Ice Give Cold Shoulder to T-Birds

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(ISN) -KENT, – The Kootenay Ice defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds Saturday night, winning 5-2. The win moves Kootenay to 12-15-0-0 on the season. Seattle is now 10-12-2-2 on the season, five points behind Portland in the U.S. Division.

Danny Mumaugh got the start at goalie for the T-Birds, playing in his fifth game of the season. Mumaugh stopped 21 of 25 shots, taking his third loss of the season. He is now 1-3-0-0. Wyatt Hoflin was in net for Kootenay and improved upon his record, which now stands at 12-12-0-0 after he stopped 16 of 18 shots for the win.

Ethan Bear scored an unassisted goal 37 seconds into the game to give Seattle an early lead. Bear took the puck at the point after a battle down low saw it squirt toward the blue line. Bear’s slap shot took Hoflin by surprise and made its way to the back of the net to make it 1-0.

Seattle’s second goal came when Nolan Volcan stole the puck on the forecheck at 10:23. Volcan then skated deeper into the faceoff circle before beating Hoflin with a wrist shot. It was Volcan’s second goal of the season and was unassisted.

Kootenay scored two minutes later to cut the deficit to 2-1. Zak Zborosky had the goal, his seventh of the season. Levi Cable and Tyler King had the assists on the goal scored at 12:13. Zborosky’s shot went over Mumaugh’s shoulder from short range as the Seattle goaltender attempted to straighten up after having to slide quickly across the crease.

Kootenay kept up the pressure on their power play and eventually scored the tying goal at 15:06. A cross-crease pass from Sam Reinhart found Tim Bozon rushing toward the net, who went to one knee and sent the one-timer past Mumaugh before he could get into position. Reinhart and Luke Philp had the assists on the power-play goal that made it 2-2.

Philp gave Kootenay a 3-2 lead with 27 seconds left in the first period. The Ice had a three-on-one offensive rush after winning the possession battle in their zone. Philp fed a pass to Jaedon Descheneau that beat a diving Seattle defenseman and then received the pass back at the goal mouth, where he was able to knock it home as Mumaugh dove across.

Shots in the first period were 14-5 Kootenay while faceoffs were 12-9 Kootenay.

Volcan came close to a second goal on the night at 2:30. The 16-year-old took a shot from inside the faceoff circle that bounced off a prone Hoflin and right back to Volcan. Volcan’s second shot hit a Kootenay defender, however, steering it away from goal. Seattle kept up the pressure en route to doubling their shot total in just five minutes of action.

Mumaugh made a series of saves near the halfway point of the second period to keep the T-Birds’ deficit at one goal. The Ice worked the puck to the faceoff dot multiple times during a minute-long attack, with Mumaugh responding in time repeatedly.

Mumaugh had another sterling save with a minute remaining in the period. Kootenay was able to skate the puck to just outside the crease and let loose with a shot. Mumaugh had a clear look at the puck and kept his cool, however, allowing him to catch the shot against his chest.

Seattle led in shots 10-8 and in faceoffs 9-8 in the scoreless second period.

Kootenay scored on a power play at 4:58 to take a two-goal lead on the home team. Reinhart spun quickly in the slot and beat Mumaugh with a wrist shot to make it 4-2. Philp and Bozon had the assists on the goal, giving Bozon and Reinhart two points each on the night and Philp three. It was the first shot on goal of the period for the Ice.

The T-Birds were able to generate some offensive pressure before taking their fourth penalty of the game at 10:23. Seattle’s penalty killers kept the visitors out of the offensive zone for most of the penalty before getting a breakaway as the penalty expired. Hoflin came far out of his net to break up Ryan Gropp’s one-on-one chance and took a penalty doing so, giving Seattle their first power play of the game.

A tripping call gave Seattle a chance at with the power play again with just three minutes left in the game. Mumaugh left the net at the tail end of this penalty, giving Seattle a six-on-four advantage for 45 seconds. The T-Birds were unable to enter the offensive zone during this power play, leaving them just 1:45 to make up their two-goal deficit.

Kootenay added to their advantage with a shorthanded goal at 19:15. Descheneau scored the goal, beating the defense back and twisting around from behind the net for his 15th of the season. The goal was assisted by Matt Alfaro.

Shots in the final period of play were 4-3 Kootenay. Faceoffs were 11-9 Seattle.

Seattle plays host again on Sunday, this time taking on the Spokane Chiefs at 5:05 pm. After that, the Tri-City Americans will travel to the ShoWare Center to take on the T-Birds on Friday at 7:35 pm.

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