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Hughesman has a hat trick, Shinnimin adds four points as Americans down Cougars

NHL.com @NHL

KENNEWICK, Wash. - Adam Hughesman had three goals and Brendan Shinnimin had two goals and two assists Sunday to rally the Tri-City Americans to a 5-3 over the Prince George Cougars in the Western Hockey League.

With the win, Tri-City reclaimed the top spot in the WHL's Western Conference.

The Americans (49-19-3) are tied with the Edmonton Oil Kings in the race for the Scotty Munro trophy with 101 points. Tri-City has a one-point lead over Portland in a battle for the U.S Division title.

Prince George (22-45-2) is five points behind eighth-place Victoria with three games to play.

Trailing 3-1 going into the second period Sunday, the Americans wasted no time in getting back in the game.

Hughesman took a backhanded pass from Shinnimin and found a gaping hole behind Prince George goalie Drew Owsley to pull Tri-City within 3-2 just 34 seconds into the period.

Hughesman then tied the scored at 7:16 on a rebound off a Justin Feser shot in the slot to cap his second hat trick this season.

"They played great," Hughesman said of the Cougars. "They came in here and gave us all we could handle."

Tied 3-3 in the closing minute of regulation, Shinnimin weaved his way through traffic up the ice and blasted the puck past Owsley at 19:11 for the winner.

The Cougars pulled Owsley, but Alex Forsberg, trying to get the puck up top, whipped it too hard and the puck slid down the ice and into the empty net. Being the last Tri-City player to touch the puck, Shinnimin was credited with the goal.

Shinnimin, who leads the league in scoring with 129 points, extended his point streak to 20 games.

The Cougars took advantage of Tri-City rookie goalie Eric Comrie to the tune of three goals on nine shots in the first period.

Hughesman opened the scoring when his shot glanced in off Owsley's right pad and into the net at 3:05.

The Cougars would score the next three, starting with Chase Witala at 4:59. Jesse Forsberg made it 2-1 seven minutes later before Alex Forsberg gave Prince George a 3-1 lead to end Comrie's night.

Ty Rimmer replaced Comrie and stopped all 17 shots he faced to pick up his 30th win.

"That's the job as a goalie, to be ready no matter the situation," Rimmer said. "The needed me to come in and shut the door, and they finished it off at the other end."

Owsley had 24 saves in the loss.

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