Rimmer, Americans blank Portland 4-0Posted: Updated:
PORTLAND, Ore. – Coming off his ‘worst' outing of the year last Wednesday in Kelowna, all Ty Rimmer did on Sunday was stop each of the 43 shots he faced.
In addition to Rimmer's stellar goaltending, the Tri-City Americans (5-2-0-0, 10 pts) got two-point nights from Adam Hughesman, Justin Feser and Brendan Shinnimin to blank the host Portland Winterhawks (4-4-0-0, 8 pts) 4-0 in front of 2,400 fans at the Memorial Coliseum. With the win, Tri-City improved their record to 4-1 vs. the U.S. Division including a perfect 3-0 mark vs. Portland to start the year. Meanwhile, Portland has now dropped two of their last three games. After playing three times in the first two weeks of the season, the rivalry will take a six-week hiatus before Tri-City and Portland meet again.
From the onset, Rimmer needed to be at his best, as Tri-City handed the ‘Hawks a 35-second 5-on-3 advantage and three power plays in the first half of the contest. But Rimmer and the Americans' defense were up to the task.
Meanwhile, late in the first period, Tri-City scored their first goal of the game. With 3:02 left to play in the first, newly acquired Nathan MacMaster sent a perfect circle-to-circle pass to Justin Feser, who then skated into the slot and beat Portland's Mac Carruth at the near post.
It remained a tense one-goal game until just past the midway point of the second period. Only 24 seconds into their fifth power play, Feser made a nice play to keep the puck in the zone and then fed the puck Shinnimin in the far circle. From there, Shinnimin found Hughesman in the left circle, whose shot found daylight between Carruth's pads. Then, just 1:30 later, Shinnimin redirected a Connor Rankin shot from the right circle, tipping the puck over Carruth's shoulder and into the net for a 3-0 lead.
Despite a 21 shot effort by Portland in the third period, Tri-City's lead remained at three until the final minute of regulation. With Carruth pulled for the extra attacker, Mason Wilgosh passed the puck up to Hughesman, who took one stride over the red line and nailed a center ice shot into the empty net, capping the scoring in the contest.
Rimmer's 43 shots faced, who lowered his goals against average to 1.79 in five games, was the most since he faced 47 shots in a March 4, 2011 vs. Spokane while playing with Prince George. He now ranks 2nd in the WHL in save percentage (0.946) and 3rd in goals against average while improving to 3-1 on the year. Meanwhile, Carruth finished with 18 saves on 21 shots while suffering his fourth loss of the season. Tri-City finished the night 1-for-7 on the power play and was a perfect 6-of-6 on the penalty kill.