For the Reporter
The Seattle Thunderbirds came back from a three-goal deficit in the last 5:23 of regulation to force overtime against Tri-City, but the Americans prevailed 6-5 on Jordan Topping’s breakaway goal with 45 seconds left in the extra period Friday night.
With goalie Dorrin Luding on the bench for an extra attacker, the T-Birds’ Donovan Neuls scored with seven seconds left to tie the game 5-5 and send the 5,233 at the accesso ShoWare Center into pandemonium. Neuls beat Tri-City goalie Beck Warm through the legs from the right circle on assists from Zack Andrusiak and Turner Ottenbreit.
The comeback started when Nolan Volcan redirected Andrusiak’s shot from the right circle past Warm at 14:37 of the third for a power-play goal. Jarret Tyszka had the second assist.
Andrusiak scored a power-play goal at 16:54 of the third to cut the Americans’ lead to one goal. Tyszka passed the puck from center ice inside the blue line to Andrusiak in the right circle. Andrusiak took a shot that hit a defenseman’s skate and came right back to him and he snapped the puck over Warm’s glove for his 15th goal of the season. Sami Moilanen had the second assist.
The T-Birds travel to Spokane on Saturday to take on the Chiefs for the first time this season. Puck drop is 7:05 p.m.
Tri-City (15-9-3-0) took a 1-0 lead 5:50 into the first period on Brent Clayton’s unassisted goal.
Seattle (13-13-3-1) quickly tied the game 1-1 30 seconds after the Americans goal. Moilanen had the puck along the right boards at the Americans blue line. Moilanen passed the puck to Matthew Wedman entering the zone. Wedman drove the defenseman wide and then cut to the net. Wedman beat Warm low on the stick side in close. Tyszka had the second assist.
The T-Birds took a 2-1 lead at 15:53 of the first. Tyson Terretta took a slap shot from the right point that rebounded off Warm. Blake Bargar took a swipe at the rebound and the puck went to Noah Philp to the left of the net. Philp punched the puck in as he was falling down to get the go-ahead goal.
The Americans tied the game 2-2 at 1:41 of the second period on a goal from Michael Rasmussen. Morgan Geekie had the only assist.
Tri-City took a 3-2 lead at 8:17 of the second on a power-play goal from Rasmussen. Jordan Topping and Nolan Yaremko had the assists.
Clayton gave the Americans a two-goal lead when he scored at 11:22 of the second. Dylan Coghlan and Dan Gatenby were credited with the assists.
The Americans went in front 5-2 at 19:34 of the second on a goal from Riley Sawchuk.
Dorrin Luding replaced Matt Berlin in Seattle’s net to start the third period. Berlin had 21 saves on 26 shots.
Luding had 15 saves on 16 shots in the third period and took the loss with his record at 3-8-1-0.
Warm had 12 saves and his record is 8-4-0-0.
Single-game tickets for the regular season are on sale on the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare box office.
Season tickets can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.
First period – 1, Tri-City, Clayton 1, 5:50. 2, Seattle, Wedman 4 (Moilanen, Tyszka), 6:20. 3, Seattle, Philp 7 (Terretta, Bargar), 15:53. Penalties – Neuls, Sea (boarding), 6:45.
Second period – 4, Tri-City, Rasmussen 11 (Geekie), 1:41. 5, Tri-City, Rasmussen 12 (Topping, Yaremko), 8;17 (pp). 6, Tri-City, Clayton 2 (Coghlan, Gatenby), 11:22. 7, Tri-City, Sawchuk 3 (Yaremko, James), 19:34. Penalties – Lee, Sea (hooking), 6:58. Ottenbreit, Sea (major-fighting), 8:29. James, Tri (major-fighting), 8:29. Valimaki, Tri (holding), 13:27. Krebs, Tri (delay of game), 15:11.
Third period – 8, Seattle, Volcan 11 (Andrusiak, Tyszka), 14:37 (pp). 9, Seattle, Andrusiak 15 (Tyszka, Moilanen), 16:54 (pp). 10, Seattle, Neuls 7 (Andrusiak, Ottenbreit), 19:53. Penalties – Yaremko, Tri (major-fighting), 7:38. Ottenbreit, Sea (major-fighting), 7:38. Hamaliuk, Sea (kneeing), 9:40. Huo, Sea (roughing), 9:40. Geekie, Tri (roughing), 9:40. Harsch, Sea (boarding), 10:42. Gatenby, Tri (hooking), 16:07.
Overtime – 11, Tri-City, Topping 15 (Olson, Valimaki), 4:15. Penalties – No penalties.
Shots on goal – Seattle 5-5-7-0 17, Tri-City 9-16-11-5 41. Goalies – Seattle, Berlin 26 shots-21 saves, Luding 15-14 (3-8-1-0); Tri-City, Warm 17-12 (8-4-0-0). Power plays – Seattle 2-4; Tri-City 1-4. A – 5,233. Referees – Duncan Brow, Dexter Rasmussen. Linesmen – Michael Labbe, Michael McGowan.