A shootout finish was only appropriate for the back-and-forth contest between Tri-City and Seattle on Friday night, with the host Thunderbirds winning 5-4 as Roberts Lipsbergs notched the only shootout goal.
Beau McCue scored the tying goal for the Americans (1-3-0-0, 3 points) with 27 seconds left in regulation on the power play.
The two teams combined for seven goals and 52 shots in the first two periods.
Both teams got off to a fast start, with Brian Williams and Connor Rankin scoring just over a minute apart for a 2-1 lead for Tri-City with 5 minutes left in the first period.
Williams scored again his fifth goal of the year midway through the second for a 3-all tie, but Seattle went back in front by a goal heading into the third.
Williams finished with four points, adding two assists to his two goals. Williams has five goals in his last two games and leads the Americans with eight points.
Eric Comrie finished with 32 saves for Tri-City, including 10 between the third period and overtime.
Brandon Troock and Alexander Delnov each had a goal and an assist for the Thunderbirds (3-0-0-0, 6 points), who are atop the U.S. Division with Spokane.
The Americans travel to Spokane today to take on the Chiefs. The 7 p.m. game will be televised on MeTV 42.2 and Charter 280.
THUNDERBIRD 5, AMERICANS 4 (SO)
Tri-City 2 1 1 0 4
Seattle 2 2 0 0 5
First 1, Sea, Troock 3 (Honey, Delnov), 8:22. 2, TC, Williams 4 (Hamonic), 13:51. 3, TC, Rankin 2 (Gutierrez, Williams), 14:58 (pp). 4, Sea, Honey 2 (Troock, Theodore), 15:50 (pp). Penalties Honey, Sea (checking from behind), 10:54; Sheen, Sea (slashing), 14:21; Wotherspoon, TC (checking to the head), 15:30; Honey, Sea (goaltender interference), 18:39.
Second 5, Sea, Delnow 3 (Hauf, Smith), 8:28. 6, TC, Williams 5 (Rankin), 12:09. 7, Sea, Swenson 2 (Barzal), 17:07. Penalties Tot, TC (roughing), 15:34; Wardley, Sea (roughing), 15:34; McCue, TC (tripping), 19:51.
Third 8, TC, McCue 3 (Williams, Messier), 19:33 (pp). Penalties Eansor, Sea (slashing), 9:04; Eansor (delay of game), 19:25.
Overtime None. Penalties None.
Shots TC 17-9-8-2 36. Sea 11-15-7-3 36. Power plays TC 2-5. Sea 1-2. Shootout TC 0 (Rankin NG, Williams NG, Tot NG, McCue NG, Nickles NG). Sea 1 (Delnow NG, Varzal NG, Troock NG, Theodore NG, Lipsnergs G). Goalies TC, Comrie 1-2-0-0 (36 shots-32 saves). Sea, Myles 1-0-0-0 (36-32). Referees Mark Pearce and Pat Smith. A 3,240.