Saskatoon Sticks Tri-City, 5-1Posted: Updated:
SASKATOON, SK -- The Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon truly is a house of horrors for the Tri-City Americans.
Burke Gallimore had two goals and the Saskatoon Blades (2-4-0-0, 4 pts) used three third-period goals to dice up the visiting Tri-City Americans (3-2-0-0, 6 pts) 5-1 on Saturday night. For the Blades, the win marked just their second win of the season and snapped their three-game losing skid. Meanwhile, the loss dropped the Americans to 1-2 on the road this season and continued their futility at Credit Union Centre, winning just once in 17 visits to the Saskatchewan arena.
For the second straight night, the Americans' opponent got off to a quick start, this time is was the Blades who jumped out early. Just 2:27 into the contest, and on the power play, Gallimore notched his first goal of the night from the slot. Then, just over a minute later, Josh Nicholls collected his first-career WHL goal when he beat Tri-City starter, Chet Pickard, from the left circle. Nicholls' shot rang off the left post and past Pickard for the early 2-0 lead.
But, with six minutes remaining in the period, Tri-City found some life on the power play. After passes from Brooks Macek and Eric Mestery, defenseman Brett Plouffe buried a slap shot past Blades' goaltender Braden Holtby, pulling the Americans within one headed into the first intermission.
Despite outshooting the Blades 11 to 9 in the second period, the Americans were unable to connect on either of their two power play chances and went into the second intermission still down one.
In the third period, Saskatoon used another quick offensive outburst to put the contest away for good. Just 3:22 into the third period, Saskatoon's Travis Toomey recorded the first of three Blade goals in a four-minute span. Over three minutes later, Gallimore followed with his second of the night, followed by a Charles Inglis goal 28 seconds later, to cap the scoring for Saskatoon.
Pickard, who was pulled in favor of rookie Drew Owsley after Saskatoon's fourth goal, picked up his second loss of the season. Meanwhile, Holtby stopped 32 of the 33 shots he faced in the win. Tri-City finished the night 1-for-7 on the power play, while the Blades went 1-of-6.
The road does not get any easier for Tri-City, as they now head three hours south to take on the currently undefeated Swift Current Broncos on Tuesday, October 7. Game time is 6:30 p.m. (PST) at the Credit Union I-Plex. In their only match-up last season, Tri-City downed the Broncos 3-2 at Toyota Center, giving the Americans two straight wins over Swift Current.