T-Birds tame Cougars in wild game

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SeattleThunderbirds

January 7, 2014, Prince George, BC (ISN) – Ryan Gropp had a hat trick and 13 T-Birds registered a point Tuesday night at the CN Centre in Prince George, British Columbia, in a wild 9-7 Seattle Thunderbirds victory over the Prince George Cougars.

The Cougars had leads of 1-0 and 2-1 to start the game. Then the T-Birds stormed back and took leads of 5-2 and 7-3. But the Cougars made it interesting cutting the Seattle lead to one goal, 8-7, midway through the third period before empty-net goal won it for Seattle.

This was the first of back-to-back games between the T-Bird and Cougars. They meet Wednesday night at CN Centre at 7pm.

Logan Flodell made his first career start in goal for the T-Birds Tuesday night. He made 21 saves on 28 shots in the win. He was called up from the Regina Pat Canadians with goalie Justin Myles suffering from an illness.

Prince George (16-22-2-3) took a 1-0 lead 1:28 of the first period. Klarc Wilson took a pass in the slot from Todd Fiddler and beat Seattle goalie Logan Flodell for his 16th goal of the season. Harrison Ruopp had the second assist.

Seattle (23-14-2-3) tied the game 1-1 just over three minutes after the Cougars scored when Ryan Gropp banged home a rebound on the power play. Ethan Bear, in his first game back with the T-Birds after returning from the World U-17 Challenge, passed the puck to Shea Theodore at center ice. Theodore took a slap shot that Prince George goalie Ty Edmonds stopped. But Gropp was to the right of the goal to get the rebound and score.

The Cougars went back in front 2-1 at 11:54 of the first on a goal from Todd Fiddler on a five-on-three power play. Fiddler was to the left of Flodell and tried a centering pass into the slot. Flodell blocked the pass with his stick but the puck came right back to Fiddler and he roofed it over the goalie. Mark McNulty and Troy Bourke were credited with the assists.

The T-Birds came right back and tied the game 2-2 with a power-play goal at 16:38 of the first. Roberts Lipsbergs had the puck on the right boards and passed it to Adam Henry at the right point. Henry took a slap shot that Edmonds stopped. Alexander Delnov jammed at the rebound several times and got the puck past Edmonds at the right post.

Calvin Spencer put the T-Birds in front 3-2 with 43 seconds left in the first period. Roberts Lipsbergs and Delnov worked the puck up the ice and into the Prince George zone. Spencer got the puck behind the Cougars’ net and scored on a backhand wraparound shot.

Seattle outshot Prince George 12-6 in the first period.

The T-Birds scored two goals in the first 1:12 of the second period to take a commanding 5-2 lead. The Cougars had the puck behind their net and sent an errant pass up the center of the ice. Evan Wardley stopped the puck and took a wrist shot with at least six players in the slot. Wardley’s shot beat Edmonds on the stick side 22 seconds into the period for his first goal of the year.

Theodore started a break that led to Seattle’s fifth goal, coming at 1:12 of the second. In the neutral zone Theodore hit Delnov on the right wing with a pass to send him into the Cougars’ zone. Delnov stopped in the right circle and crossed the puck to Lipsbergs coming down the slot. Edmonds went down expecting a shot, then a missed a poke check and Lipsbergs went around the goalie and put the puck in the empty net.

Brad Morrison scored at 14:52 of the second to get the Cougars third goal. Just after a T-Birds penalty ended, Jansen Harkins centered the puck from behind the net to Morrison in the slot. Morrison beat Flodell over the right shoulder for the goal. Martin Bobos had the second assist.

Seattle got the three-goal lead back on Gropp’s second goal of the night. Gropp took a pass from Wardley and skated hard up the right wing. Gropp stickhandled through a Cougars’ defenseman into the slot. He got Edmonds to go down, moved to his left and found the back of the net. Jared Hauf had the second assist on the goal.

The T-Birds led 18-16 in shots after two periods.

The teams combined for seven goals in a back and forth third period.

The T-Birds took a 7-3 lead 1:07 into the third period with a four-on-three power-play goal. Gropp passed the puck from the left circle to Theodore at the left point. Theodore crossed the puck to Henry who ripped a slap shot on goal. Henry’s shot beat Edmonds over the left shoulder.

