KENNEWICK -- It was profitable night at Toyota Center on Friday.
The Tri-City Americans picked up a much-needed 5-2 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds before a crowd of 5,673, and $22,228 was raised for breast cancer awareness in the sixth annual game on pink ice.
"That is exciting," said Tri-City coach Jim Hiller of the amount of money raised. "This comes at the right time. We have a lot of bumps and bruises, but there are way more important things than that. This is always a special night."
The Americans (37-18-2-2, 78 points) ended a three-game skid -- all at home -- with the win and remain in fourth place in the Western Conference.
"Coming down the stretch, it was absolutely huge to get these points," said Brendan Shinnimin, who had a goal and three assists. "It has been a struggle lately with guys hurt that play key minutes. Tonight we got the bounces and we have to carry that over until tomorrow."
The Thunderbirds (22-30-4-5, 53 points) have lost 17 consecutive games at Toyota Center, and goaltender Calvin Pickard is 0-for-12 in the same building where his older brother Chet set many Tri-City franchise records.
"I thought we were a step behind all night," said Seattle coach Rob Sumner. "We got outnumbered a few times and got beat down low. You do those things against this team, it makes it easy for them to win."
The Americans held a 4-1 lead after the second, and Brendan Shinnimin added a goal to his three assists at 4:15 of the third, getting behind Luke Lockhart and going in alone on Pickard.
"Ash (Carter Ashton) made a great pass," Shinnimin said. "I got hauled down, but it went in before that. It feels great (to score). Jim sat down with our line (Ashton and Adam Hughesman) before the game. We were more relaxed and believed in each other. Hopefully we are back on the right track."
The action was fast and furious in the first, but neither team was able to find the net.
The second period was a whole other story. The Americans outscored the Thunderbirds 4-1, with rookie Connor Rankin scoring a pair of goals.
"I thought in the first we were snake-bit again," Hiller said. "Sooner or later, it had to go in."
Carter Ashton, who hasn't had a goal in five games, opened the second just 29 seconds into the action, capitalizing on a leftover power play from the first period.
A shot by Brendan Shinnimin was blocked out front and Ashton pushed a slow-rolling puck across the goal line at the left post.
Seattle struck back 55 seconds later on the power play as Ryan Button scored his fourth goal of the season.
From there, it was all Tri-City.
Tyler Schmidt had a wide open net glove side on Pickard at 7:32, and Rankin scored his first at 14:47, gathering a loose puck in the slot. He used his right skate to put the puck on his stick and beat Pickard glove side.
Rankin scored three minutes later when the puck he flipped toward the net got behind Pickard and slowly slid across the goal line.
"Not only were our fans disappointed, we our team was disappointed," said Rankin of the losing streak. "Scoring five tonight helps our confidence. Hopefully we can keep it going this weekend. I'd never played on pink ice before -- that was fun -- and helping out in the community is rewarding."
Chris Driedger finished with 26 saves for the Americans in his fifth start since Drew Owsley suffered a knee injury Feb. 12.