The Tri-City Americans made a big push in the third period to get back in the game, but in the end dropped a 3-2 road game Friday night to the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Seattle (41-18-4-2, 88 points) moved into sole possession of first place in the U.S. Division after Everett (87 points) lost 3-2 in a shootout Friday at Kelowna.
Tri-City (38-24-3-0, 79 points), which saw it’s seven-game win streak come to an end, is third in the division standings. The Americans play at Kelowna on Saturday.
Trailing 3-0 after two periods, the Americans finally found a way to beat Seattle goalie Rylan Toth in the third.
Mid-way through the third, Tyler Sandhu rang the puck off the cross bar, Dylan Coghlan got the rebound and sent the puck to the net, beating Toth at 8:27 to light up the Americans’ side of the scoreboard for a 3-1 game.
Tri-City came back with another goal less than 3 minutes later as Kyle Olson scored from the high slot to trim Seattle’s lead to 3-2 at 11:05.
The Americans had a couple of close calls down the stretch, but couldn’t convert and tie the score.
It didn’t take long for the Thunderbirds to find the night on Friday.
The Americans turned the puck over in the high slot and Mathew Barzal beat Tri-City goalie Rylan Parenteau 57 seconds into game.
Another turnover, this time behind the net, ended up on the stick of Sami Moilanen, who backhanded the puck past Parenteau at 11:17 for a 2-0 lead that would stand until the end of the period.
In the second, Moilanen scored his second of the night, scoring off a rebound on a shot by Keegan Kolesar at 13:38.
Parenteau finished with 20 saves, while Toth had 27.
Thunderbirds 3, Americans 2
First — 1, Sea, Barzal 10 (Volcan), :57. 2, Sea, Moilanen 19 (Neuls, Volcan), 11:17. Penalties — None.
Second — 3, Sea, Moilanen 20 (Kolesar, Barzal), 13:38. Penalties — Moilanen, Sea (high-sticking), 11:21.
Third — 4, TC, Coghlan 13 (Sandhu, Topping), 8:27. 5, TC, Olson 18 (Coghlan, Yaremko), 11:05. Penalties — None.
Shots — TC 11-8-10 — 29. Sea 11-9-3 — 23. Power plays — TC 0-1. Sea 0-0. Goalies — TC, Parenteau 24-13-1-0 (23 shot-20 saves). Sea, Toth 34-17-2-1 (29-27). Referees — Brett Iverson and Bryan Bourdon. A —5,066.