T-Birds skate past Chiefs in OT


January 11, 2014, KENT (ISN) – The Seattle Thunderbirds got the win over the Spokane Chiefs in overtime Saturday night, running their record to 25-14-2-3 and making it three wins in a row. The Chiefs are now 26-13-1-2 on the season.

Alexander Delnov scored the game-winner in overtime. Delnov’s slap shot found twine after a drop pass from Roberts Lipsbergs. The goal was Delnov’s second of the night and third point, while Lipsbergs ended the game with two goals and two assists. Shea Theodore had the secondary assist for his second of the night.

In net for Seattle was Danny Mumaugh, whose record now stands at 13-8-2-3 after stopping 22 shots. Eric Williams started for Spokane and stopped 30 shots, getting the loss to make his record 22-9-1-1.

Three icing calls, two on Spokane, contributed to an odd start. Seattle generated some pressure and controlled the puck early, but all three of their shots on the shift went wide. The first official shot on goal went to the Chiefs and a brief scrum followed Mumaugh’s cover up.

A penalty was the result of the next Seattle attack at 3:21 and put the T-Birds power play on the ice. Despite consistent puck control, the home team couldn’t score and recorded only one shot before taking a penalty just as their power play expired. Clearances by Seattle shut down Spokane’s subsequent advantage, whose biggest highlight was a Sam McKechnie breakaway chance as the wing left the penalty box.

Williams covered the puck after a handful of jabs by the T-Birds. Tempers overflowed after, with the net result being Seattle’s second power play. Once again, the shorthanded team prevailed to keep the game scoreless.

Shots were at a premium for the rest of the period. Spokane was only able to record one shot in five minutes of even strength hockey before taking another penalty at 13:04, and Seattle had none in the same span.

The third T-Birds man advantage of the period saw three shots on goal for the home team, but Williams stood tall and kept the score at 0-0.

The fifth power play of the period went against Seattle, letting the Chiefs slant the ice in their favor. A scramble around the net paid off for the visitors, who took the lead on only their fourth shot of the game at 18:56. The goal was scored by Mike Aviani and was assisted by Mitch Holmberg and Jason Fram.

As the period wound to a close, the T-Birds took another penalty. Spokane’s power play took the ice for the third time for four seconds before the period ended.

Shots in the first period were 10-4 in Seattle’s favor despite their 1-0 deficit. The home team also won 10 of 19 faceoffs.

The Seattle penalty kill did its job, shutting down Spokane for the first minute of the second period before drawing a penalty to make it 4-on-4 for 42 seconds. The T-Birds’ man advantage took the ice after that for just over a minute.

This time, Seattle’s power play came through and tied the game at one. Lipsbergs skated around the net and in front for the shot, which didn’t quite make it through a crowd of bodies. Delnov finished it off at 2:57 for his 19th goal of the season, with Lipsbergs and Ryan Gropp getting the assists.

The lead just slipped from Seattle’s grasp off the ensuing faceoff when Scott Eansor’s shot trickled through Williams’ pads and was cleared away at the last second. Spokane took advantage of their good fortune and scored to make the game 2-1 at 5:53. Connor Chartier scored, with the assists going to Cole Wedman and Liam Stewart.

A high hit by the Chiefs resulted in a penalty, and the ensuing retaliation by Seattle brought the game to 4-on-4. Theodore had the best chance during the 4-on-4 when his shot from near the goal mouth just went wide after a pass from the point.

Full strength hockey didn’t last long due to a Seattle penalty at 12:11 that gave the Chiefs their fourth power play. The score stayed at 2-1, however, thanks to the T-Birds’ shorthanded group, led by McKechnie. Much like in the first period, a successful kill netted a power play of their own for Seattle, this time in the form of a double minor.

The T-Birds struck quickly to tie the score. Roberts Lipsbergs put home a rebound over a sprawled Williams at 16:06 to make it 2-2. Adam Henry and Gropp had the assists on the power-play goal, and the T-Birds man advantage remained on the ice for another two minutes.

The second period ended with Seattle outshooting Spokane 10-7 and winning eight of 13 faceoffs in a 2-2 game.

A contentious third began with puck battles galore, as only two shots, one by each team, were recorded in the first three minutes. Spokane began to generate some dangerous chances soon thereafter, but a series of blocks and strong saves by Mumaugh kept the score even. Seattle struck back seconds later, but Williams’ work in net negated the wraparound shot.

The back and forth nature of the game continued with the Chiefs back on the attack. The visitors held the puck for several minutes but came away with nothing to show for it thanks in large part to a cornucopia of blocks from Ethan Bear, Russell Maxwell, and others.

Unfortunately for the home team, Spokane kept up the pressure and took the lead at 6:53. Chartier scored his second of the night when Stewart’s pass from behind the goal made its way onto his stick on the far side of the net.

The T-Birds were given an opportunity to get the game back even when a penalty gave them their seventh power play of the night. With a 3-2 lead, Spokane held strong, however, and once again erased the power play. The eighth man advantage ended with a T-Birds penalty making the game 4-on-4 for 25 seconds. The Chiefs’ power play also ended without incident.

Playing with an empty net, Seattle tied the game with 2:14 remaining. Lipsbergs blasted a one-timer through a crowd after a pass from Delnov. Theodore had the secondary assist on the tying goal and now has a four-game point streak.

Seattle was outshot 13-11 in the third period and lost 12 of 19 faceoffs but tied the game at three to send the game to overtime.

The next game for the T-Birds will be Tuesday, January 14, when Seattle meets the Chiefs once again, this time in Spokane. After that, the T-Birds will take on the Tri-City Americans on Friday, January 17 at the ShoWare Center at 7:35 pm.

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.


First period – 1, Spokane, Aviani 30 (Holmberg, Fram), 18:56 (pp). Penalties – Gow, Spokane (interference), 3:21. McKechnie, Seattle (checking to the head), 5:26. Bobyk, Spokane (roughing), 7:44. Elliot, Seattle (roughing), 7:44. Elynuik, Spokane (roughing), 7:44. Helewka, Spokane (tripping), 13:04. Wardley, Seattle (holding), 18:25. Bear, Seattle (interference), 19:55.

Second period – 2, Seattle, Delnov 19 (Lipsbergs, Gropp), 2:57 (pp). 3, Spokane, Chartier 8 (Wedman, Stewart), 5:53. 4, Seattle, Lipsbergs 24 (Henry, Gropp), 16:06 (pp). Penalties – Gow, Spokane (hooking), 1:15. Hickman, Seattle (roughing), 8:38. Whittingham, Spokane (checking to the head), 8:38. Delnov, Seattle (checking from behind), 12:11. Proft, Spokane (10-minute misconduct), 15:09. Proft, Spokane (double minor- spearing), 15:09.

Third period – 5, Spokane, Chartier 9 (Stewart), 6:53. 6, Seattle, Lipsbergs 25 (Delnov, Theodore), 17:46. Penalties – Elynuik, Spokane (high-sticking), 7:59. Wedman, Spokane (checking to the head), 13:02. McKechnie, Seattle (interference), 14:37.

Overtime – 7, Seattle, Delnov 20 (Lipsbergs, Theodore), 2:14. Penalties – No penalties.

Shots on goal – Seattle 10-11-11-1 33, Spokane 4-7-13-1 25. Goalies – Seattle, Mumaugh 25 shots-22 saves (13-8-2-3); Spokane, Williams 33-29 (22-9-1-1). Power plays – Seattle 2-8; Spokane 1-4. A – 4,625. Referees – Fraser Lawrence, Pat Smith. Linesmen – Al Creigh, Bevan Mills.