Tri-City Americans

Blazers get past Ams in SO

KAMLOOPS, British Columbia -- Brendan Ranford and Colin Smith scored in the shootout to lift the Kamloops Blazers to a 3-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans on Tuesday night at Interior Savings Centre.

Despite the loss, Tri-City (35-15-2-2) moved into a tie with Spokane for second place in the U.S. Division with 74 points. Portland leads the division with 79 points.

"In a shootout, it's great when you win and it sucks when you lose," Tri-City coach Jim Hiller said. "We did a terrific job late on the penalty kill to get us to that point."

Kamloops (25-31-2-1, 53 points) moved one point ahead of Chilliwack and into eighth place in the Western Conference standings.

The Blazers, who had lost seven consecutive games to the Americans before Tuesday night, scored twice in the first period, then had to fend off the Americans to reach the shootout.

Ranford, who ranks fourth in the WHL in scoring with 81 points, beat Tri-City rookie goalie Chris Driedger with the first shot of the shootout, followed by Smith.

At the other end, Jeff Bosch stopped Brendan Shinnimin and Justin Feser as the Americans finished their four-game trip 2-1-0-1.

"They were two skilled shooters who made good moves," Hiller said of Ranford and Smith. "Chris played well. He stopped a breakaway in the second and was pivotal on the penalty kill in the third."

Carter Ashton scored in the first period for Tri-City, while Feser tied the score at 2 at 8:16 of the second with a short-handed goal.

The Americans, who played without Patrick Holland (illness), will take today off, then return to the ice when they play host to Chilliwack on Friday and Spokane on Saturday.