Tri-City Thumps Seattle, 7-1 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tri-City Thumps Seattle, 7-1

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Already sporting red hair and a red jersey, Mitch Fadden found the only other way to generate more red inside the Toyota Center on Saturday night...the goal lamp.

With a crowd of 4,880 dressed mostly in red to support heart health awareness month, Fadden lit the lamp four times to pace the Tri-City Americans (37-15-0-3, 77 pts) in a 7-1 rout of the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds (24-27-1-3, 52 pts).  With the win, the Americans improved to 6-1, including 5-0 at the Toyota Center, against the T'birds this season.  Meanwhile, Seattle has now lost eight of their last 10 games against Tri-City.

The two division rivals battled throughout the first period, combining for 22 shots on goal in the period.  However, it was the T'birds that would get on the scoreboard first.  With 4:02 remaining in the period, Thomas Hickey buried a Chris Cloud pass, past Chet Pickard, for the 1-0 lead.

Things did not get much better for Tri-City, as they come out of the first intermission and took two quick penalties, handing Seattle a 5-on-3 power play opportunity for 3:34 minutes.  Seattle used their only timeout to rally the troops, but the Americans' penalty kill was up to the task and, after killing off both penalties, began to slowly take away the momentum.

At the 8:59 mark of the second period, Seattle's starter Jacob DeSerres appeared to injury himself skating out to play the puck.  DeSerres headed to the locker room and would not return to the bench, as back-up Calvin Pickard took over in goal.

Meanwhile, just 43 seconds into the goaltending change and on the power play, Jason Reese fed a backdoor pass to Fadden, who tied the game at 1.  Then, just 2:27 later and on another power play, Brett Plouffe let a slap shot go from just inside the blue line, which found its way between Pickard's pads for the eventual game-winner.

Things would only get worse for Seattle, as just 1:39 later, Fadden registered goal #2.  After a blocked Seattle shot, Chet Pickard broke out Fadden.  Fadden made a great move on Calvin, appearing to go wide, then, once Pickard committed, pulled the puck back in and tucked it in at the near post.  Finally, with 5:16 remaining in the period, Fadden capped off the hat trick.  Jarrett Toll, playing in just his second game back from a broken hand, hit Fadden in stride, who when in uncontested on Pickard.

In the third period, the Americans continued to pour gas on the fire, as they tallied three more unanswered goals.  The first came midway through the period, as Kruise Reddick knocked in a Taylor Procyshen rebound.  Since returning to the line-up, Reddick has recorded two goals and four points in four games.

Then, 1:06 later and on the power play, the Fadden-Reese combo connected again.  Reese sent a nice cross-ice pass through the crease, which Fadden then buried for his fourth goal of the evening.  Finally, with 5:26 remaining in regulation and playing shorthanded, Mason Wilgosh took a Johnny Lazo pass and broke in on Calvin.  Wilgosh was able to lift the puck up and over Pickard's shoulder, giving him his fourth goal of the season and first-career shorthanded goal.

With 1:23 remaining in regulation, Americans fans collectively held their breathe, as Pickard was run into by Seattle's Jonathan Parker.  Parker was charged with a 5-minute charging penalty and a 10-minute game misconduct, while Pickard was slow to get up.  After a couple of minutes, Pickard was able to skate off under his own power, but gave way to back-up Drew Owsley for the final 83 ticks.  As of the end of the game, there was no update on Pickard's status and he will be re-evaluated on Sunday.

DeSerres and Pickard combined for 28 saves in the loss, while Chet stopped 27 of the 28 shots he faced in collecting his 26th win of the season.  The Americans power play went 3-for-9 on the evening, while going a perfect 7-for-7 on the penalty kill.

Tri-City will now prepare to face-off against the Central Division's Lethbridge Hurricanes tomorrow, Sunday, February 8th.  There will be some familiar faces on both sides of the ice tomorrow, after the Hurricanes and Americans worked out a five-player deal in early November of this season.  Game time is 5:05 p.m. at Toyota Center.  It is the lone match-up of the season between the two squads.  Lethbridge shut out Tri-City in their only meeting last season, a 2-0 win back on January 19 in Alberta.  Meanwhile, the Americans have not lost, at home, to Lethbridge since December 11, 1999, going 2-0 with 2 ties in that span. 

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