The Tri-City Americans victory over Everett on Friday had a distinct Red Deer flair.
Justin Feser and Mitch Topping, who grew up in the Alberta community, combined for three goals and three assists — and assisted on each other’s goals — in leading the Americans to a 6-2 win before a Breast Cancer Awareness Night crowd of 5,991 at Toyota Center.
“We were just in the right spots at the right time,” said Feser, who had two goals and two assists. “We were fortunate to have our shots go in off those assists.”
The Americans (35-22-1-2, 73 points), who have won four in a row, held onto fourth place in the Western Conference standings. The Spokane Chiefs are lurking one point behind after a 6-4 win over Edmonton.
Tri-City hosts the Eastern Conference-leading Oil Kings tonight.
“I thought it was a really good effort throughout the lineup,” Tri-City coach Jim Hiller said. “It started with a downer with their quick goal, but that didn’t affect us. We had a solid effort. We just have to worry about taking care of our business (tonight).”
Everett (21-35-1-4, 47 points) has lost 11 in a row — setting a franchise record.
Though an official total amount of money raised for the Tri-Cities Cancer Foundation has not been announced, Feser was confident it would substantial.
“We didn’t really impress the fans on Nuclear Night, so we wanted to give them something to cheer about on Breast Cancer Awareness Night,” Feser said. “It’s important for us to help with these causes. It was big for the Cancer Center, they were really looking forward to it.”
“The crowed was unbelievable,” Topping added. “It was a great atmosphere tonight.”
Troy Trombley, who was with Everett during the preseason, finished with 23 saves in picking up his fourth win in as many starts for Tri-City.
“As far as it goes, this is the highlight of my career,” Trombley said. “I haven’t had an opportunity like this forever. I can show everyone what I can do, especially Everett — they didn’t want me.”
Holding a 4-1 lead after two periods, Jesse Mychan gave the Americans a 6-1 cushion with a pair of third-period.
His first game just 38 seconds in as Tri-City finished off a leftover power play from the second period. Malte Strömwall, who had three assists on the night, brought the puck in the zone and had the initial shot, but Mychan was there to finish the play.
Mychan struck again at 8:05, taking a pass from Feser and beating Austin Lotz for his 15th goal.
The Silvertips would score with one second left in the game as Austin Adam scored his first career goal.
“I heard a shot and I picked it up at the last second, but I was too late,” Trombley said. “In my mind it matters. I’m mad about that.”
Tied at 1-1, it took the Americans more than half the second period to get into a groove.
They killed off back-to-back Everett power plays early in the period, but once they were back to even strength, Feser found himself on the back end of a give-and-go with Mychan for his second goal of the night and a 2-1 lead at 12:17.
“They were on tonight,” Hiller said of Feser and Mychan. “Those were some highly skilled goals they had.”
Just 3 1/2 minutes later, Feser found Topping up high on the power play. Topping took the pass from his childhood friend, skated into the slot, split Everett’s Logan Aasman and Kohl Bauml and buried the puck for his 11th goal of the season and a 3-1 Tri-City lead.
Parker Bowles did all the dirty work to help stake the Americans to a 4-1 lead, but it would be Beau McCue getting the goal.
Bowles intercepted a pass from Bauml in the Americans’ zone, and pushed the puck up ice. He whirled around the net, but his wraparound attempt was blocked. McCue, in just his second game back from an ankle injury, was there to clean up for his 15th goal.
Everett wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as Tyler Sandhu redirected a shot from the point by Austin Adams past Trombley just 31 seconds into the game.
The Americans would even things up at 15:59 as Feser took a cross-ice pass from Topping and his slap shot from the bottom of the left face-off circle went behind Austin Lotz.
“It goes back to our bantam days when we assisted on each other’s goals,” Topping said. “We have a chemistry on the ice — a sixth sense. I think I know what he’s going to do before he does. It was a fun one out there tonight.”
Notes: Americans F Tyson Dallman left the game with a left leg injury just 11 seconds into the action. He did not return.