Yuen nets two but comeback falls short in KelownaPosted: Updated:
By Tri-City Americans
KELOWNA, BC – Players often say there is no such thing as a ‘good loss.' The Tri-City coaching staff, however, should be able to pull several good things from Wednesday night's defeat.
Down by three goals twice in the contest, the Tri-City Americans (3-2-0-0, 6 pts) climbed to within one, but ran out of time as the Kelowna Rockets (3-0-0-0, 6 pts) held on for a 4-3 win in front of 6,021 fans at Prospera Place. With the win, the Rockets remain undefeated to start the 2011-12 season and, including the pre-season, have won nine straight games to start the year. Meanwhile, Tri-City fell to 1-2 on the road to start the year and have lost three straight regular season games to Kelowna, the first time that has happened since the 2004-05 season (0-3-1-0).
Wednesday's contest started as a typical Rockets/Americans slugfest. However, it was the Rockets, with their one shot advantage after 20 minutes, who also held a 1-0 lead. Nearly seven minutes into the period, Tri-City goaltender Ty Rimmer made two great saves, the first on a partial breakaway attempt by Tyson Baillie and the ensuing rebound attempt by Cody Chikie. But, Rimmer was unable to control Chikie's rebound, which sat in the crease until Baillie returned to chip it in the net.
But, within the first six minutes of the second period, the Rockets had opened up their first 3-goal lead of the contest. Just 1:14 into the second, Spencer Main shelved a Tyrell Goulbourne rebound following a 2-on-1 breakaway. Then, 4:40 later, Goulbourne got one of his own after redirecting a Mitchell Chapman shot from the point.
As the game neared the midway point, though, Tri-City finally got on the scoreboard. Breaking in on Rockets' netminder, Adam Brown, Adam Hughesman fed Zachary Yuen as the third man high, whose shot from the top of the left circle beat Brown over his glove, making it a 3-1 game.
However, 3:20 later, and on a 2-on-1 breakaway, Colton Sissons flicked a wrist shot from the bottom of the left circle, over Rimmer's glove, to regain Kelowna's three-goal cushion.
The goal, though, seemed to spark the Americans, who began to swarm around Brown and the Kelowna defense. With only 1:18 gone of the third period, Tri-City pulled back to within two following Michal Plutnar's shot from the slot. Then, almost eight minutes later, and on the power play, Yuen connected for a second time, again beating Brown high over his glove.
Tri-City went on to outchance the Rockets 10 to 3 in the final period but, even with Rimmer pulled for the final 1:20, they just could not find the equalizer. Brown, who made several key saves throughout the night, went on to collect 29 saves on 32 shots to earn his third win of the season. Meanwhile, Rimmer, who also put in a fine effort in goal, finished with 19 saves while suffering his first loss of the season. The Americans finished the night 1-for-4 on the power play and were a perfect 4-of-4 on the penalty kill.