The Tri-City Americans bounced back on Wednesday night with a 3-2 overtime win over the visiting Everett Silvertips in the Western Hockey League playoffs.
That cuts the Silvertips’ lead to 2-1 in the best-of-seven games format.
It was a Parker AuCoin power-play goal – assisted by Aaron Hyman and Kyle Olson – at 7:52 of overtime that proved the difference.
The Silvertips outshot the Americans 41-31, and at times had the Ams on their heels with a constant attack on net.
But Tri-City goalie Beck Warm had an outstanding game, and he couldn’t have looked any better than with 7 minutes to play in regulation. Everett stole the puck at center ice and had a breakaway. Warm stoned the hard shot from 10 feet away. Then he knocked away the Silvertips’ rebound shot a second later. In OT, he constantly fended off close shots.
Samuel Stewart collected his first career WHL goal in the second period for the Ams, while Nolan Yaremko got his third goal in as many games early in the third.
The series continued with Game 4 on Thursday night in the Toyota Center.
But Wednesday’s win means there will be a Game 5 on Saturday in Everett.
Fire ready for home opener
Tri-Cities Fire head coach Warren Reynolds says he can’t stand losing.
So after his Fire fell to the Reno Express 42-24 last Saturday in Nevada – losing its American West Football Conference opener – Reynolds made some changes by bringing in some new offensive linemen.
He wasn’t happy with host Reno.
“League rules state that you are supposed to put the visiting team in a hotel two nights,” said Reynolds. He said Reno gave them just one night in a hotel. That forced the team to bus down on Friday night, and it arrived in Reno at 7 a.m. Saturday with very little sleep.
“The players were tired and sluggish,” said Reynolds.
Nonetheless, the Fire and Reynolds are moving on to this Saturday’s home opener against the Idaho Horsemen, who beat the Wenatchee Valley Skyhawks 33-22 last Saturday.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Toyota Center. Tickets are available at the box office.
It will also be an interesting matchup.
“It’s a rivalry game against my brother,” said Warren Reynolds. “My brother Chris coaches Idaho. And we’ve never coached against each other.”
Fire owner Kinshasa Martin has been busy preparing for the kickoff party (starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Toyota Center parking lot Saturday night).
“We’ll have two bounce houses for the kids, a football toss, a Connect 4 game for adults, free hot dogs and water,” said Martin.
“People who still need to pick up their season tickets can do so at the arena from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. We’ll have a table set up out back in the parking lot.”
Martin has a few goals for Saturday. “I want a quality win and a complete product,” Martin said. “I want to win in a big fashion. But I want the fans to come out and enjoy themselves. I want them after the game is over to believe it was like the Fever never left. Like those two years indoor football wasn’t here were never missing.”
Regardless of what happens, Martin is pretty proud of how far he and his other league owners have come.
“What we’ve accomplished in six months is pretty impressive,” Martin said. “We started this league from nothing six months ago.”
Eastern Oregon University’s Ebony Wilson (Hermiston) and Alex Navarro (Kiona-Benton), plus Lewis-Clark State’s Dallas Borrego (Sunnyside) all became NAIA Indoor Track All-Americans a few weeks ago at the national championships.
Wilson, a sophomore, finished third in the women’s long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 10.37 inches. Navarro, a senior, placed fifth in the nation in the men’s 1,000 meters with a time of 2 minutes, 29.70 seconds. And Borrego, a freshman, ran the anchor leg of the women’s 4x800 relay finals, helping the team place fourth with a time of 9:21.23.
Congratulations to Othello’s Rudy Ochoa, who earned his 500th victory as the Huskies’ softball coach. Othello beat Pullman 18-6 on Tuesday to get Ochoa the milestone. … Sunnyside wide receiver Mike Rivera has been invited to Eastern Washington University’s junior day, a camp where current high school juniors work out for the Eagles coaching staff. … Emily Benson (Kamiakin) became Western Washington University’s all-time RBI leader in its softball program when she got number 146 on Wednesday in a 9-4 loss to Sonoma State. … Congratulations to Jeff Bumgarner and Jason Repko, who had their jersey numbers retired in a ceremony at Hanford High School on Tuesday in between games against Southridge. Bumgarner was a pitcher in the Twins and Mets organization, while Repko played with the Dodgers. … CBC opened NWAC East baseball play Wednesday in grand style, sweeping Yakima Valley 11-8 and 10-3. In the opener, Alexander Orejudos (Ellensburg) had four hits for the Hawks, while Connor Kiffer (Tahoma) added three hits and three RBIs. In the nightcap, Ryan Dearing (Kamiakin) had two hits for the Hawks, while Matthew Walters (Olympic) scored three times.