Island life agrees with the Tri-City Americans.
Patrick Dea had 27 saves for his second shutout of the playoffs, and seven players scored goals Friday as the Americans throttled the host Victoria Royals 7-0 in the first game of their playoff series on Vancouver Island.
“We had some things go our way and we were able to capitalize on some opportunities,” said Americans coach Mike Williamson, whose team was the seventh seed in the Western Conference at the start of the playoffs.
Game 2 of the second-round series is Saturday. Games 3 and 4 are Tuesday and Wednesday at Toyota Center.
Dea, who shut out B.C. Division champion Kelowna in the opening game of their first-round series, improved to 4-0 in the postseason, and added an assist to his stat line.
“He played really well,” Williamson said. “I thought it took us four or five minutes to get going and he was there for us making stops early. We had some guys sacrifice — blocking shots and knocking the puck away. They know what’s at stake.”
Michael Rasmussen opened the scoring in the first period, while Morgan Geekie, Jake Bean and Nolan Yaremko scored in the second for a commanding 4-0 lead after 40 minutes.
Dylan Coghlan, Jordan Topping and Parker AuCoin scored in the third as the Americans never took their foot off the gas.
Rasmussen and Geekie also had two assists each.
Americans 7, Royals 0
First — 1, TC, Rasmussen 6 (Geekie, Mutala), 11:18.
Second — 2, TC Geekie 10 (Rasmussen), 6:08. 3, TC, Bean 1 (Coghlan, Dea), 12:50. 4, TC, Yaremko 5 (Bean, Johnson), 16:45.
Third — 5, TC, Coghlan 1 (Geekie, Rasmussen), :32 (pp). 6, TC, Topping 2 (Yaremko), 5:44. 7, TC, AuCoin 1 (Sawchuk), 17:14.
Shots — TC 11-14-14 — 39. Vic 8-8-11 — 27. Power plays — TC 1-2. Vic 0-3. Goalies — TC, Dea 4-0 27 (shots-27 saves). Vic, Outhouse 4-4 (39-32). Referees — Adam Byblow and Mark Pearce. A — 5,179.