Dan Mulhausen

KENT, WA – In another tough contest at ShoWare Center, this time the Americans found enough offense to beat Calvin Pickard.

Behind a 3-goal third period, including Patrick Holland’s game-winner 6:29 into the third period, the Tri-City Americans (20-7-0-0, 40 pts) rallied for a 4-2 road win over the Seattle Thunderbirds (11-13-0-1, 23 pts) in front of 2,739 fans at ShoWare Center. With the win, the Americans improved to 9-5 on the road this year while knotting the 10-game season series with the T’birds at 1. Meanwhile, Seattle, after winning three in a row, has now dropped three of their last four.

After both sides combined for 27 shots on goal in the first period, Seattle appeared poised for a repeat performance of their 3-0 shutout of Tri-City two weeks ago, claiming a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play. With less than five minutes remaining in the period, Jared Hauf let a shot go from the left point that found its way through heavy traffic and past Tri-City’s Ty Rimmer, giving Seattle the lead.

Seattle, though, got themselves into trouble with penalties in the second period, allowing Tri-City to outchance them 13 to 5 in shots. And, while playing 5-on-3 with 4:06 left in the second, Justin Feser’s shot went wide of the net, only to bounce off the kick strip behind the Seattle net and straight to Adam Hughesman, who was camped at the near post. Hughesman then buried his 20th goal of the season, tying the game at 1.

Then, 4:52 into the third period, Brendan Shinnimin took advantage of a big rebound given up by Pickard, to give Tri-City their first lead of the contest. Just a minute later, though, Seattle tied the game at 2 following Sean Aschim’s power play marker.

However, on the ensuing shift, and on a power play of their own, the Americans took the lead for good. Following a great behind the back pass from Hughesman, Brendan Shinnimin tipped the puck to Holland at the far post. Holland then beat Pickard with his 7th goal of the season, putting Tri-City back on top 3-2. Finally, with Pickard pulled for the extra attacker, Justin Feser capped the scoring with less than a second remaining in the contest.

Rimmer, who had a rough night in Kelowna on Wednesday, responded by stopping 23 of the 25 shots he faced to improve to 12-4 on the year. Meanwhile, Pickard finished with 35 saves, losing his first game in regulation since November 8 at Medicine Hat. Tri-City finished 2-for-6 on the power play, while Seattle was 1-of-5 on the man-advantage.

After two tough road games, the Americans will now wrap-up their three-games-in-four-nights stretch inside the friendly confines of the Toyota Center tomorrow, December 3 when they host the Everett Silvertips (5-18-0-4). Game time is 7:05 p.m. Everett comes in having dropped five straight games and 11 of their last 12. However, one of their five wins this season came at the expense of the Americans, a 6-3 win at Comcast Arena back on Oct. 16. Meanwhile, Tri-City will be looking to extend their home winning streak to six while looking to even the 8-game season series with the ‘Tips at 1. Tickets are available through all Ticketmaster outlets, including online at, the Toyota Center box office, or all Fred Meyer outlets. The game will also be broadcast live on NewsTalk 870 AM, starting with the Sterling Savings Bank Warm-up Show at 6:45 p.m.

Applebee’s 3 Stars:

1, Patrick Holland, Tri-City

2, Sean Aschim, Seattle

3, Adam Hughesman, Tri-City