T-Birds maul Silvertips

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SeattleThunderbirds

February 4, 2014, KENT (ISN) – The Seattle Thunderbirds beat the Everett Silvertips Tuesday night, scoring five goals en route to a 5-3 in at ShoWare Center.

It was Seattle’s 11th win in 13 games and made their record 33-16-2-3. Everett dropped to 26-20-7-1 with the loss.Danny Mumaugh made his 28th start for the T-Birds, stopping 34 shots and getting his 14th win. Daniel Cotton made his fifth start against Seattle in the team’s five meetings this year and stopped 17 of 22, taking his fourth regulation loss this year.

Team speed lent the game its early excitement. Seattle had its first shot 13 seconds in before the game’s possession began to quickly alternate. This lent itself to some physicality, especially on the part of the T-Birds, who had most of the game’s first big hits on a shift at the three-minute mark.

Mathew Barzal created the first goal of the game less than a minute later. The rookie harassed Everett’s defensemen as they attempted to carry it up the ice, eventually stealing it and controlling it in front of the crease. Justin Hickman rushed into the zone in time to take a pass from Barzal on the other side of the goal mouth. Hickman put it home for his 14th goal of the year at 3:50.

Coach Steve Konowalchuk praised Barzal’s work, saying he “was committed defensively first and was really good when we needed him to be good.”

The Silvertips evened the game up two minutes later. A giveaway after Alexander Delnov was hit in the face by the puck left Everett with a 3-on-1 break. Ivan Nikolishin carried the puck in and ripped it into the net to make it 1-1.

The next goal also went to Everett, coming at 11:30. Cole MacDonald brought the puck up the boards into the zone and got a shot on goal. Brayden Low was there for the rebound to make it 2-1.

A strong first period for Barzal ended with a goal tying the game not long after. Barzal stole the puck in the offensive zone, his third such takeaway of the period, to set up the offense. After a few chances, Hickman was able to feed the puck across the crease onto Barzal’s stick and the 16-year-old put it home. Hickman had the primary assist on the goal and Ryan Gropp had the secondary.

Barzal would end the period with four takeaways in the offensive zone to go with his two points and three faceoff wins.

Mumaugh had a strong sequence immediately following the tying goal to keep it that way. The goalie stopped the initial shot from inches outside the crease, only to have to crawl across to the post to keep the rebound out as well. Another such sequence occurred with a minute remaining. Mumaugh pinned the puck between the outside of the post and his skate, only to have it dislodge and force the goalie to make a few quick saves before a cover up and penalty gave Everett a power play.

Shots were 21-8 and faceoffs were 9-7, both in the Silvertips’ favor after one period of a 2-2 game.

With their penalty kill successful, Seattle went on the attack. Branden Troock had the first golden Seattle chance, just missing an open net when the puck refused to settle on his stick after a rebound. The T-Birdskept at it, eventually getting it to Roberts Lipsbergs, who beat Cotton to take the lead at 1:55. Troock and Maxwell, who regained control of the puck after Troock’s chance, had the assists.

Everett earned their second power play and used that opportunity to make it 3-3 at 5:56. Josh Winquist scored the goal, his 34th of the year, and Matt Pufahl and Dawson Leedahl had the assists.

Seattle’s response was not immediate, but was certainly strong. As the period reached its halfway point, the T-Birds were able to get multiple chances at scoring and worked the puck around the zone for a minute uninterrupted before the Silvertips were able to clear it. A big hit finally slowed Seattle’s attack just as the period hit the 10-minute mark.

Tensions boiled over at the point, with the T-Birds rededicating themselves to a punishing physical game. Neither team had a shot during this three-minute period which ended with the third Seattle penalty of the night. Hickman mentioned a need for the T-Birds to play disciplined, saying that they need to “keep those peaks and valleys in check [and] stay even keel.”

Sam McKechnie was able to kill off 30 seconds of the penalty on his own, carrying the puck around the offensive zone and denying Everett possession. Seattle drew its first penalty at the one-minute mark of that kill, making it 4-on-4 before the T-Birds had their first power play, albeit one that was only a minute long. Neither team recorded a shot during their man advantage.

The period ended with only 12 total shots, with Everett outshooting Seattle 7-5. The T-Birds won nine of 17 faceoffs and the period ended tied, 3-3.

An early penalty put Seattle on the defensive in the third. Everett managed two shots on their fourth power play, the second of which came at its expiration, and were held scoreless. The T-Birds were able to get a short attack before another penalty left them shorthanded. Two offside calls and a neutral zone giveaway kept Everett from creating any offense once again.

The T-Birds took the lead at 9:31 when even strength hockey returned for a bit. Troock chased the puck down in the corner, feeding it in front of the net to Delnov. Delnov was stopped in his initial try as Cotton swept across the crease, but his second jab at the puck made its way through the pads and into the net to make it 4-3. Troock had the only assist on the goal.

Barzal picked up another point with five minutes remaining. Barzal took the puck at center ice and skated past the defense before flipping a pass over the last defenseman’s stick to Hickman, who calmly put it in the back of the net before Cotton could reach across the crease. The captain said that “only elite players make that saucer pass over a body”, praising his linemate’s feed. Gropp had the secondary assist on what was his line’s third goal of the night, all beginning with a takeaway by Barzal.

Shots were tied 9-9 in the third while faceoffs favored Seattle 12-7.

Next on the schedule for Seattle is a trip to Spokane to take on the Chiefs Wednesday at 7:05 pm. The T-Birds will return home this Friday when they will play the Chiefs again, this time 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.

SCORING SUMMARY

First period – 1, Seattle, Hickman 14 (Barzal), 3:50. 2, Everett, Nikolishin 14 (Fonteyne), 5:30. 3, Everett, Low 4 (MacDonald, Mueller), 11:30. 4, Seattle, Barzal 9 (Hickman, Gropp), 14:18. Penalties – Wardley, Seattle (roughing), 19:14.

Second period – 5, Seattle, Lipsbergs 31 (Troock, Maxwell), 1:55. 6, Everett, Winquist 34 (Pufahl, Leedahl), 5:56 (pp). Penalties – Hickman, Seattle (elbowing), 5:28. Lipsbergs, Seattle (tripping), 12:38. Laurencelle, Everett (tripping), 13:46.

Third period – 7, Seattle, Delnov 21 (Troock), 9:31. 8, Seattle, Hickman 15 (Barzal, Gropp), 14:59. Penalties – Maxwell, Seattle (checking from behind), :52. Troock, Seattle (boarding), 4:44.

Shots on goal – Seattle 8-5-9 22, Everett 21-7-9 37. Goalies – Seattle, Mumaugh 37 shots-34 saves (14-9-2-3); Everett, Cotton 22-17 (8-4-4-0). Power plays – Seattle 0-1; Everett 1-5. A – 4,642. Referees – Brett Iverson Mike Campbell. Linesmen – Zach Brooks, Ron Dietterle.

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