Owen Williams scored 1:32 into overtime as the Seattle Thunderbirds beat the Tri-City Americans 6-5 Wednesday night in Kennewick to clinch a Western Hockey League playoff berth.
Seattle, having secured the second wild-card spot, will play either the Vancouver Giants or the Everett Silvertips in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.
In overtime, Tyler Carpendale carried the puck up the right boards and was checked. Noah Philp got the puck off the wall and started a two-on-one break with Williams. Philp skated into the offensive zone on the right wing with Williams on his left. In the low right circle, Philp crossed the puck to Williams, who snapped the puck past Tri-City goalie Beck Warm, lunging to make the save, for the winning goal. The T-Birds swarmed off the bench and mobbed Williams along the left boards in the offensive zone.
Nolan Volcan had a hat trick and Matthew Wedman had two goals. Henrik Rybinski had four assists.
Tri-City took a 1-0 lead 31 seconds into the second period on a goal from Nolan Yaremko.
Seattle tied it up 1-1 at 3:53 of the second on Volcan’s 24th goal of the season. Volcan took a pass from Rybinski and skated into the left circle. Volcan beat Warm on the blocker side with a snap shot. Wedman had the second assist.
Wedman made it a 2-1 lead at 13:09 of the second with a power-play goal. Keltie Jeri-Leon passed the puck out of the right corner to Noah Philp at the left point. Philp took a wrist shot with Wedman skating into the low slot. Wedman tipped Philp’s shot past Warm for his 38th goal of the season.
The Americans tied the game 2-2 at 15:02 of the second on a goal from Krystof Hrabik.
Wedman scored a power-play goal 28 seconds into the third period to give the T-Birds a 3-2 lead. Jarret Tyszka had the puck in the right circle and fed Wedman all alone in front of Warm. Wedman made a move and beat Warm low on the right side for his second goal of the game. Rybinski had the second assist.
Seattle extended the lead to 4-2 at 4:59 of the third. Rybinski pressured the Americans on the left boards and the puck popped to Volcan all alone in front of Warm. Volcan beat Warm over the right shoulder for his 25th goal.
Tri-City tied the game 4-4 in the third on goals from Parker AuCoin at 8:18 and Sasha Mutala at 9:15.
The Americans took a 5-4 lead on a power-play goal from Yaremko at 15:23 of the third.
Volcan tied the game 5-5 at 16:04 of the third with his third goal of the game. Rybinski stopped an Americans clearing attempt along the left boards and found Volcan in the slot. Volcan got around a Tri-City defenseman and beat Warm through the legs.
Seattle goalie Roddy Ross had 25 saves, and his record is 15-5-1-2. Warm had 27 saves, and his record is 32-23-5-0.
Peek at the playoffs
The T-Birds’ first home playoff appearance – know Game 3 – is 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, at the accesso ShoWare Center. It will be a 2-for-Tuesday game, featuring two-for-one tickets and beers and $2 popcorn, $2 hot dogs and $2 soda.
Single-game playoff Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, March 18, at the ShoWare box office and online.
The T-Birds will release a full first-round schedule once an opponent has been determined.
The T-Birds have two games remaining in the regular season, playing the Portland Winterhawks in a home-and-home series. The team are at the ShoWare Center at 6:05 p.m. Saturday and in Portland for a 5:05 p.m. game Sunday. Both games will be televised on JOEtv Channel 22/Cable 110. Ian Furness and Andy Johnson will have the call.
First period – No scoring. Penalties – Wood, Sea (holding), 2:09. Kaluski, Sea (slashing), 12:40.
Second period – 1, Tri-City, Yaremko 26 (AuCoin), :31. 2, Seattle, Volcan 24 (Rybinski, Wedman), 3:53. 3, Seattle, Wedman 38 (Philp, Jeri-Leon), 13:09 (pp). 4, Tri-City, Hrabik 20 (Mutala, Sawchuk), 15:02. Penalties – Bauer, Sea (major-fighting), 4:25. Yaremko, Tri (major-fighting), 4:25. Kubicek, Sea (roughing), 5:05. Hrabik, Sea (roughing), 5:05. Schmiemann, Tri (interference), 12:17.
Third period – 5, Seattle, Wedman 39 (Tyszka, Rybinski), :28 (pp). 6, Seattle, Volcan 25 (Rybinski), 4:59. 7, Tri-City, AuCoin 41 (Yaremko, Olson), 8:18 (pp). 8, Tri-City, Mutala 20 (Hrabik, Hyman), 9:15. 9, Tri-City, Yaremko 27 (Hrabik, AuCoin), 15:23 (pp). 10, Seattle, Volcan 26 (Rybinski), 16:04. Penalties – Williams, Sea (hooking), :48. Jeri-Leon, Sea (tripping), 6:27. Bouchard, Tri (embellishment), 6:27. Wedman, Sea (goaltender interference), 7:05. Carpendale, Sea (delay of game), 14:15.
Overtime – 11, Seattle, Williams 5 (Philp, Carpendale), 1:32. Penalties – No penalties.
Shots on goal – Seattle 13-12-7-1 33, Tri-City 9-9-12-0 30. Goalies – Seattle, Ross 30 shots-25 saves (15-5-1-2); Tri-City, Warm 33-27 (32-23-5-0). Power plays – Seattle 2-2; Tri-City 2-5. A – 3,174. Referees – Adam Griffiths, Stephen Campbell. Linesmen – Steve Fleming, Trevor Shively.