T-Birds plunder Raiders


February 25, 2014, KENT (ISN) – The Seattle Thunderbirds defeated the Prince Albert Raiders 4-3 in overtime Tuesday night at ShoWare Center. The win gave Seattle a four-point lead on Spokane for the fourth spot in the Western Conference and ran their record to 38-19-2-4. Prince Albert is now 29-29-3-2.

In goal for Seattle was Taran Kozun, who made 40 stops on 43 shots to get the win. His record is now 17-23-2-2. Nick McBride started for Prince Albert, getting the loss after stopping 40 of 44 shots.

Seattle had the first two shots of overtime in less than a minute, both of which were turned away by McBride. The Raiders’ best chance came when Leon Draisaitl was able to skate deep into the crease before Kozun slapped the puck over the top of the net. Russell Maxwell responded with a breakaway chance, but was again denied.

It was an action-packed overtime eventually ended by Alexander Delnov, who scored the game winner at 2:35. Coach Steve Konowalchuk was happy with the win, saying that “we had emotion right from the start” and that “[Prince Albert] is playing good hockey against everybody.”

The T-Birds pestered Prince Albert defensively in the early minutes, keeping the visitors without a shot until a strong shift at 2:20. Seattle responded with a strong rush by Branden Troock, who drew a penalty on his way to the net for the first power play of the game. An early chance by Ryan Gropp somehow managed to stay out, bouncing off both posts after a rebound in the crease. The Raiders were able to regroup from there and hold the T-Birds without a shot the rest of the advantage.

The second power play for the home team came at 7:25 thanks to a boarding call as Keegan Kolesar worked the puck up the ice. The Raiders had a breakaway a minute into this power play, but Kozun was able to stop Draisaitl to keep the game scoreless and get Seattle back on the attack. Unfortunately, the man advantage ended without a shot on goal for the T-Birds.

Prince Albert scored just after the expiration of their first power play to take the lead. Tomas Andrlik saved a clearance attempt, then skated up the side boards and rifled the puck over Kozun’s shoulder as he was checked to the ice. It was an unassisted goal for Andrlik and came at 11:35.

Playing with the lead, Prince Albert stayed on the attack and kept the pressure on until the five-minute mark, when Seattle was able to get two shots on goal in a shift. Return pressure by the Raiders resulted in their second man advantage of the game with 4:07 remaining. The situation only grew direr for the T-Birds when a second penalty made it 5-on-3 for 1:15. Seattle killed both penalties, allowing just two shots on goal during that time.

Shots were 16-10 in Prince Albert’s favor in a first period that ended with Seattle in the midst of a power play. Faceoffs were 15-6 Seattle.

Kozun was sent sprawling after the power play ended, making a series of stops as Prince Albert hammered away at the puck before Kozun was able to cover it. Seattle responded with a physical push that gave them their fourth man advantage of the game three minutes into the second period.

Back at even strength, the game got chippy. There was a combined 38 penalty minutes in a minute of action, all offsetting and ending up with 5-on-5 hockey despite four players in the box for each team.

Mathew Barzal tied the game at 7:13. Shea Theodore broke up the ice on his own, dangling and deking around the entire Prince Albert defense and then feeding Hickman at the side of the net. Hickman’s attempted backhand shot was blocked by a Raider’s stick, but Barzal collected the loose puck and shot it past McBride’s pad, where it trickled just inside the post for a goal.

The tie was short-lived, however. Draisaitl had his second breakaway of the game, this time coming off a stretch pass from Dakota Conroy. Kozun was unable to stop Draisaitl this time, and the German scored to make it 2-1 at 8:51.

Adam Henry blasted a shot off the crossbar not long thereafter, narrowly missing tying the game again. It came at the end of a furious two-minute stretch of hockey that saw each team have dangerous scoring chances.

Roberts Lipsbergs tied the game once again at 12:26. Lipsbergs broke up ice and passed to Alexander Delnov, whose attempted shot on goal was knocked away. Kolesar managed to get the loose puck on goal, and Lipsbergs picked up the rebound and calmly backhanded it past McBride for his 32nd goal of the year.

In the second period, shots were 18-15 Seattle and faceoffs were 12-10 Prince Albert.

The physicality of the game didn’t let up in the third period, with each team delivering a few crushing blows before any shots were recorded. “We’re a big team and as long as we’re physical guys aren’t going to want to go back for pucks,” said Evan Wardley, explaining the team’s commitment to punishing their opponent. Seattle took a penalty at 3:12 and the subsequent power play for the visitors could not get a shot still thanks to the penalty killing work of the T-Birds. The very first shot on goal came not long after and was fought off easily by Kozun.

