Americans slip past Thunderbirds in overtime

Kukuca, Wedman score in 3-2 loss to Tri-City

The Tri-City Americans defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds 3-2 in overtime Saturday night at the accesso ShoWare Center.

It was the third consecutive game between the T-Birds and Americans. Seattle won 5-4 on Tuesday in Kent, and Tri-City prevailed 4-2 in Kennewick on Friday.

Tri-City (6-4-0-0) took a 1-0 lead at 7:26 of the first period on Mitchell Brown’s goal. Sasha Mutala and Parker AuCoin had the assists. The Americans made it 2-0 lead at 10:37 of the first on Riley Sawchuk’s goal. Blake Stevenson and Connor Bouchard had the assists.

Seattle (6-2-2-0) cut the Tri-City lead to one early in the second period. Nolan Volcan found Andrej Kukuca all alone in front of Tri-City goalie Beck Warm. Kukuca was stopped on his first attempt but got the puck back to the right of the net. Kukuca skated behind the net and scored a wraparound goal. Matthew Wedman had the second assist on the goal.

Wedman tied the game 2-2 at 16:06 of the third period. Goalie Liam Hughes left the puck behind the net for defenseman Owen Williams, who made a stretch pass to Wedman at the Americans blue line. Wedman carried the puck into the left circle and beat Warm with a snap shot on the short side over the blocker.

A minute before the tying goal, Wedman blocked a point shot while the T-Birds were on the penalty kill. Wedman hobbled to his feet and was able to clear the puck as the T-Birds killed off the Tri-City power play.

Mutala scored at 1:46 of overtime for the game-winning goal. Krystof Hrabik had the only assist.

Tri-City outshot Seattle 30-24 in the game.

Hughes had 27 saves on 30 shots and his record is 5-1-1-0.

Warm made 22 saves on 24 shots and his record is 5-4-0-0.

Up next

The T-Birds’ next game is at 6:05 p.m. Friday against the Kamloops Blazers at ShoWare.

Single-game tickets are on sale online and at the ShoWare box office.

Fans who purchase a 24-flex ticket package will be able to select any available premium seat for any game, in any ticket combination, during the season.


First period

– 1, Tri-City, Brown 1 (Mutala, AuCoin), 7:26. 2, Tri-City, Sawchuk 6 (Stevenson, Bouchard), 10:37. Penalties – Kalinichenko, Tri (interference), :04. McNelly, Sea (charging, major-fighting), 14:33. McAndrews, Tri (unsportsmanlike conduct, major-fighting), 14:33. Olson, Tri (slashing), 18:00. Brown, Tri (cross checking), 19:06.

Second period – 3, Seattle, Kukuca 4 (Volcan, Wedman), 2:17. Penalties – Schaufler, Sea (roughing), 5:20. Kalinichenko, Tri (roughing), 5:20. McNelly, Sea (cross checking), 5:20. Wedman, Sea (high-sticking), 10:30. Bouchard, Tri (slashing), 16:04. Brown, Tri (boarding), 17:25.

Third period – 4, Seattle, Wedman 3 (Williams, Hughes), 16:06. Penalties – Savey, Sea (tripping), 13:08.

Overtime – 5, Tri-City, Mutala 2 (Hrabik), 1:46. Penalties – No penalties.

Shots on goal – Seattle 7-10-7-0 24, Tri-City 9-15-4-2 30. Goalies – Seattle, Hughes30 shots-27 saves (5-1-1-0); Tri-City, Warm 24-22 (5-4-0-0). Power plays – Seattle 0-5; Tri-City 0-3. A – 4,211. Referees – Brett Iverson, Nick Panter. Linesmen – Brett Mackey, Justin Nicol.