Feser wins it with 51.2 left, Americans hold off 'Hawks 4-3Posted: Updated:
PORTLAND, OR. -- Sequels rarely live up to expectations, but Sunday's rematch between Portland and Tri-City was another thriller for the fans.
Ty Rimmer kicked aside 48 shots, while Justin Feser scored the game-winner with 51.2 seconds remaining, and the visiting Tri-City Americans (46-17-1-2, 95 pts) knocked off the Portland Winterhawks (46-16-3-1, 96 pts) 4-3 in front of 10,224 fans inside the Rose Garden. With the win, the Americans snapped their 4-game losing skid to Portland, while winning the season series 6-4. Meanwhile, Portland lost in regulation for the first time since February 4, a span of 13 games. However, in the race for the division and conference crown, Portland still holds a 1 point lead over Tri-City with 6 games left in the 2011-12 schedule.
Despite having the WHL's top-2 penalty killing units in action, the game's first 5 goals were all scored on the power play. And, just over seven minutes into the 1st period, it was the Americans' special team units that got the scoring started. Taking a feed from Feser, Brendan Shinnimin fired a shot low on Mac Carruth's glove side, recording his 54th goal of the season.
Two minutes later, though, Sven Bartschi connected from inside the slot, recording his first of two goals on the night to tie the game at 1. But, with 5:35 left in the period, Connor Rankin wrapped around the ‘Hawks' net and tucked a shot between Carruth's pads, giving Tri-City a 2-1 lead.
Then, just 3:42 into the 2nd period, and back on the power play, Adam Hughesman capitalized on a Zachary Yuen rebound, shoveling a shot past Carruth for his 40th marker on the year.
But, some costly penalties midway through the 2nd allowed Portland to pull back to within one. Near the midway point of the period, and playing with a 5-on-3 advantage, Brad Ross finally beat Rimmer on his third try, cutting the Americans' advantage back down to one.
Then, only 2:20 into the 3rd period, Bartschi scored a beauty, finding just enough space over Rimmer's shoulder, to tie the game at 3. But, despite an onslaught of shots, the ‘Hawks would not beat Rimmer again.
Meanwhile, inside the final minute of regulation, Malte Strömwall carried the puck behind the ‘Hawks' net, before sending a cross-ice feed to Feser through traffic. Feser then lifted a shot over Carruth for the game-winner.
Rimmer, who stopped 37 of 39 over the final 40 minutes, finished with 48 saves on 51 shots, improving to 27-11-0-1 on the year. Meanwhile, Carruth turned aside 18 of the 22 shots he faced in the loss. Tri-City finished the game by going 3-for-6 on the power play, while Portland went 2-of-6 on the man-advantage.
The Americans will now take a much-needed day off on Monday, before getting back on the bus and heading across the border on Wednesday, March 7, when they will face-off against the Vancouver Giants (37-25-1-3). Game time is 7:00 p.m. at Pacific Coliseum. Vancouver comes in having lost 5 of their last 7, while the Americans look to take the season series for a third straight year. Fans can catch all the action live, via WHL Live, at Kimo's, the Americans' home away from home, starting at 7:00 p.m. 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.
With a goal tonight, Brendan Shinnimin moved into a tie with Dylan Gyori (127) for 6th on the Americans' all-time goals scored list. He also stretched his point streak to 17 games, two shy of the League record for the season...With an assist tonight, Patrick Holland recorded his 199th career WHL point. It also stretched his active assist streak to 14 games, which ties the longest mark in the League this season...Prior to Sunday's game, Jordan Messier was suspended for an undetermined amount of time following a supplemental discipline review filed by Everett from Saturday's contest. He served his first game tonight in Portland...The Americans are 7-0 this year when entering a game having lost back-to-back games.