Tri-City Americans pummel Winterhawks

February 15, 2013 

PORTLAND — Troy Trombley finished with 41 saves in his first Western Hockey League start to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 6-2 victory Friday night over the Portland Winterhawks at Memorial Coliseum.

Justin Feser and Zach Yuen each had a goal and two assists for the Americans, who handed the Winterhawks their worst loss on home ice this season.

It’s hard to single anyone out in a game like that,” said Tri-City coach Jim Hiller in a telephone interview. “Our defense had its best game of the year, and Zach Yuen had his best game of the year.”

Tri-City (32-22-1-2, 67 points) kept pace with Spokane (70 points) and Victoria (69 points) in the Western Conference race for fourth place. The Americans host the Chiefs tonight.

“We have a chance to make it a great weekend,” Hiller said. We’ve only done half, but we’ve set ourselves up for (tonight).”

Trombley, brought in to back up Luke Lee-Knight after Eric Comrie went down with a season-ending hip injury, stopped 22 of 23 shots in the first and all nine in the second.

“Troy makes himself look pretty good with that start,” Hiller said. “We have run Luke hard and we wanted to make sure Troy got some time in. He had a couple of sessions with (goalie coach) Lyle (Mast) and away he went.”

Portland (46-9-1-2), which leads the WHL with 95 points, scored the first goal of the game as Oliver Bjorkstrand found the net at 8:58 of the first.

It was all Tri-City from there.

Jesse Mychan scored in the first period to tie the score at 1-1, while Yuen and Connor Rankin scored in the second to put the Americans out front 3-1.

The Winterhawks opened the third on the power play, but the only goal would come from Feser, who scored his third short-handed goal of the season just 36 seconds into the period.

“That was the goal of the game, without a doubt,” Hiller said.

Brian Williams and Mitch Topping also scored in the third as the Americans enjoyed a 6-1 lead before Chase De Leo converted a Tri-City turnover into a goal at 17:13.

Portland starter Mac Carruth allowed five goals on 24 shots. Brendan Burke finished the game, allowing one goal on eight shots.

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