Zach Pochiro scored at 1:46 of the third to get the Cougars fourth goal. Pochiro took a pass from Fiddler in the left corner and skated towards Flodell. Pochiro skated through the low slot and slid the puck under Flodell.

Fiddler scored just over two minutes after Pochiro’s goal to make it a 7-5 T-Birds lead. Wilson and Pochiro had the assists.

The T-Birds took the three goal lead back at 6:16 of the third on Scott Eansor’s second goal of the season. Jerret Smith took a slap shot from the right circle that Eansor tipped over Edmonds left shoulder. Seth Swenson had the second assist on the goal.

Pochiro scored a power-play goal at 9:57 of the third to cut the T-Birds lead back to two goals. He took a wrist shot from the top of the right circle with traffic in front of Flodell to get the goal. Fiddler had the only assist on the goal.

Fiddler scored at 12:53 to cut the T-Birds lead to one goal. Pochiro chased down the puck to the right of the T-Birds goal and centered it to Fiddler in the slot. Fiddler found the back of the net for the hat trick goal. Pochiro and Joseph Carvalho had the assists.

Gropp netted an empty-net goal at 19:04 of the third to seal the win for the T-Birds. Hickman gained the red line and took a shot on goal that missed the net. The puck rebounded off the end boards and Gropp got to the puck and put it into the empty net. Sam McKechnie had the second assist on the goal.

The Cougars outshot the T-Birds 12-9 in the third period and 28-27 in the game.

Edmonds stopped 18 of 26 shots and his record is now 13-14-1-2.

T-Birds single game tickets for the 2013-14 season are available online at the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare Center box office. The ShoWare Center Box Office is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday game days at 10 a.m. and Sunday game days at noon.

T-Birds season tickets are currently on sale. Season tickets can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.

SCORING SUMMARY

First period – 1, Prince George, Wilson 16 (Fiddler, Ruopp), 1:28. 2, Seattle, Gropp 8 (Theodore, Bear), 4:36 (pp). 3, Prince George, Fiddler 20 (McNulty, Bourke), 11:54 (pp). 4, Seattle, Delnov 17 (Henry, Kolesar), 16:38 (pp). 5, Seattle, Spencer 2 (Lipsbergs, Delnov), 19:17. Penalties – Tkatch, PG (holding), 2:54. Wardley, Sea (tripping), 10:12. Hickman, Sea (hooking), 11:04. Harkins, PG (hooking), 15:12.

Second period – 6, Seattle, Wardley 1, :22. 7, Seattle, Lipsbergs 23 (Delnov, Theodore), 1:12. 8, Prince George, Morrison 4 (Harkins, Bobos), 14:52. 9, Seattle, Gropp 9 (Wardley, Hauf), 16:34. Penalties – Spencer, Sea (roughing), 6:13. Grewal, PG (roughing), 6:13. Gropp, Sea (hooking), 9:14. Hickman, Sea (cross checking), 12:41.

Third period – 10, Seattle, Henry 6 (Theodore, Gropp), 1:07 (pp). 11, Prince George, Pochiro 15 (Fiddler), 1:46. 12, Prince George, Fiddler 21 (Wilson, Pochiro), 3:54. 13, Seattle, Eansor 2 (Smith), 6:16. 14, Prince George, Pochiro 16 (Bourke), 9 :57. 15, Prince George, Fiddler 22 (Pochiro, Carvalho),12:53. 16, Seattle, Gropp 10 (Hickman), 19:04 (en). Penalties – Hickman, Sea (slashing), :11. Bourke, PG (cross checking), :11. Grewal, PG (roughing), :48. Eansor, Sea (tripping), 8:48.

Shots on goal – Seattle 12-6-9 27, Prince George 6-10-12 28. Goalies – Seattle, Flodell 28 shots-21 saves (1-0-0-0); Prince George, Edmonds 26-18 (13-14-1-2). Power plays – Seattle 3-3; Prince George 2-5. A – 1,254. Referees – Adam Griffiths, Brett Iverson. Linesmen – Korey Martens, Richie Rogers.

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