KENNEWICK -- Home sweet home.
After a grueling five-game road trip, the Tri-City Americans came to life on home ice, beating the Seattle Thunderbirds 4-0 on Tuesday night before a crowd of 3,590 at the Toyota Center.
"It was a tough road trip," Tri-City coach Jim Hiller said. "You always worry about that first game back at home. We were ready from the drop of the puck. No complaints from the coaches."
The Americans (34-10-0-0, 68 points), who have won 13 in a row at home, opened up their Western Conference lead over Kamloops to three points, and five points on Portland in the race for the U.S. Division title.
The Thunderbirds (17-23-0-1 35 points) haven't won at Toyota Center since Jan. 27, 2008, a span of 20 games. The last time Seattle won at the Toyota Center, goalie Calvin Pickard wasn't old enough to play in the league.
Comrie had 16 saves in the shutout, and none bigger than stopping Seattle's Luke Lockhart on a breakaway in the first period.
"That was a good save on the breakaway," Hiller said. "That was an important save. They get that, they could have crawled back into it."
The Americans celebrated being back on home ice with a pair of goals in the first period.
Jesse Mychan, in his first game at Toyota Center with the Americans, scored his third goal since coming over in a trade with Everett, collecting a rebound off an Adam Hughesman shot and beating Pickard at 10:12.
"I'm feeling really good. I'm using a different part of my game and putting the puck in the net," said Mychan who has been suspended by the league three different times for a total of 14 games. "It's been a great experience so far. The fans are great. I didn't know what to expect after my fight, but they were on their feet."
Hiller also has taken notice.
"He's a good hockey player," Hiller said. "He's big and tough, too, but that's secondary for us. He's playing an important roll for us."
Mason Wilgosh gave the Americans a 2-0 lead, finding an empty net behind Pickard at the left post at 11:30 for his ninth goal of the season.
The Thunderbirds had a golden opportunity to cut into the lead with Lockhart's breakaway at 15:50, but he shot the puck right into Comrie's pads.
Patrick Holland, who has points in 12 consecutive games, scored his 19th goal of the season at 6:16 of the second on the power play to give Tri-City a 3-0 lead.
The goal was in question as the net came off its moorings as the goal was scored. Video replay showed the puck crossed the line before the net came loose.
"A lot of luck," Holland said of his point streak. "Our team has been good for a while and everyone is playing good. We are getting a lot of goals and with the guys play, I'm bound to get some (points)."
Seattle managed just four shots on goal in the second, while the Americans peppered Pickard with 15 shots. Pickard, who is winless in 14 starts in Kennewick, finished with 36 saves.
"Pickard was great," Hiller said. "One of the best games he's had in this building."
Justin Feser finished the scoring with a power-play goal at 17:02 of the third.
Hughesman, Jordan Messier and Brendan Shinnimin all had two assists for Tri-City.
NOTES: With his two assists, Shinnimin passed Bill Lindsay (271) for ninth on the team's all-time scoring list. ... Hughesman, with his two points, passed Terry Degner (304) for fourth on the Americans' all-time scoring list.
* Annie Fowler: 509-582-1574; firstname.lastname@example.org