KENNEWICK, WA (ISN) – Skating away with a 3-0 lead after the 1st period, the Tri-City Americans (45-15-1-2, 93 pts) rolled on to a 3-1 win over the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds (21-39-1-1, 44 pts) in front of 3,679 fans at the Toyota Center.
With the win, Tri-City stretched their winning streak to seven straight games, while wrapping up the season series against Seattle with a 9-1 record. Meanwhile, the loss extended the T’birds’ frustrations in Kennewick, as they dropped their 22nd straight contest inside the Toyota Center.
Coming off a 5-1 win over the T’birds two days ago, the Americans raced out to a 3-goal lead on Tuesday and never looked back. Just 3:20 into the contest, and on their first power play of the game, Patrick Holland rifled a shot from the right circle that beat Seattle starter, Daniel Cotton.
Then, inside the final six minutes of the period, Tri-City scored twice less than two minutes apart, to take a 3-0 lead. With 5:19 left in the first, and from the right circle, Connor Rankin buried a pass from Shinnimin to collect his 17th goal of the season. Then, Jordan Messier sent an outlet pass up to Justin Feser, who followed up on his own rebound to beat Cotton and stake Tri-City with a three-goal cushion.
After the Americans dominated the first 20 minutes, outchancing the T’birds 20 to 10, things leveled out in the 2nd period. However, despite two power play chances, Seattle could not find any daylight behind Americans’ netminder, Eric Comrie.
It remained a 3-0 game until the final minutes of the third period, when Comrie lost his bid for a 4th shutout on the season. With 1:27 left in regulation, and on their fifth power play, newly returned forward Connor Sanvido lifted a shot over Comrie’s blocker for his 5th goal of the year. But, that was all the T’birds could muster on the night.
Comrie, behind 31 saves, won his third straight start and 19th overall on the season. Meanwhile, despite stopping 39 of 42, Cotton fell to 0-8 on the season. Tri-City finished the night 1-for-4 on the power play, while Seattle went 1-of-5 on the man-advantage.
The Americans will now turn their attention to a pivotal tripleheader weekend that kicks off on Friday, March 2 at home against the rival Portland Winterhawks (44-15-3-1). Game time is 7:05 p.m. at the Toyota Center. In a battle for division, conference and league supremacy, Tri-City and Portland come in separated by just one point in the standings. They both are also on winning streaks, as Tri-City puts their 7-game run on the line against the ‘Hawks, who have won 10 of their last 11. The Americans started the season 5-0 vs. Portland, but the ‘Hawks have rebounded to take the previous three meetings. 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 also be broadcast live on NewsTalk 870 AM, starting with the Sterling Savings Bank Warm-up Show at 6:45 p.m.
By playing tonight, Adam Hughesman (329) moved into a tie for 3rd all-time on the Tri-City Americans’ games played list, matching Ian McDonald (2001-06)…Brendan Shinnimin completed a perfect month of February, recording at least one point in all 14 games. He finished the month with 23 goals and 43 points. By comparison, Shinnimin had 29 total goals entering February. Shinnimin’s 10-game goal streak was the second-longest run in the WHL this season, one behind Emerson Etem’s 11…Seattle’s last win inside the Toyota Center came back on January 27, 2008. At 22 games, Seattle’s losing streak in Kennewick is the longest of any WHL franchise since the Americans arrived in 1988.
Applebee’s 3 Stars:
1, Patrick Holland, Tri-City
2, Eric Comrie, Tri-City
3, Daniel Cotton, Seattle