Tri-City Americans

Americans even up series 1-all

When Drew Owsley can see the puck, the other team isn't likely to see much scoring.

The Tri-City Americans goalie posted his second shutout of the playoffs Saturday night in helping the Americans to a 4-0 victory over the Vancouver Giants.

They evened the Western Conference finals at one game apiece before an appreciative crowd of 3,875 at Toyota Center.

"(Friday night) the bounces weren't going my way," said Owsley, who moved into a tie for third with Carey Price (2003-07) for playoff wins with nine. "Tonight, I felt pretty good. They didn't have many second chances and I thought we played smarter than they did. Our forwards did a good job of cycling the puck down low. It was a fun game to watch."

The best-of-7 series resumes Tuesday at Pacific Coliseum.

"The chances were more even tonight, but there weren't a lot of them," said Tri-City coach Jim Hiller, who is third all-time in playoff wins with nine. "It was pretty tight out there. (Friday night) was real disappointing. Tonight, I felt we played with energy and it was more physical."

It was a reversal of fortunes from Friday when the breaks went Vancouver's way.

"I thought Tri-City was able to score on their opportunities and we didn't get a lot of second chances," said Vancouver coach Don Hay. "We have to be better in the offensive zone. This is the playoffs -- it could be worse or it could be better. We'll take it and move on."

Owsley stopped all 26 Vancouver shots, including 21 through the first two periods as he shut down Vancouver's high-powered offense that had been averaging 4.9 goals per game.

With the shutout, Owsley ties Brian Boucher and Jeff Blair for second on the Americans' playoff list with two. Chet Pickard holds the record with three.

"Drew was good," said Americans forward Kruise Reddick. "We lean on him a lot and he comes through for us. We wouldn't be here without him."

The Americans came out strong in the first, taking a 1-0 lead at 7:50 as Jordan Messier took a feed from behind the net from Adam Hughesman and beat Mark Segal over his shoulder.

Tri-City had five power plays in the first, but couldn't find the net until working on the back half of a 5-on-3 man advantage at the start of the second period when Brendan Shinnimin cleaned up after Segal blocked shots by Brett Plouffe and Johnny Lazo just 33 seconds into the action.

"I didn't like our discipline on the five penalties we took in the first," Hay said. "We have to do a better job. They weren't physical penalties."

Lazo gave the Americans a 3-0 lead at 4:31 of the second as his shot from the outer edge of the left face-off circle went off Vancouver defenseman Nolan Toigo's skate and flew in the net past Segal.

Reddick finished the scoring at 2:59 of the third with an unassisted wraparound goal.

The Giants had a couple of odd-man rushes in the third, but all Vancouver found was Owsley's glove, and Craig Cunningham rang one off the post.

"Tonight was a big win for us," Owsley said. "We didn't want to down by two games going up there. There will be two big games in Vancouver."