KENNEWICK -- The drought continues at Toyota Center for the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Jordan Messier had two goals and Kruise Reddick had a goal and two assists to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 4-1 victory over the Thunderbirds before a crowd of 4,373 on Sunday night.
"Two big wins," said Messier, who has three goals in the first two games of the season. "We went out and did what we had to do this weekend. We are a great team at home, but you can never take Seattle too lightly. Calvin (Pickard) keeps them in a lot of games."
Seattle, which is off to a 1-2-0-0 start, has not won at Toyota Center since Jan. 27, 2008, a span of 13 games.
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"They play us so hard in this building and Calvin was good, as he always is," Tri-City coach Jim Hiller said. "You can't relax until the final whistle. I was happy with how we executed our system this early. Off the top of my head, I didn't see any area of concern. I think we have a pretty good foundation."
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Messier scored both of his goals in the third period, the first coming at 8:22 and the second at 17:02 on a delayed penalty.
"I'm using my size and shooting the puck more," Messier said.
The Americans (2-0-0-0, 4 points) put themselves in a hole early, giving Seattle back-to-back power plays in the first 2:47 of the game. But the Thunderbirds were unable to capitalize. In fact, they had no shots on goal during the extended power play, in which they had a 5-on-3 for 36 seconds.
"Our power play had been pretty good the first two games and in the preseason," said Seattle coach Rob Sumner. "I thought we had good control, just not enough shots at the net. When you have a 5-on-3 and don't get anything on net, that's not what you are looking for."
The penalty kill was a concern for the Americans last season, but they have allowed just two goals while short-handed 13 times this season.
"Our PK was really, really good," Hiller said. "It was an area we thought we could improve and we've devoted a lot of time to it."
Tri-City took advantage of its lone power play in the first as Reddick blasted the puck past Pickard at 12:45 from the left point.
Trailing 1-0 after the first period, the Thunderbirds weathered the storm of three Tri-City power plays, then evened the score at 12:42 as Charles Wells brought the puck up the ice, circled around the back of the net, came out front and threw the puck on net, surprising Ams goalie Alex Pechurskiy, who had faced just three shots on goal before then.
"That's my fault," Pechurskiy said. "I'd only seen a few shots before that. It's tough to watch at the other end. I worked in just the third period and had a big save one-on-one (with Colin Jacobs)."
Three minutes later, the Americans were back on top, taking advantage of their fourth power play of the period as Adam Hughesman picked up a rebound at the left post and slipped it past Pickard for his first goal of the season.
"We were in the penalty box way too much," Sumner said. "It was pretty lopsided."
Pechurskiy finished with 15 saves, and Reddick and Shinnimin each had two assists.
With three points, Reddick surpassed the 200-point mark for his career (201) and his two assists gave him 129, passing Darrell Hay (128) for 13th on the team's all-time list.
Note: The Americans released D Cody Castro before the game.
* Annie Fowler: 509-582-1574; email@example.com