Shinnimin nets two as Americans top Chiefs 3-1Posted: Updated:
By Dan Mulhausen
KENNEWICK, Wash – With Halloween just around the corner, the Tri-City/Spokane contest on Saturday night served up a nice treat for the 4,806 in attendance.
Brendan Shinnimin notched his first multi-goal game of the season and Ty Rimmer turned in yet another strong effort in front of the home crowd, as the Tri-City Americans (11-5-0-0, 22 pts) held off the rival Spokane Chiefs (8-3-0-1, 17 pts) 3-1 at the Toyota Center. With the win, Tri-City takes a 2-1 advantage in the 12-game season series while improving to 7-2 on home ice this season. Meanwhile, the Chiefs saw their 7-game winning streak snapped and remain winless on the road this season. The two rivals will get reacquainted a week from tonight in Spokane.
Despite a combined 13 power play chances on the evening, Tri-City did most of their damage skating 5-aside. And, at the 7:26 mark of the first period, Shinnimin got the ball rolling. After Adam Hughesman corralled a loose puck, he and Shinnimin broke into the Spokane zone on a 2-on-1. Hughesman passed it off to Shinnimin, who let a blast go from the left circle that glanced off the catching glove of Mac Engel and into the Spokane net.
But, the lead was short lived, as Spokane notched their lone goal of the contest on the man-advantage. After coming up empty on a 28-second 5-on-3 power play, Spokane's Blake Gal parked himself backdoor on Rimmer and, with 3:02 left in the period, Steven Kuhn found Gal in the slot, who knocked in his 2nd goal of the season.
The second period was every bit as wild, with both teams going on and off power play chances. By the end of the period, both squads managed 13 shots on goal, yet the score remained knotted at 1 headed into the third.
In the third, things began to finally settle in, as space became harder and harder to come by in the attacking zone. And, although they came up empty for the 7th time on the man-advantage, nine seconds later, the Americans found the back of the net. With 7:01 left in regulation, Shinnimin fired a shot off that appeared to change direction in front of Engel, eventually slipping between the Spokane netminder's pads and across the goal line.
Looking for the tie, Chiefs' head coach Don Nachbaur pulled Engel with 1:32 left to play. But, 32 seconds later, Patrick Holland was able to break free from the Spokane forecheck and take off with Justin Feser in tow. Holland eventually dished the puck to Feser, who buried the empty netter and capped the scoring in the contest.
Throughout the night, both goaltenders put on a show, as each made several big saves to keep the game close. In the end, Rimmer improved to 7-3 on the year by stopping 28 of the 29 shots he faced. At home, Rimmer is now 5-1 with a 1.09 goals against average and a 0.963 save percentage. Meanwhile, Engel took the tough-luck loss after picking up a career-high 39 saves on 41 shots. The 42 total shots the Chiefs faced on Saturday were the most they have allowed all season. Tri-City finished the night 0-for-7 on the power play, while Spokane went 1-of-6 on the man-advantage.
Both teams will now have a week to rest up and prepare for next Saturday's rematch, slated for November 5 at Veterans Memorial Arena. Game time is 7:05 p.m. Spokane will put their 8-0 home record on the line, while the Americans will look to win their third consecutive road game after two 1-0 wins in Prince George last week. Fans can catch all the action live, via WHL WebTV, at Kimo's, the Americans' home away from home, starting at 7:00 p.m. The game will also be aired locally on My Network TV channel 78 and 280 for Charter customers, as well as 35.2 and/or 42.2 on your digital tuner. 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, Ty Rimmer, Tri-City
2, Mac Engel, Spokane
3, Brendan Shinnimin, Tri-City