T-Birds bear down, beat Silvertips 4-3 in OT


January 26, 2014, KENT (ISN) – The Thunderbirds beat the Everett Silvertips Saturday night, winning 4-3 in overtime. The game was also the annual teddy bear toss, which saw 3,818 teddy bears thrown onto the ice and donated by the sold-out crowd of 6,149 after Shea Theodore’s goal early in the second period.

Playing with the man advantage in overtime, an advantage that had “made the difference for [the team]” so far in coach Steve Konowalchuk’s eyes, the T-Birds controlled play and worked the puck around the zone to get shots for Theodore and Ethan Bear at the point. The Silvertips forwards “got in shot lanes early” before the home team found the opportunity they needed. With the entirety of the power play spent in control of the puck, Roberts Lipsbergs scored the winning goal from the side of the net as the power play expired at 1:48.

Taran Kozun started and won for the fifth time in five games as a T-Bird, stopping 25 of 28 and making his record 10-19-2-1. Daniel Cotton was in net for Everett, his third appearance against Seattle, and stopped 31 shots. The loss moved Cotton’s record to 7-2-4-0.

The bears and stuffed animals from the Fred Meyer Teddy Bear Toss were collected and given to the WARM 106.9 FM who give the bears to police and fire departments to give to children in times of emergency and crisis.

The game began with an overwhelming amount of physicality from the opening faceoff on. Both teams committed to taking the body and continued to deliver blows for the better part of the game’s first five minutes. The T-Birds had the only real possession in that time, getting one shot on goal and two blocked during a 30-second attack. Everett’s blocks, just a few of their many in the early going, were matched by Seattle as the teams made sure to stop any shots before they could get to the goalies. As such, only four shots on goal were recorded in the first five minutes.

The T-Birds’ best shift came eight minutes in, when Mathew Barzal’s line controlled the puck for two minutes and had numerous chances go just wide, including one attempted center by Barzal after Cotton left his net. Cotton also had an impressive save on a bouncing, deflected shot from the point when the Everett netminder was forced to knock the puck out of the air with his stick.

Cotton was on his game at the halfway mark, stopping two wraparounds and gloving a rocketed shot from the crease not much later. It was all part of a four-minute push from Seattle after Everett had their first dangerous attack of the game.

A cross-checking penalty by the Silvertips led to a fight and a Seattle power play, the first of the game. The T-Birds had to break up a 2-on-1 break early in their advantage, but otherwise kept the puck in the offensive zone and forced an icing call just after the penalty expired.

Ryan Gropp rang the puck off the crossbar with 30 seconds left in the first, the best chance of the period. On the ensuing Everett rush, the T-Birds earned their second power play when a Silvertips skater ran into Kozun after the puck had been batted away.

Shots in the scoreless first period were 9-8 in Seattle’s favor, though the home team lost 10 of 15 faceoffs.

Theodore wasted no time getting the T-Birds the lead, scoring 24 seconds in and triggering a cascade of teddy bears. Theodore gathered in a mistimed clearance near the blue line and let loose with a slap shot that skewered the net. The goal successfully ended the Seattle power play that had carried over from the first.

The Silvertips did have their first power play soon after the goal, but strong work by all of Seattle’s shorthanded crew ended it without danger. Sam McKechnie had a particularly strong shift, holding the puck behind the Everett net for 15 seconds on his own. Unfortunately, the home team took a second penalty almost immediately after the first ended.

McKechnie once again shined while shorthanded, creating a breakaway that ended with an Everett penalty, making the game 4-on-4 for a minute.

The ensuing power play gave the T-Birds a 2-0 lead. Barzal tipped in a shot from high in the zone from Gropp at 7:56. Theodore had the secondary assist after just barely holding the puck in the zone, denying an Everett clearing attempt. After the team “struggled last game” on the power play, “[the team] worked harder and it paid off” against the Everett in Ryan Gropp’s words.

The Silvertips struck back quickly to cut the lead to 2-1, scoring on their third power play of the period. Josh Winquist’s shot found the back of the net before Kozun could slide across to stop it at 9:54. Mirco Mueller made the cross-ice pass to Winquist, earning the primary assist, while Manraj Hayer had the secondary.

