KENNEWICK, March 2, 2013 - The Seattle Thunderbirds scored twice in the first period, had a solid penalty kill and got timely saves from Brandon Glover to defeat the Tri-City Americans 3-1 Friday night at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.
The T-Birds now have 52 points and are in seventh place in the Western Conference Playoff Standings. They are three points ahead of the eighth place Everett Silvertips, who lost 7-1 to the Edmonton Oil Kings Friday night. They are eight points ahead of the ninth place Prince George Cougars, who lost 4-1 to the Kamloops Blazers Friday night.
The Americans pulled goalie Troy Trombley with over two minutes left in the game to try and get the tying goal. T-Birds forwards Alexander Delnov, Luke Lockhart and Roberts Lipsbergs and defensemen Jerret Smith and Griffin Foulk played almost the last two minutes of the game against six Americans. They blocked shots and battled for pucks to keep the T-Birds in front. They iced the puck twice to relieve pressure but could not change lines on an icing.
Lockhart scored an empty-net goal with three seconds left in the game to ice the game for the T-Birds.
The T-Birds and Americans meet Saturday night at ShoWare Center at 7:05pm in the second game of a home-and-home series between the two teams.
Seattle (22-35-7-2) took a 1-0 lead at 10:59 of the first period with some hard work. Connor Sanvido stole the puck along the left boards and centered to Andrew Johnson. Johnson took a shot that Tri-City goalie Troy Trombley thought he had secured at the left post. The puck was actually lying on the ice and Seth Swenson jammed at the puck several times before sneaking it by Trombley.
The T-Birds took 2-0 lead 3:01 after their first goal. Sanvido carried the puck into the Americans zone and then dished to Daniel Wray. Wray took a shot from the left circle that Trombley stopped. Roberts Lipsbergs got the rebound in the left circle and beat Trombley low for the goal.
Seattle outshot Tri-City 14-7 in the first period.
Tri-City (32-23-1-2) got on the board at 9:31 of the second period when Connor Rankin scored. Drydn Dow and Justin Feser had the assists.
The T-Birds outshot the Americans 11-8 in the second period and led 25-15 in shots after two periods.
Justin Hickman and Adam Kambeitz had assists on Lockhart's empty-net goal, which came after a faceoff in the Seattle zone.
Tri-City outshot Seattle 14-6 in the third period but the T-Birds finished with a 31-29 advantage in shots.
Glover stopped 28 of 29 shots and his record is now 21-25-5-1.
Trombley made 28 saves on 30 shots and his record is now 6-1-0-0.
T-Birds single game tickets for the 2012-13 season are available online at the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare Center box office. The ShoWare Center Box Office is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday game days at 10 a.m. and Sunday game days at noon.
T-Birds season tickets are currently on sale. Season tickets can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.
First period - 1, Seattle, Swenson 17 (Johnson, Sanvido), 10:59. 2, Seattle, Lipsbergs 23 (Wray, Sanvido), 14:00. Penalties - Tomchuk, Tri (hooking), 2:33. Rankin, Tri (hooking), 11:16. Wardley, Sea (delay of game), 17:03.
Second period - 3, Tri-City, Rankin 25 (Dow, Feser), 9:31. Penalties - Chnyoweth, Tri (hooking), :26. Plutnar, Tri (tripping), 3:20. Hickman, Sea (delay of game), 9:54. Yuen, Tri (interference), 10:55. Wardley, Sea (interference), 20:00.
Third period - 4, Seattle, Lockhart 20 (Hickman, Kambeitz), 19:57 (en). Penalties - Theodore, Sea (interference), 6:59.
Shots on goal - Seattle 14-11-6 31, Tri-City 7-8-14 29. Goalies - Seattle, Glover 29 shots-28 saves (21-25-5-1); Tri-City, Trombley 30-28 (6-1-0-0). Power plays - Seattle 0-5; Tri-City 0-3. A - 5,040. Referees - Kevin Bennett, Devin Klein. Linesmen - Jason Michelbook, Trevor Shively.