Tri-City Americans

Bruins pull away from Ams

The Tri-City Americans don't lose on their home ice very often, but when they do, they lose big.

Lucas Gore made 30 saves and six different players had goals as the Chilliwack Bruins beat the Americans 6-3 on Friday night before a crowd of 5,885 at Toyota Center on Breast Cancer Awareness night.

It was Chilliwack's first win at Toyota Center since Oct. 28, 2006, and just its second in nine tries. Chilliwack leads the season series 2-1.

"We made so many horrendous individual errors," said Tri-City coach Jim Hiller, whose team has been outscored 29-12 in its six home losses. "This was one of our worst games. It's in the books and there's no way to change it. I thought their goalie played well, but we are in a rut and the only way out is to put our nose to the grindstone and get ugly."

The Americans (39-15-0-2, 80 points), midway through a schedule that has them playing six games in eight nights, play at Spokane (33-20-3-1, 70 points) tonight. The Chiefs beat Everett 4-3 on Friday.

The loss drops Tri-City two points behind Brandon and Saskatoon -- which each have 82 points -- in the race for the Scotty Munro trophy for the best record in the WHL. With Portland beating Prince George, the Winterhawks pulled to within five points of the Americans in the U.S. Division.

The Americans' fifth annual Breast Cancer Awareness game raised a record $20,127 for the Tri-Cities Cancer Center Foundation.

After a scoreless first period, pucks were filling the nets in the second as each team scored twice.

Johnny Lazo, who hadn't scored a goal in four games, had both of the Americans' goals in the second, with the first coming at 3:08 on the power play.

Chilliwack (25-26-1-5, 56 points) answered at 6:25 as Kevin Sundher redirected a shot from the point by Jeff Einhorn to tie the game.

Less than two minutes later, Roman Horak gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead as he followed up on two rebounds off Tri-City goalie Alex Pechurskiy for his 16th goal of the season.

The Americans forged a 2-all tie at 14:15 of the period as Lazo corralled a rebound off a shot by Brock Sutherland and backhanded the puck past Bruins goalie Lucas Gore for his team-leading 33rd goal.

The Bruins broke the game open in the third with four goals, the first by Ryan Howse at 1:16, and the second by Shane Neigum at 9:45 to take a 4-2 lead.

Lazo pulled the Americans to within 4-3 with a short-handed goal at 16:57, completing his fourth hat trick of the season.

"Goals are nice, but I'd rather have had the win, especially down the stretch," Lazo said. "We want to win the Scotty (Munro) again. This was a weird game. We weren't getting the bounces we were looking for, but that's no excuse."

Just when the Americans thought they were back in the game, Mike Brown's five-minute major for boarding finally caught up with them and the Bruins got power-play goals from Colton Grant and Jamie Crooks to finish off the game.

"It was a good road game," said Chilliwack coach Marc Habscheid. "Against a team like (Tri-City) you have to play smart and aggressive because they have a lot of weapons. We were patient, moved the puck well and were committed to doing the little things."

-- With three goals, Lazo passed Cory Dosdall (69) for 20th on the Americans' all-time goals scored list with 71. ... Of his 80 career goals, Howse has only scored two against Tri-City. ... When the Chicago Blackhawks acquired defenseman Kim Johnsson from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for defenseman Cam Barker on Friday, they also received the rights to defenseman Nick Leddy, the Wild's 2009 first-round draft pick and one of the players on the Americans' 50-man protected list.

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