T-Birds have home-ice advantage in first round of playoffs

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SeattleThunderbirds

March 16, 2014, KENNEWICK (ISN) – The Seattle Thunderbirds are the fourth seed in the Western Conference playoffs after they beat the Tri-City Americans 6-1 at the Toyota Center and the Portland Winterhawks beat the Everett Silvertips 5-4 in a shootout Sunday night.

Seattle and Everett both have 88 points in the playoff standings. The first tie-breaker when teams are tied in the playoffs standings is total victories. Seattle is 41-25-2-4 and Everett is 39-23-7-3.

The T-Birds and Silvertips will face each other in the first round of the WHL playoffs. Game 1 of the best-of-seven series is Saturday, March 22, at 7:05pm at ShoWare Center.

First Round Schedule Vs. Everett

  • Game 1 – Everett @ Seattle Saturday, March 22, 7:05pm
  • Game 2 – Seattle @ Everett Sunday, March 23, 4:05pm
  • Game 3 – Everett @ Seattle Tuesday, March 25, 7:05pm
  • Game 4 – Seattle @ Everett Friday, March 28, 7:35pm
  • Game 5 – Everett @ Seattle Saturday, March 29, 7:05pm*
  • Game 6 – Seattle @ Everett Monday, March 31, 7:05pm*
  • Game 7 – Everett @ Seattle Wednesday, April 2, 7:05pm*

* if necessary

T-Birds single playoff tickets will go on sale at 10am on Monday, March 17, 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.

This will be the first time the T-Birds and Silvertips have met in a playoff series since Everett joined the WHL as an expansion team in the 2003-04 season.

In the game against Tri-City, Seattle jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by Shea Theodore at 2:33 of the first period. Theodore put a slap shot on goal from the high point that beat Tri-City goalie Evan Sarthou low for his 21st goal of the season. Ryan Gropp and Branden Troock had the assists.

Theodore’s goal was his 44th as a T-Bird and tied him with Deron Quint for most goals by a T-Birds defenseman. Quint had 44 goals for the T-Birds over the 1993-94 and 1994-95 seasons.

The T-Birds extended the lead to 2-0 at 9:55 of the first on a power-play goal from Alexander Delnov. Theodore gained the Americans zone and then dished the puck to Delnov going into the left circle. The pass sent Delnov in alone on Sarthou from an angle. Delnov beat the goalie with a backhand shot over the glove.

Tri-City (29-33-4-6) got on the board at 1:31 of the second period when Morgan Geekie redirected a shot past Seattle goalie Taran Kozun. Parker Wotherspoon and Justin Hamonic had the assists.

The T-Birds took the two-goal lead back at 6:17 of the second on a goal from Mitch Elliot. Kolesar centered the puck to Elliot and he banged the puck past Sarthou for his fourth goal of the season.

The T-Birds scored two goals in 56 seconds in the first part of the third period to take a 6-1 lead. Theodore beat Sarthou with a wrist shot from along the left boards at 4:12 of the third. Delnov and Elliot had the assists. The goal gave Theodore the team record for career goals by a defenseman with 45.

Troock scored an unassisted goal at 5:08 of the third to make it a 6-1 lead. Troock dumped the puck into the Americans zone and chased it down behind the net. Sarthou came out to play the puck but lost control of it and Troock got it. Troock came out from behind the net at the left post and put it into an empty net.

Justin Hickman scored at 11:51 of the second to get the T-Birds fourth goal of the game. Jared Hauf moved the puck to Hickman who skated into the right circle. Hickman beat Sarthou through the legs for the goal. Mathew Barzal had the second assist.

The T-Birds outshot Tri-City 30-19 in the game.

Kozun made 18 saves on 19 shots and his record is now 19-28-2-2.

Sarthou made 24 saves on 30 shots and his record is 3-8-0-1 with the loss.

SCORING SUMMARY

First period – 1, Seattle, Theodore 21 (Gropp, Troock), 2:33 (pp). 2, Delnov 29 (Theodore), 9:55 (pp). Penalties – Gutierrez, Tri (instigator, major-fighting, 10-minute misconduct), 2:16. Henry, Sea (major-fighting), 2:16. McCue, Tri (tripping), 8:59.

Second period – 4, Seattle, Elliot 4 (Kolesar), 6:17. 5, Seattle, Hickman 22 (Hauf, Barzal), 11:51. Missed Penalty Shot – Troock, Sea, 5:15. Penalties – No penalties.

Third period – 5, Seattle, Theodore 22 (Delnov, Elliot), 4:12. 6, Seattle, Troock 24, 5:08. Missed Penalty Shot – Bowles, Tri, 13:58. Penalties – Eansor, Sea (hooking), :21. Topping, Tri (tripping), 14:15.

Shots on goal – Seattle 11-7-12 30, Tri-City 7-8-4 19. Goalies – Seattle, Kozun 19 shots-18 saves (19-28-2-2); Tri-City, Sarthou 30-24 (3-8-0-1). Power plays – Seattle 2-3; Tri-City 0-1. A – 4,890. Referees – Jeff Ingram, Brett Montsion. Linesmen – Jason Michelbook, Bevan Mills.

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