg Lamoureux. Then, only 1:52 into the second period, brother Nathan Burns picked up his first post-season goal, tying the game at 3.
However, the pendulum was not doing swinging, as two Tri-City goals three minutes apart, put the momentum back in the Americans' corner. At the 6:30 mark of the second period, Neal Prokop ripped a shot over the glove of Segal, as Tri-City regained the lead. Then, at the midway point of the period, and on a 5-on-3 power play, Matt MacKenzie sent a drive from the high slot, through the pads of Segal, for the eventual game-winning goal.
Before the period was over, though, Vancouver pulled back to within one at 5-4, after Jordan Martinook beat Owsley low on the glove side.
Throughout the third period, both teams missed out on numerous chances to add to their totals. But, even with Segal pulled over the final 1:07, the Giants could not get the equalizer.
Owsley picked up his second win of the post-season behind a 28-save effort. Meanwhile, Segal, who allowed five goals on 33 shots, suffered a second straight loss. Tri-City finished the night 1-for-5 on the power play, while Vancouver went 2-for-9 on the man-advantage.