KENNEWICK — Like a runaway freight train, there was no stopping the Tri-City Americans on Wednesday night.
Mason Wilgosh and Mitch Fadden each scored two goals, Jason Reese had a goal and two assists and Chilliwack utilized both goalies, but the Americans just kept rolling along in an 8-1 victory over the Bruins before 3,521 at Toyota Center.
“I thought we got off to a good start, developed a killer instinct in the second and it ended there,” said Tri-City coach Don Nachbaur, whose team swept the four-game series against the Bruins. “I think by the third the urgency was gone, but it gave me a chance to roll four lines, which was important with a three-game weekend coming up. We were able to get Chet out and rested and our young goalie (Brett Martyniuk) played well.”
The U.S. Division-leading Americans (44-16-0-3, 91 points) scored season highs for goal and goals in one period when they went on a five-goal run in the second.
The victory keeps Tri-City, which has won six straight, eight points in front of Spokane — a 5-2 winner over Kamloops — in the race for the division banner.
Holding a slim 2-1 lead after the first period, the Americans added a little fuel to the fire between periods and went full steam ahead in the second, starting with the first of Fadden’s goals at 4:07.
Brett Plouffe circled the puck behind Bruins starter Lucas Gore at 4:30, and Wilgosh’s second tally of the night came on a short-handed rush as he took a pass from Jason Reese and managed to put the puck in the goal as he flew through the air over Gore at 10:40.
“I didn’t see (Gore) go down,” said Wilgosh, who had his first multi-goal game of his career. “Reeser made a nice pass — I didn’t even has to move my stick. It was good to get everyone involved. It’s a good team effort when 15 guys score points.”
Wilgosh’s goal ended Gore’s night, and backup Mark Friesen didn’t fare much better.
Reese, who missed three games with an ankle injury, scored at 12:06 off a pass across the crease from Adam Hughesman for a 6-1 lead, and Fadden finished out the period when he swept the puck around the front of the crease and put the puck in stick side on Friesen.
Rookie Brooks Macek finished the scoring at 17:49 of the third with his seventh goal of the season.
It didn’t take lone for the Americans to hang a couple of goals on Gore, as Kruise Reddick took a pass off the back wall from
Hughesman and buried in the net just 38 seconds into the game.
Tri-City took a 2-0 lead at 2:46 as Reese’s pass deflected off Spencer Asuchak and Wilgosh was there to finish off the play.“Reeser was a big help to me tonight,” Wilgosh said.
The Bruins, working on the last 30 seconds of a power play, were able to sneak a puck past Pickard at 14:48 as Jesse Craige’s shot glanced off Pickard’s glove and into the net for Chilliwack’s second goal of the season against the Americans.
Pickard, making his 21st straight start, finished with 12 saves in earning the win, while Martyniuk stopped all nine shots he faced over the last 28 minutes of the game.
Gore, who finished with 13 saves, took the loss. Friesen had 17 saves in relief for the Bruins, who have lost four straight.
Notes: Of the 20 players on the Tri-City roster, 15 earned a point, including D Riley McIntosh, who had an assist on his 19th birthday. ... Over the course of four games, the Americans outscored the Bruins 21-2. ... The Bruins were the walking wounded Wednesday, with five players on the injured list — Randy McNaught (ribs), Ryan Howse (shoulder), Matt Meropoulis (shoulder), David Robinson (concussion) and Jadon Potter (neck).