Kent, WA – Despite outshooting the Seattle Thunderbirds (22-13-0-1, 43 pts.) in each of the first two periods, the Tri-City Americans (17-16-1-2, 37 pts.) fell behind early and never recovered, falling 5-2 Tuesday night at the ShoWare Center.
The loss was the fourth in a row for the Americans, who will now try to regroup with a 10-day holiday break before returning to action in late December.
Tri-City controlled the game out of the gates, holding the Thunderbirds in its own zone for the first five minutes of play. But, after the Americans iced the puck, Seattle opened the scoring at 5:06, when Alexander Delnov won the faceoff and snapped it over the shoulder of Evan Sarthou.
Ryan Gropp gave the Thunderbirds a 2-0 lead at the 12:34 mark, capitalizing on the rebound after Sarthou had stopped the initial shot.
Brandon Carlo got the Americans on the board at 18:59, when his wrist shot from the point redirected off of a Thunderbirds defenseman and passed Danny Mumaugh, cutting the Seattle lead in half after 20 minutes of play.
Tri-City came out with another strong start in the second period, testing Mumaugh on several occasions in the first few minutes, but were unable to score the equalizing goal.
The Thunderbirds regained its two goal advantage following a failed power play opportunity. Braden Purtill stepped back on the ice after serving his infraction. But, Shea Theodore scored with a high shot deep in the Americans zone before the defenseman was able to get back in the play.
Then, 6:46 into the third period, Tri-City was given a power play trailing 3-1 and looking to get back into the game. The Americans were unable to score on the man advantage and, just 24 seconds after the penalty had expired, Branden Trook gave Seattle a 4-1 lead with his 16th goal of the season.
Purtill got the Americans back within two, blasting a slap shot past Mumaugh on the power play at 14:35. But, just 19 seconds later, Troock scored his second of the game to end any hopes the Americans had at a comeback.
Evan Sarthou made his sixth career WHL start, stopping 32 of Seattle’s 37 shots.
The conclusion of Tuesday’s game marks the halfway point of the season for the Americans, who find itself one game above the .500 mark with 37 point. Tri-City will head into the second half of the year ranked eighth in the Western Conference.
The Americans return to action on December 27, when it opens a home-and-home with the Portland Winterhawks (23-8-2-2, 50 pts.) at the Toyota Center for a 7:05 p.m. faceoff. Tickets are available through all Ticketmaster outlets, including the Toyota Center box office, all Fred Meyer locations, or online at ticketmaster.com.
Jack In Box Three Stars
1) Branden Troock, Seattle
2) Alexander Delnov, Seattle
3) Danny Mumaugh, Seattle