Comrie rewrites history books with 2nd straight 1-0 winPosted: Updated:
By Dan Mulhausen
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – In two games, scoring only two goals and going 1-for-14 on the power play in generally does not get labeled as a good weekend. However, it was all the Americans needed in Prince George to walk away with 4 points.
Nathan MacMaster scored his first goal as a member of the Tri-City Americans (10-4-0-0, 20 pts) and Eric Comrie posted his second consecutive shutout, guiding the visitors past the host Prince George Cougars (3-8-0-1, 7 pts) 1-0 in front of 1,663 fans at the CN Centre. With the win, Tri-City picked up their third straight win and won back-to-back road games for the first time this season. Meanwhile, the Cougars remain winless at home and have now dropped their last five games overall.
For Comrie, he becomes the first Americans goaltender to ever win consecutive 1-0 games, and the first 16-year-old goaltender in the franchise's history to record back-to-back shutout victories. Current Montreal Canadiens' goaltender, Carey Price, had three straight shutouts in December of 2004, but Price was 17 at the time. The win marked just the eighth time in Tri-City's history that they have won back-to-back games via shutout. Drew Owsley was the last to do it, back on Dec. 18-19, 2009. In addition to Comrie, Owsley and Price (twice), other Americans' netminders to post consecutive shutout wins include Chet Pickard (Jan. 30-31, 2009), Jeff Blair (Feb. 20-26, 1999), David Trofimenkoff (Feb. 26-28, 1995) and Lance Leslie (Feb. 16-20, 1993).
To quote Yankee's great, Yogi Berra, it was déjà vu all over again for the Americans and Cougars on Saturday, as the contest followed a nearly identical script to Friday's contest. And, just like on Friday, the game remained scoreless until the second period.
This time, instead of waiting until the final minute, Tri-City took the one-goal lead just 5:23 into the second. On an innocent play, Jordan Messier brought the puck up the right wing half wall and then fired off a shot on the Cougars' Drew Owsley. MacMaster, playing in just his 8th game with the Americans, was parked in front on the Prince George net and eventually redirected Messier's shot past Owsley, then watched as the puck slowly trickled across the goal line for his first of the season.
That would be all that Comrie and the Tri-City defense would need, stifling the Cougars for a second straight night. After stopping 17 shots the night before, Comrie finished Saturday's game with 30 saves to improve to 4-2 on the year. Meanwhile, it was another tough-luck loss for Owsley against his former team, allowing the one goal on 25 shots faced. Tri-City finished the night 0-for-5 on the power play, yet was a perfect 7-of-7 on the penalty kill.
Winners of three straight, the Americans will now head back to the friendly confines of the Toyota Center, where they will prepare for their first-ever match-up with the B.C. Division's Victoria Royals (7-6-0-0) on Tuesday, October 25. Game time is 7:05 p.m. The Royals, who spent the last five seasons competing as the Chilliwack Bruins, come in having won three of their last four games. However, Kennewick was unkind to the Bruins, who were just 2-8-1-0 all-time inside the Toyota Center. Meanwhile, the Americans will be looking to improve on their 6-1 home record and stretch their current winning streak to a season-high 4 games. Tickets are available through all Ticketmaster outlets, including online at ticketmaster.com, the Toyota Center box office, or all Fred Meyer outlets. 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.
Applebee's 3 Stars:
1, Eric Comrie, Tri-City
2, Spencer Asuchak, Prince George
3, Mason Wilgosh, Tri-City