Tri-City Americans

Americans beat Chilliwack, 5-0

The Tri-City Americans do not take well to losing.

After dropping a road game to Spokane on Saturday, the Americans took their frustrations out on Chilliwack on Sunday, beating the Bruins 5-0 before a crowd of 3,584 at Toyota Center.

Kruise Reddick had a pair of goals and Alex Pechurskiy had 22 saves in posting his second shutout as the Americans (31-11-0-1, 63 points) moved to the top of the Western Hockey League standings, one point ahead of Saskatoon.

Tri-City also leads the Western Conference by six points over Vancouver, and the U.S. Division by nine points over Portland.

"I liked the way we moved the puck," said Tri-City coach Jim Hiller. "We were crisp and moved with speed. I thought we did a good job in front of Alex and he made the big saves we needed."

It didn't take long for the Americans to take control of the game as Justin Feser scored just 1:22 into the contest, the first of four first-period goals for the Americans.

Jordan Messier gave Tri-City a 2-0 lead at 14:54, taking a pass from Brooks Macek and lifting the puck over Braden Gamble's left shoulder.

With less than three minutes remaining in the first period, Tri-City's Johnny Lazo was awarded a penalty shot.

Lazo started the play by stealing the puck away from Chilliwack's Kevin Sundher. Lazo headed up ice and was hauled down by the Bruins' Brandon Manning.

On the penalty shot, Lazo swept the puck around the front of Gamble and slipped it inside the left post for a 3-0 lead.

"His glove side was open, but I didn't want to shoot there," said Lazo, who is 2-for-2 in career penalty shots. "I slid it in through his legs."

Reddick finished off the scoring in first period, beating Gamble glove side for his 14th goal of the season and a 4-0 Tri-City advantage.

"In the first, we made some bad mistakes that were uncharacteristic and shot ourselves in the foot," said Chilliwack coach Marc Habscheid. "In the second and third we held our own, but they are good team."

The Americans put their fourth-ranked power play on display in the second period, taking a 5-0 lead as Reddick scored his second goal of the night at 9:19.

"We weren't happy with that game (Saturday) night," Reddick said. "This was a big win for us to stay atop the league. With the (trade) deadline today, (general manager) Bob (Tory) trusted the team we have -- we all feel the same way."

The Bruins looked to get on the board jut 58 seconds into the third period Alex Wiklund knocked the puck away and headed up ice. Wiklund had Pechurskiy all alone, but he stopped the shot on the goal line.

"It was a tough hill to climb at that point," Habscheid said. "I thought he had him beat -- you never like to get shut out."

Gamble finished with 37 saves for Chilliwack (20-20-1-5, 46 points), which finished a stretch that included four games in five days and saw team captain, Mitch McColm, traded to Regina.

"Any time you lose a player it's tough on the team," Habscheid said. "That and playing 3-in-3, it all adds up."

w The Americans acquired 19-year-old forward Mike Brown from the Swift Current Broncos in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2011 bantam draft. It was the only move Tory made on the trade deadline, though he did reassign Cody Castro to the Tri-City Titans of the Nor-Pac league. Castro will remain an affiliate player for the Americans. Brown a 6-foot-2, 200-pound native of Calgary, Alberta, has five goals, two assists, 54 penalty minutes and a minus-5 rating this season.

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