Jujhar Khaira tied the score two minutes later, working his way around the Seattle defenders and beating Kozun as he skated in front of the crease. Dawson Leedahl and Carter Cochrane had the assists on the goal that made it 2-2.

A penalty shot was awarded to the visitors with five minutes left in the game when an Everett breakaway was stopped by a hook. Kozun stood tall in net, forcing Winquist to shoot high and wide and keeping the score tied.

Shots in the second were even after two thanks to Everett outshooting the T-Birds 13-12, but Seattle won 10 of 19 faceoffs in the period that saw the game tied at two at its expiration.

Breakneck speed led to a back-and-forth game in the third. There were only five shots in the first seven minutes and only three faceoffs in that time. The game began to settle down from a neutral zone war to a more controlled affair when the T-Birds kept the puck in for a full shift with 13 minutes remaining. Three shots resulted, but the score stayed where it was. Everett’s response was snuffed by a Jaimen Yakubowski block.

With each team having had one real offensive possession, the game returned to a battle for control. Neither team could hold the puck long enough for any extended pressure, though a few dangerous shots still came from each team.

Everett had a tipped shot through traffic go wide and followed that with the goal that gave them the lead. Hayer scored the goal at 11:36 to make it 3-2. Winquist and Patrick Bajkov had the assists on the goal.

The T-Birds were given a golden opportunity to tie the game back up at 12:53 when a hooking call gave them their fourth power play of the game. Having already scored twice with the man advantage, the home team peppered Cotton with shots early. Two clearances slowed the attack, but not enough to end it.

With Cotton sprawled on the ice, as was an Everett defenseman, Gropp put the puck top shelf and tied the game at 14:19. It was the third power-play goal of the game in four chances for Seattle. Justin Hickman and Theodore had the assists on the goal, giving Theodore his third point.

The third period ended with the T-Birds on the penalty kill. Even so, Seattle had the best chances of the advantage, with two breakaways and a 30 second block of time spent in Everett’s zone before drawing a penalty to give the home team 1:47 of 4-on-3 in overtime.

Shots in the third period were 12-7 Seattle and faceoffs were even at six wins each.

The T-Birds play tomorrow at 5:05 pm against the Kelowna Rockets at the ShoWare Center. After that, Seattle’s next game is in Everett next Friday 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 – No scoring. Penalties – Hickman, Seattle (major-fighting), 16:07. Adam, Everett (major-fighting), 16:07. Adam, Everett (cross-checking), 16:07. Smith, Seattle (major-fighting), 19:42. Winquist, Everett (major-fighting), 19:42. Winquist, Everett (goaltender interference), 19:42.

Second period – 1, Seattle, Theodore 15 (unassisted), :24 (pp). 2, Seattle, Barzal 7 (Gropp, Theodore), 7:56 (pp). 3, Everett, Winquist 30 (Mueller, Hayer), 9:54 (pp). 4, Everett, Khaira 14 (Leedahl, Cochrane), 12:29. Penalties – Barzal, Seattle (high-sticking), 3:12. Theodore, Seattle (hooking), 5:18. Nikolishin, Everett (high-sticking), 6:21. Hauf, Seattle (roughing), 8:54. Theodore, Seattle (hooking), 15:14. Yakubowski, Seattle (major-fighting), 18:21. Mueller, Everett (major-fighting), 18:21. Penalty shot – Everett, Winquist (missed), 15:14.

Third period – 5, Everett, Hayer 13 (Winquist, Bajkov), 11:36. 6, Seattle, Gropp 12 (Hickman, Theodore), 14:19 (pp). Penalties – Winquist, Everett (hooking), 12:53. Wardley, Seattle (high-sticking), 18:04. Leedahl, Everett (hooking), 19:51.

Overtime – 7, Seattle, Lipsbergs 29 (Theodore, Bear), 1:48 (pp). Penalties – No penalties.

Shots on goal – Seattle 9-12-12-2 35, Everett 8-13-7-0 28. Goalies – Seattle, Kozun 28 shots-25 saves (10-19-2-1); Everett, Cotton 35-31 (7-2-4-0). Power plays – Seattle 4-5; Everett 1-4. A – 6,149. Referees – Chris Crich, Ian Croft. Linesmen – Zach Brooks, Nathan Van Oosten.