Tri-City unable to solve Hart, drop second-straight at home

Kennewick, Wa. The Tri-City Americans (13-7-2-0, 28 pts.) were looking to start another home win streak after their first one ended at seven when they lost to Victoria Saturday night. They were, however, playing without some big names. Michael Rasmussen, Juuso Välimäki, Isaac Johnson, and Parker Aucoin were all scratched for the contest. The Everett Silvertips (11-12-1-1, 24 pts.) have been playing much better lately thanks in big part to goalie Carter Hart who has been phenomenal between the pipes for the Silvertips. Would that play continue?

It didn’t take long for the Everett Silvertips (11-12-1-1) to establish that this wasn’t just a weeknight tilt for them the night before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. They came out attacking the offensive zone hard, minimizing defensive liabilities, and taking advantage of opportunities. That first opportunity came at the 2:57 mark of the opening period as defenseman Kevin Davis picked up an Americans’ turnover deep in their zone and buried his fourth of the season. At 8:59, Everett left winger Martin Fasko-Rudas notched his first WHL goal on another Tri-City turnover deep in their zone. The Americans physical play was working in overdrive to slow the Silvertips down. They were able to settle the play down for he rest of the period and even outshot Everett 12-11 in the opening frame. But Everett’s disruptive defense shut down any quality chances, and goalie Carter Hart stopped all the shots he faced.

 

The second period was really more of the same from both teams. Tri-City (13-7-2-0) was physical, buzzing, and frustrated. What Everett may lack in talent, they make up for with playing their system so well. They’re patient and opportunistic. The Americans weren’t able to solve that through two periods. In fact, the uphill climb they were facing in the final frame got even deeper for them. After some questionable calls, the Americans found themselves facing a 4-on-3 penalty kill situation. Strong defensive play by Tri-City saw the 4-on-3 turn into a 5-on-4 with the Americans having the only quality scoring chance while playing shorthanded. With just a few seconds left on that man-advantage, the Silvertips took advantage of another Tri-City turnover. Everett forward Bryce Kindopp buried his fifth of the season to give the Silvertips the 3-0 lead. The Americans continued to push, but Everett continued to clog lanes and keep the play to the outside. Tri-City was outshot 14-10 during the second.

The Americans sorely outshot Everett 21-2 in the third period, but in the end in didn’t matter. Hart stopped all 43 shots he faced for his third shutout of the season. Even though they had 43 shots, the Americans were unable to get any real quality chances thanks to Everett’s patient defensive scheme. Beck Warm stopped 24 of the 27 shots he faced in the loss to bring his six-game win streak to an end. Tri-City was 0-for-2 on the power play while Everett went 1-for-3 with the man advantage. Tri-City will host the Regina Pats (13-10-2-0) Friday night in the fourth game of their seven game home stand. Everett returns home on Friday to host the Spokane Chiefs (12-8-1-2).

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Aaron Piper

Hockey became cool when I watched Wayne’s World. It became passion after my first (of many) Hampton Roads/Norfolk Admirals’ games in the 90’s. It became life when I started doing video and writing work for the Tri-City Americans. Philadelphia Flyers fan and owner of Buried Puck Threads. Follow Aaron on Twitter @aaronmpiper.