Kent, WA- Beau McCue scored the game tying goal with 26 seconds remaining in regulation, but the Tri-City Americans’ (1-2-0-1 3pts) fell to the Seattle Thunderbirds (3-0-0-0 6 pts) 5-4 in a shootout Friday night at the Showare Center.
The Americans carried the momentum early in the game, outshooting the Thunderbirds 7-0 in the first five minutes of play. But it was Seattles’ Branden Troock who opened the scoring to steal that momentum away at the 8:22 mark of the first period.
Brian Williams tied the game for the Americans on a beautiful feed from Justin Hamonic. The pass sent Williams on a breakaway where he lifted the puck past Justin Myles to tie the game at one. Tri-City would later take the lead on a Connor Rankin power play goal at 14:58.
The lead would be short lived as Connor Honey made the Americans pay for a Parker Wotherspoon penalty, scoring on the ensuing power play just 52 seconds after Rankin had given Tri-City the lead.
The Thunderbirds would regain its lead at 8:28 of the second period when Alexander Delnov found the back of the net off of an Eric Comrie rebound. But once again the Americans were able to fight its way back. Rankin carried the puck up the ice and found Williams for his second of the night. The goal was Williams fifth in his last two games.
Seattle added a late marker at 17:07 of the second period, when Seth Swenson followed Matthew Barzal to the front of the net, back handing the loose puck past comrie to give the Thunderbirds the 4-3 advantage after 40 minutes of play.
Scoring chances were limited in the third period, but with Comrie on the bench for the extra attacker Scott Eansor took a delay of game penalty, giving the Americans a two man 6-on-4 power play with 34 seconds remaining in regulation. McCue wasted little time, tying the game for Tri-City just eight seconds later.
Both teams had excellent scoring chances in the overtime period, but the goaltenders stood their ground sending the game into a shootout.
After Comrie stopped the first three Thunderbird shooters, Philip Tot had an opportunity to win the game for the Americans. But his hard shot from in between the faceoff circles rang off the cross bar to extend the game. The shootout would go to the fifth round when a Roberts Lipsbergs goal followed by a Myles save on Lucas Nickles sealed the victory for Seattle.
Comrie kept the Americans in it with several key stops throughout the game finishing with 32 saves. Myles picked up his second win of the season and matched Comrie’s with 32 save effort.
The Americans will be right at it again tomorrow night when it travels to Spokane to take on the Chiefs for the second meeting of the season. Tri-City will be looking to return the favor by spoiling the Chiefs home opener in front of a live TV audience.
Jack In Box Three Stars
1) Branden Troock- Seattle
2) Brian Williams- Tri-City
3) Alexander Delnov -Seattle