Three-Goal First Period Lifts Seattle Past Tri-City 4-2

t birds tri city

Photo Credit: John Allen, Arid Acres Photography

Kennewick, WA – In the end, a three-goal first period deficit proved to be too much of a hole for the Americans to dig out of on Friday night.

Mathew Barzal and Ryan Gropp each had a goal and an assist, as the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds (34-23-3-0, 71 pts) held on for a  4-2 win over the Tri-City Americans (29-28-2-1, 61 pts) in front of 4,568 fans at Toyota Center.  Win the win, Seattle takes a 4-3 lead in the best-of-10 season series, which has seen the visiting team win the last 4 match-ups. After Kamloops defeated Everett in overtime, the Americans fall to 4 points back of a Wild Card spot.

The T’birds wasted little time jumping out in front, as Cavin Leth got Seattle on the board just 1:43 into the contest.  Less than three minutes later, Nolan Volcan made it a 2-0 game following his unassisted marker.  Then, at the 11:08 mark and on the power play, Gropp tallied his team-leading 29th goal of the season to make it 3-0.

Tri-City would swap goaltenders after Gropp’s goal, as Nick Sanders replaced Evan Sarthou.  The move seems to spark the Americans, although Tri-City couldn’t get anything past Bow in the first 20 minutes.  Finally, seven minutes into the second period, and after a series of great saves by Sanders, Nolan Yaremko turned the puck up ice and beat Bow over his shoulder.  The goal was Yaremko’s 4th of the season and made it a 3-1 game.

After slipping the puck between Bow’s pads with 3:48 left to play, Michael Rasmussen collected his 13th goal of the season, pulling the Americans to within 1 at 3-2.  Unfortunately, it would be as close as Tri-City would get on the night.  Barzal wrapped up the scoring at 4:45 of the 3rd, extending Seattle’s lead back to two at 4-2.

Bow finished the night with 27 saves in the win.  Meanwhile, Sanders collected 15 saves in relief of Sarthou, whose night ended with 8 saves in the loss.  Tri-City went scoreless on their three power play chances, while Seattle finished 1-of-3 on the man-advantage.

The Americans will continue their playoff push tomorrow, Saturday, February 27, when the Prince George Cougars (33-25-3-1) come back to Toyota Center for the final time this season.  Game time is 7:05pm.  

Jack in the Box 3 Stars:

1. Mathew Barzal, Seattle

2. Ryan Gropp, Seattle

3. Nolan Yaremko, Tri-City

Your sports. Your teams. The ISN Daily Digest.

Sign up to the ISN Daily Digest and sit back while we pick the previous day’s best headlines and speed them straight to your inbox every morning.
Email address
First Name*
We abide by all applicable emailing laws including 100% CAN-SPAM/CASL/US CAN-SPAM Act compliance. No spam!