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Crooks scores winner late in third as Royals hold on for 5-4 victory over Americans

NHL.com @NHL

KENNEWICK, Wash. - Jamie Crooks scored the game-winner at 14:12 of the third and Keith Hamilton made 41 saves as the Victoria Royals held on for a 5-4 victory over the Tri-City Americans on Tuesday night in the Western Hockey League.

The Americans (10-5-0) pulled to within a goal late in the third on a marker by Malte Stromwall, but Tri-City couldn't beat Hamilton in the final minutes with an extra attacker.

The Royals wasted no time in setting the tone for the game, taking a 2-0 lead just 5:31 into the first period.

Working on the power play a 5-on-3 man advantage, Victoria needed just 37 seconds to find the net as Kevin Sunder took a pass across the slot from Robin Soudek and beat Eric Comrie at the left post at 4:21.

Comrie, who posted back-to-back shut outs of Prince George last weekend, hadn't allowed a goal in 156 minutes 45 seconds.

Soudek added his own goal on the back end of the power play, with an assist by Sundher, for his 10th of the season at 5:31.

Kade Pilton and Steven Hodges also scored for the Royals (8-6-0).

Nate MacMaster, Marcus Messier and Justin Feser scored for Tri-City, which has lost just two games at home.

Rimmer finished with 11 saves in 33 minutes of relief.

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