A slap shot from the point by Theodore was the beginning of another chance for the T-Birds, though McBride was able to cover up after two whacks at the loose puck by Hickman. Seattle’s continued attack over the next several minutes gave them another power play, their fifth. Outside of one early clearance, the home team was on the offensive the entire two minutes but was still unable to score.

Barzal gave Seattle the lead late in the third period. Gropp found Barzal across the zone, where the 16-year-old deked around a defender and flipped it over McBride’s shoulder at 15:33 to make it 3-2. The secondary assist went to Theodore. It was Barzal’s second goal of the game against his former teammate McBride. Barzal credited his familiarity with McBride with some of his scoring prowess, saying that “I played with [McBride] back in Vancouver a little bit and I kind of know what he does… [but] he’s a good goalie [and] I got lucky on that one.”

The T-Birds’ physical play came to a head with four minutes left when Wardley’s check on Chance Braid shattered the glass and sent the crowd into an uproar. A long timeout came after as the glass was replaced, sandwiched between ovations for the play. Konowalchuk was happy to see the tough defensive effort from the team, saying that “Wardley, Hickman, Mitch [Elliot] have the same kind of power to change the tempo of the game [as offensive players].”

With time winding down, Prince Albert pulled their goalie in an attempt to tie. The Raiders had the extra attacker for just 20 seconds before they scored, tying the game as the puck trickled slowly through Kozun’s pads. Josh Morrissey had the goal, with Draisaitl and Shane Danyluk getting the assists at 18:34.

Theodore almost took the lead in the last 20 seconds when the defenseman skated through Prince Albert’s defense by himself and took the puck to the net. Theodore lost control of the puck just outside the crease and McBride poke-checked it away, sending the game to overtime.

Shots in the third were 11-10 Seattle and faceoffs were 11-6 Prince Albert.

Seattle stays at home this weekend, hosting Portland at 7:05 pm on Saturday. The T-Birds also host Everett on Sunday at 5:05 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, Prince Albert, Andrlik 2 (unassisted), 11:35. Penalties – Craig, Prince Albert (hooking), 2:58. Stewart, Prince Albert (major-fighting), 5:19. Elliot, Seattle (major-fighting), 5:19. Valcourt, Prince Albert (boarding), 7:25. Hickman, Seattle (hooking), 9:28. Wardley, Seattle (tripping), 15:53. Hauf, Seattle (tripping), 16:39. Craig, Prince Albert (roughing), 19:00.

Second period – 2, Seattle, Barzal 11 (Hickman, Theodore) 7:13. 3, Prince Albert, Draisaitl 29 (Conroy), 8:51. 4, Seattle, Lipsbergs 32 (Kolesar, Delnov), 12:26. Penalties – Leverton, Prince Albert (hooking), 2:42. Maxwell, Seattle (roughing), 4:40. Maxwell, Seattle (unsportsmanlike conduct), 4:40. Wardley, Seattle (10-minute misconduct), 4:40. Morrissey, Prince Albert (roughing), 4:40. Morrissey, Prince Albert (unsportsmanlike conduct), 4:40. Perreaux, Prince Albert (10-minute misconduct), 4:40. Smith, Seattle (major-fighting), 5:49. Braid, Prince Albert (major-fighting), 5:49. Elliot, Seattle (unsportsmanlike conduct), 6:46. Valcourt, Prince Albert (unsportsmanlike conduct), 6:46.

Third period – 5, Seattle, Barzal 12 (Gropp, Theodore), 15:33. 6, Prince Albert, Morrissey 23 (Draisaitl, Danyluk), 18:34. Penalties – Troock, Seattle (high-sticking), 3:12. Andrlik, Prince Albert (high-sticking), 8:22.

Overtime – 7, Seattle, Delnov 26 (Theodore, Lipsbergs), 2:35. Penalties – No penalties.

Shots on goal – Seattle 10-18-11-5 44, Prince Albert 16-15-10-2 43. Goalies – Seattle, Kozun 43 shots-40 saves (17-23-2-2); Prince Albert, McBride 44-40 (6-6-1-1). Power plays – Seattle 0-5; Prince Albert 0-4. A – 5,044. Referees – Steve Papp, Dexter Rasmussen. Linesmen – Kevin Boris, Zach Brooks.

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