Game 30: Thunderbirds special teams failure results in 18th straight loss in Kennewick

Dec 16, 2011, 10:12 PM | Updated: 10:15 pm

By Mike Caccioppoli

(26-7) Tri-City Americans 5, (13-16-0-1) Seattle Thunderbirds 1

KENNEWICK- The Thunderbirds house of horrors known as the Toyota Center doesn’t care about new players or coaches nor does it care that a 16 year old goalie was in net for the home team. It could be psychological in fact it probably is at this point but regardless of the reason the Birds dropped their 18th straight contest in Kennewick.

The Birds scored the first goal of the night with the Ams scoring the next five. Special teams was the story with the Americans going 3 for 6 while the Birds were 0 for 6.

Chance Lund (9) put a rebound past Eric Comrie to give the Birds a 1-0 lead 6:41 into the first period. Luke Lockhart and Tyler Alos got the assists.

The Americans tied the game 1-1 at 12:34 on a four on three power play. Adam Hughesman notched his 23rd goal of the season.

Tri-City scored another power play goal at 13:53 to take a 2-1 lead. Connor Rankin scored his 12th goal of the season.

At the end of 20 minutes the Birds were down 2-1 and were being outshot 10-8.

Several Seattle players were upset with the penalty calls in the period and were talking with the officials after the period.

The Ams took a 3-1 lead at 3:58 of the second period. Brendan Shinniman (16) just plain beat Calvin Pickard.

Tri scored their fourth straight goal to take a 4-1 lead at 13:00 when Patrick Holland scored his 11th goal of the season.

The Birds ended the second period with nearly four minutes of power play time but fail to get anything going as they head into the third period down 4-1. They were being outshot 24-12 (14-4 in the period).

Shinniman scored his second goal of the game and 17th of the season at 4:51 of the third period to give the Ams a 5-1 lead. It was their third power play goal of the game.

The Birds go on to lose in Kennewick 5-1.

Plus side:

– Coming home. The team bus left right after the game to get the Birds out of Kennewick as quickly as possible.

Minus side:

– Not very special teams. The difference in the game was the special teams as the Birds don’t score on the power play while the Ams get three. The Birds are towards the bottom of the league in the both categories.

– Never ending nightmare in Kennewick. The Birds drop their 18th straight game in Tri-Cities. Yes the Ams have been one of the best home teams the last few seasons but to not be able to win a game season after season is mind-boggling. In fact most of the games haven’t even been close.

– Offensive woes. As has been the case too many times this season the Birds struggle to get shots as they register only 24 in the game including just eight in the first period and four in the second.

– O for Kennewick. Calvin Pickard drops to 0-13 at the Toyota Center and doesn’t have one of his best games as he gives up five goals on 30 shots. Once again you have to wonder if it’s not psychological at least in part.

Game Notes:

– F Connor Sanvido was scratched for the third straight game.

D Jared Hauf was a scratch.

– Calvin Pickard drops to 13-13-0-1. Eric Comrie improves to 12-3.

– Seattle drops to 5-9 on the road (third straight road loss).

– The Birds fall to 1-2 on the season vs. Tri-City (1-1 home, 0-1 road). three stars:

First star: Brendan Shinniman (two goals and two assists)

Second star: Adam Hughesman (goal and two assists)

Third star: Patrick Holland (goal and two assists)

The Thunderbirds finish off the nominal first half of the season Saturday night at the ShoWare Center against the Tri-City Americans. Game time is 7:05 pm and the action can be heard live at

Game Summary is on the WHL website.

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