Americans Fall to Thunderbirds 7-3 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Americans Fall to Thunderbirds 7-3

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by Tri-City Americans Media Relations

KENT, WA- The Tri-City Americans (29-37-0-3, 61 pts) tried to take sole possession of the final wild card spot, but were denied by the Seattle Thunderbirds (35-25-4-5, 79 pts), as Tri-City fell 7-3 in front of 6,084 at ShoWare Center on Tuesday night.

Seattle had an excellent start, as Scott Eansor scored 13 seconds into the game to put the Thunderbirds up 1-0 early in the first period. The Americans found their legs and got on the board just more than eight minutes into the period as Richard Nejezchleb fired a shot into the goal to even the score at one. Less than a minute later, Eansor added his second of the game on a rebound that he fired into the twine to put Seattle ahead 2-1 after the first period.

Early in the second period, Seattle went up by two goals after a goal from Ethan Bear. But Tri-City fought back late in the period. While the Americans were shorthanded, Taran Kozun misplayed a puck in his zone, which Beau McCue capitalized on and fired the puck into an empty net to cut the lead to 3-2. And with less than two minutes, the Americans scored a second shorty, as a 2-on-1 ended with a Justin Gutierrez goal to tie the game at three after two periods.

Both teams tried to find the lead in the third period, and Seattle regained the lead just more than six minutes into the third as Roberts Lipsbergs scored to put the Thunderbirds ahead 4-3. A short time later, the Thunderbirds got a shorthanded goal from Shea Theodore to push the lead to two goals. Later in the third, Lipsbergs added his second of the game to give the Thunderbirds a solid three goal lead. Tri-City never gave up, but wasn't able to mount a comeback. Eansor scored an empty net goal to complete the hat trick and seal the win for Seattle. 

Tri-City has lost two straight games and remains tied with Kamloops for the final wild card spot, with each team having three games left to play in the regular season.

Seattle and Tri-City each spent eight minutes in the penalty box and neither team could convert any of its three power play chances.

Eric Comrie made 31 saves in the loss while Taran Kozun stopped 21 shots in the win.

Tri-City will play its final two home games of the regular season, starting with the Portland Winterhawks (41-21-2-4, 88 pts) this Friday, March 20, at Toyota Center. Game time is at 7:05 p.m. Tri-City has lost every meeting against Portland this season, including a 6-2 loss in the most recent meeting on March 7 in Portland.

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