KENNEWICK, February 17, 2017 – The Tri-City Americans defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds 4-2 Friday night at Toyota Center in Kennewick.
The T-Birds host the Portland Winterhawks Saturday at ShoWare Center at 6:05. This game has a special start time as part of Hockey Challenge 2017, which takes place Saturday. A ticket to Hockey Challenge 2017 gives fans access to all Challenge events on Saturday, including the local Celebrity and T-Birds Alumni Celebrity Game and the four Challenge games before the T-Birds game that night against the Winterhawks. The Celebrity Game is scheduled to start after the T-Birds game ends.
The T-Birds are in Portland Sunday for a game at Veterans Memorial Arena at 5pm.
The T-Birds are in second place in the US Division and in third place in the Western Conference, three points behind the Everett. Silvertips, who have a game in hand, for both top spots. The T-Birds are also three points behind the Prince George Cougars, with two games in hand, who are in second place in the Western Conference.
Seattle (36-17-3-2) went in front 1-0 2:56 into the first period on the power play. Mathew Barzal had the puck behind the Tri-City net. Barzal brought the puck out passed it to Ryan Gropp in the right circle. Gropp centered the puck to Ethan Bear at mid-point. Bear took a slap shot that beat Tri-City goalie Rylan Parenteau low for his 23rd goal of the season.
Gropp, Barzal and Bear all extended their point streaks on the T-Birds first goal. Gropp has a 15-game point streak with 13 goals and 19 assists in the last 15 games. Barzal has an eight-game point streak with a goal and 20 assists in the last eight game. Bear has a seven-game point streak with five goals and eight assists in the last seven games.
Tri-City (34-23-3-0) tied the game 1-1 at 6:48 of the first on a power-play goal from Morgan Geekie. Tyler Sandhu and Jusso Valimaki had the assists.
The Americans took a 2-1 lead at 9:26 of the first on a goal from Dakota Krebs. Geekie and Vladislav Lukin had the assists.
Tri-City outshot Seattle 11-6 in the first period.
Tyler Sandhu scored an unassisted goal at 17:04 of the second period to give the Americans a 3-1 lead.
The Americans took a 4-1 lead on a goal by Dylan Coghlan at 19:19 of second. Parker AuCoin and Parker Wotherspoon had the assists.
Tri-City outshot Seattle 10-9 in the second period and led 21-15 in shots after two periods.
The T-Birds cut the Americans lead to two goals 17 seconds into the third period while on the power play. Barzal passed the puck to Ryan Gropp in the right circle. Gropp found Keegan Kolesar skating into the right circle. Kolesar snapped the puck past Parenteau stick side for his 19th goal of the season.
Kolesar now has a seven-game point streak with seven goals and seven assists in the last seven games.
The T-Birds had a late power play and pull goalie Rylan Toth for a six-on-four power play. Parenteau made several good saves to shut the T-Birds down.
Tri-City outshot Seattle 8-7 in the third period and 29-22 in the game.
Toth made 25 saves and his record is now 30-16-1-1.
Parenteau made 20 saves and his record is now 23-12-1-0.
T-Birds single game tickets for the 2016-17 season are currently on sale. Fans can purchase single game tickets online or at the ShoWare Center box office.
First period – 1, Seattle, Bear 23 (Gropp, (Barzal), 2:56 (pp). 2, Tri-City, Geekie 32 (Sandhu, Valimaki), 6:48 (pp). 3, Tri-City, Krebs 2 (Geekie, Lukin), 9:26. Penalties – AuCoin, Tri (slashing), 2:35. Ottenbreit, Sea (interference), 6:35. Neuls, Sea (high-sticking), 17:21.
Second period – 4, Tri-City, Sandhu 16, 17:04. 5, Tri-City, Coghlan 4 (AuCoin, Wotherspoon), 19:19 (pp). Penalties – James, Tri (hooking), 6:39. Wotherspoon, Tri (tripping), 14:08. Ottenbreit, Sea (slashing), 17:23. True, Sea (roughing), 17:23. Lukin, Tri (roughing), 17:23. Coghlan, Tri (elbowing), 19:26. James, Tri (major-fighting), 19:26. Adams, Sea (major-fighting), 19:26.
Third period – 6, Seattle, Kolesar 19 (Gropp, Barzal), :17 (pp). Penalties – Kolesar, Sea (checking from behind), 5:43. Tyszka, Sea (holding), 10:03. Yorke, Tri (interference), 16:57.
Shots on goal – Seattle 6-9-7 22, Tri-City 11-10-8 29. Goalies – Seattle, Toth 29 shots-25 saves (30-16-1-1); Tri-City, Parenteau 22-20 (23-12-1-0). Power plays – Seattle 2-5; Tri-City 2-5. Referees – Ryan Benbow, Jason Nissen. Linesmen – Jarrod Bowman, Steve Fleming.