Hughesman Nets Two in Return in Ams WinPosted: Updated:
VANCOUVER, BC – After finishing the regular season with a team-high 20 power play goals, Adam Hughesman returned to the line-up in Game 3 after missing 15 games and made an immediate impact.
Hughesman netted two man-advantage markers, while Drew Owsley completed just the 11th post-season shutout in the franchise's history, as the #4 Tri-City Americans (3-0-0, 6 pts) blanked the #5 Vancouver Giants (0-2-1, 0 pts) 4-0 in front of 7,157 fans at Pacific Coliseum. With the win, the Americans have now won a season-high six straight games, dating back to the regular season, and hold a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Meanwhile, the Giants will look to avoid their earliest playoff exit since 2005 when they host Game 4, set for tomorrow, March 30 at Pacific Coliseum. Game time is 7:00 p.m.
Following two polar opposite contests in Games 1 and 2, fans of both sides were unsure of what to expect going into Tuesday's pivotal match-up. For Tri-City, though, it had one thing in common with the others…a win.
And, although the score appeared one-sided, there was nothing but zeroes on the scoreboard until late into the second period. Following a scoreless first period, with a combined 15 shots on goal, the Americans finally broke through with just over two minutes remaining in the second.
Just 13 seconds into their third power play opportunity, Brendan Shinnimin found Hughesman in front of the net. From there, Hughesman lifted the puck over Segal's shoulder, banking it off the crossbar and into the net, for his first goal of the playoffs.
From there on out, it was all Tri-City down the stretch, as they added three more goals in the final period.
Only 2:10 into the third, Vancouver-native Connor Rankin connected on his first career post-season goal, sweeping a backhander from the right circle through the pads of Segal. Then, nearing the midway point of the period, and while playing with a 5-on-3 man-advantage, Shinnimin set-up Hughesman again, who was camped out backdoor on Segal. Finally, with 1:47 remaining in the contest, and back on the power play, Justin Feser capped the scoring in the contest off an assist from Patrick Holland.
Owsley, who stopped all 22 shots he faced, earned his third post-season shutout, tying him with his predecessor, Chet Pickard (2005-09), for 1st on the franchise's all-time list. It was the first playoff shutout since Owsley blanked the Giants 4-0 in Game 2 of last year's Conference Finals. Meanwhile, Segal fell to 0-2-1 in the series after allowing four goals on 24 shots. Tri-City finished the night 3-for-6 on the power play and was a perfect 4-of-4 on the penalty kill.
With Game 4 set for Wednesday, Tri-City will look to advance to the Conference Semi-Finals for a fourth consecutive year. Fans can catch all the action live, via WHL WebTV, at the Americans' home away from home, Kimo's Sports Café in Richland. The game will also be broadcast live on NewsTalk 870 AM, starting with the Sterling Savings Bank Warm-up Show at 6:45 p.m.