KENT, WA – Brendan Shinnimin scored for the fifth straight game while Eric Comrie collected a career-best 36 saves and the visiting Tri-City Americans (39-15-1-2, 81 pts) fought past the Seattle Thunderbirds (20-35-1-1, 42 pts) 5-2 in front of 4,170 fans at ShoWare Center.
With the win, the Americans snapped their 2-game losing skid, while earning their 18th road win of the season. Meanwhile, Seattle has now lost 8 of their last 10 and fell to 1-7 vs. the Americans on the season.
Tri-City launched a season-high 23 shots on goal through the first 20 minutes, connecting twice to jump out to a 2-0 lead. Nearing the midway point of the period, Adam Hughesman shelved a backhander on Calvin Pickard for his 33rd marker of the season. Then, with 38 seconds left in the period, Connor Rankin put back a Justin Feser rebound for his first of two goals on the night.
The second period was not any easier for Pickard, as the Americans fired off another 22 shots in the frame. But, it wasn’t until final seconds of the period that the Americans were able to stretch their lead. With 12 seconds remaining in the period, Shinnimin won a face-off in the Seattle end before pushing the puck out to Hughesman. Hughesman then broke out Rankin, who ripped a shot from the left circle that Pickard partially stopped. But, the puck bounced up and over the Seattle netminder before rolling across the goal line.
Then, just over four minutes into the third period, and following a Seattle turnover, Shinnimin and Hughesman combined for a 2-on-1 breakaway before Shinnimin shelved a shot over Pickard’s blocker, making it 4-0 Tri-City.
Four minutes later, and on the power play, Seattle thought they snapped Comrie’s shutout bid, only to have the goal disallowed after it was determined that Connor Honey kicked the puck into the net. However, with 6:18 left in regulation, Honey used someone else’s skate this time, banking a shot off a Tri-City skate and past a surprised Comrie. Then, less than two minutes later, Honey tallied again. In tight on Comrie, Honey somehow found just enough space under the goaltender’s pads to record his 6th goal of the season and make it a two-goal deficit.
Tri-City then, with 2:54 left in regulation, really made things interesting after Feser was sent to the box for hooking. The Americans’ top-ranked penalty kill was up to the task, though, killing off Seattle’s 7th man-advantage of the game. Finally, 38 seconds after Feser’s penalty expired, and with Pickard on the bench for the extra attacker, Shinnimin buried an empty netter to seal the victory.
Comrie, turning aside 36 of a season-high 38 shots faced, earned his 17th win of the season and snapped his personal two-game losing slide. Meanwhile, Pickard matched his season-high of 48 saves on 52 shots in the loss. Tri-City finished the night 0-for-3 on the power play, but was a perfect 7-of-7 on the penalty kill.
The Americans will conclude their four-games-in-five-nights stretch tomorrow, February 18 at home against the Spokane Chiefs (31-19-4-3). Game time is 7:05 p.m. at the Toyota Center. Tri-City, which holds a 5-3 edge in the 12-game season series with the Chiefs, are coming off a 5-3 win over Spokane in last week’s meeting. Meanwhile, Spokane comes in having dropped their last three games overall in addition to their last three road games. Tickets are available through all Ticketmaster outlets, including online at ticketmaster.com, the Toyota Center box office, or all Fred Meyer outlets. The game will be broadcast live on KVEW-TV’s My Network 280, starting at 7:00 p.m. 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.
Brendan Shinnimin now has scored in 5 straight games, the longest goal streak of any Americans’ player this season. This season, Shinnimin also holds the club’s longest assists streak (10 games) and point streak (13 games)…The Americans earned the franchise’s 100th win vs. Seattle tonight. The overall series record sits at 100-92-13-1 w/ 13 ties… Additionally, the win gives Tri-City 18 road wins, surpassing last year’s mark of 17. The Americans have averaged 19.5 road wins over the last 6 years.
Applebee’s 3 Stars:
1, Connor Rankin, Tri-City
2, Connor Honey, Seattle
3, Brendan Shinnimin, Tri-City