The line of Conner Roulette, Henrik Rybinski and Keltie Jeri-Leon combined for seven points to power the Seattle Thunderbirds a 4-3 Western Hockey League win over the Tri-City Americans at the Toyota Center in Kennwick on Tuesday night.
The T-Birds have won two games in a row and three of their last four outings. Seattle (12-17-2-1) are one point behind Tri-City (12-14-3-1) for the final wild-card playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Roulette fed Rybinski for the game-winning shot at 2:39 of overtime. Roulette gathered the puck along the left wing boards in the defensive zone and sprinted up the ice to create a two-on-one with Rybinski. At the top of the left circle Roulette crossed the puck to Rybinski to put him in alone against Tri-City goalie Beck Warm. Rybinski beat Warm high on the glove side.
Roulette has three goals and four assists in his last four games.
Seattle took a 1-0 lead at 6:34 of the first period on Jeri-Leon’s team leading 10th goal of the season. Roulette had the puck behind the Americans net and made a smooth backhand pass to Jeri-Leon in the low slot. Jeri-Leon beat Warm past an outstretched left leg. Rybinski had the second assist.
Roulette put the T-Birds up 2-0 at 15:15 of the first. Defenseman Luke Bateman kept a Jeri-Leon pass in the offensive zone and then set up for a slap shot. Roulette was all alone in the slot with his stick on the ice and tipped Bateman’s slap shot up and over Warm for his ninth goal of the season.
Tri-City got on the board when Sasha Mutala scored with 15 seconds left in the first.
The Americans tied the game 2-2 at 17:32 of the second period.
Jared Davidson gave the T-Birds a 3-2 lead at 9:49 of the third period. Davidson had the puck on the right wing boards and wristed it on net. Davidson’s shot beat Warm on the short side. Andrej Kukuca and Bateman had the assists on Davidson’s third goal of the season.
Paycen Bjorklund tied the game 3-3 for the Americans at 13:56 of the third.
Seattle goalie Roddy Ross had 19 saves and his record is now 10-12-2-1.
The T-Birds take a nine-day break for the holidays and return to action on Friday, Dec. 27, against the Spokane Chiefs at 7:35 p.m. at the ShoWare Center.
Single-game tickets are on sale online and at the ShoWare box office.
The T-Birds’ holiday premium voucher package is available – 12 flexible vouchers valid for any home game from Jan. 11 to March 21, for $23 a voucher. There are no service charges or other fees to purchase the package. Fans can contact the T-Birds at 253-239-PUCK (7825) or go online to purchase a voucher package.
First period – 1, Seattle, Jeri-Leon 10 (Roulette, Rybinski), 6:34. 2, Seattle, Roulette 9 (Bateman, Jeri-Leon), 15:15. Penalties – Gottfried, Sea (holding), 2:32. Bowman, Tri (high-sticking), 7:14.
Second period – 4, Tri-City, Lajoie 4 (Mutala), 17:32. Penalties – Mutala, Tri (delay of game), :38. Ferguson, Tri (interference), 8:06. Mutala, Tri (tripping), 15:20. Rybinski, Sea (interference), 19:07. Zazula, Tri (embellishment), 19:07.
Third period – 5, Seattle, Davidson 3 (Kukuca, Bateman), 9:49. 6, Tri-City, Bjorklund 6 (Zazula), 13:56. Penalties – No penalties.
Overtime – 7, Seattle, Rybinski 6 (Roulette), 2:39. Penalties – No penalties.
Shots on goal – Seattle 9-17-14-4 44, Tri-City 9-7-6-0 22. Goalies – Seattle, Ross 22 shots-19 saves (10-12-2-1); Tri-City, Warm 44-40 (8-13-2-1). Power plays – Seattle 0-4; Tri-City 0-1. Referees – Brett Iverson, Corey Koop. Linesmen – Rance Hughes, Josh Long.