WHL Roundup: Geekie lifts Americans over Thunderbirds in shootout

Doug Love


Seattle Thunderbirds (2) at Tri-City Americans (3) SO 
Seattle (2-1-0-1) // Tri-City (2-2-0-0)

The Seattle Thunderbirds and Tri-City Americans went the distance Tuesday in Kennewick, Wash., but it was the Americans coming away with a 3-2 victory in the shootout.

While both Patrick Dea and Matt Berlin took both teams to the shootout with some spectacular saves, it was Morgan Geekie scoring the lone goal of the extra frame to wrap up the Ams’ second home win in as many tries at the Toyota Centre.

Fresh off a strong camp with the Detroit Red Wings, Michael Rasmussen wasted no time in getting his first goal of the season, scoring 83 seconds into the second period on the power play. The Thunderbirds weren’t ready to back down though, with Nolan Volcan evening up the score with his first of the year near the midway mark of the same period.

The Thunderbirds temporarily pulled ahead Noah Philp’s first goal of the year 4:03 into the final period, but the Americans would not deny their fans a second home victory.

With time running out, Carson Focht tallied his first of the season to even up the game with less than four minutes left.

That would be the lone goal for the rest of regulation and overtime as both clubs headed to a shootout for the first time this season. There, Geekie was the lone goalscorer as the five skaters after him either missed or had their chances snuffed out by both goaltenders.

In addition to stopping all three shooters in the shootout, Americans goaltender Patrick Dea stopped 23 of the 25 shots sent his way in regulation and overtime for his first victory with his new club. Matt Berlin also delivered a strong performance in net, making 27 saves.

The Americans are on the road next in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland with a pair of games against the Vancouver Giants this coming weekend. Up next for the Thunderbirds is a date at home Friday against the Portland Winterhawks.



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