March 26, 2014 - 9:02 AM
KENNEWICK Wash. - The Tri-City Americans defeated the Kelowna Rockets 4-3 in Kennewick, Wash., on Tuesday night, winning its first game of the team`s best of seven playoff series that Kelowna still leads 2-1.
The Americans scored three times in 3:23 late in the second period and then held off a furious Kelowna comeback in the third period.
Eric Comrie was again the story in the game as the Rockets outshot Tri-City 55-37 but the Americans netminder was on his game, turning in a first-star performance.
"We had a few mental mistakes where guys lost their focus for a bit in the second period," said assistant coach Dan Lambert on the AM 1150 post game show. "We gave them too many chances to score and they capitalized on them. We had chances too but we couldn't beat Eric Comrie. He was the best player on the ice."
Trailing 3-0 heading into the third period the Rockets clawed their way back into the game as goals by Myles Bell and Justin Kirkland cut the Americans lead to 3-2.
But Justin Gutierrez scored the eventual game winner to make the score 4-2. Marek Tvrdon made the score 4-3 with just over a minute to play but the Rockets couldn't find the equalizer.
The teams will get right back at it on Wednesday night in Tri-City with game four.
"We are going to have to play like we did in the first period, but throughout the game, and we are going to have to score on our chances," said Lambert. "We've got to put our best foot forward tomorrow night and start burying our chances."
The Tri-City win also confirms there will be a game five in the series. That will take place Friday night at Prospera Place in Kelowna.
Tickets for game five will go on sale Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m. at www.selectyourtickets.com
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