T-Birds Tackle Tips 4-2

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(ISN) – KENT,  – The Seattle Thunderbirds defeated the Everett Silvertips 4-2 Tuesday night, winning their fourth game in a row. Seattle is now 17-15-2-2 on the season and passes the Tri-City Americans in the standings, moving to fourth in the U.S. Division. Everett falls to 21-11-3-1.

Danny Mumaugh got the start for Seattle and made 28 saves on 30 shots. Mumaugh is now 2-4-0-0 on the season. In goal for Everett was Austin Lotz, whose lose moved his record to 16-8-1-1. Lotz had 21 saves on 25 Seattle shots.

Keegan Kolesar came inches away from the game’s first goal at 13:02. Ryan Gropp received a stretch pass that left him and Kolesar alone with one Everett defenseman. Gropp’s pass made it to Kolesar’s stick, where the winger fired away before Lotz could slide across. Kolesar’s shot went just a bit too high, however, flying over the crossbar despite beating Lotz.

The lead came to the T-Birds at 14:55 with a Lane Pederson goal. Pederson won a faceoff in the offensive zone, giving Seattle possession. While Sahvan Khaira carried the puck up the sideboards from behind the net, Pederson slid into the slot to find a shooting lane. Khaira’s pass found Pederson’s stick, giving Lotz no chance at making the save. It was Pederson’s sixth goal of the season, coming from Khaira and Ethan Bear.

Dawson Leedahl tied the game back up less than a minute later. Leedahl took the puck from deep in the zone and skated across the face of the goal as Seattle’s defense chased him. Leedahl’s backhand shot hit the bottom of the crossbar after going over Mumaugh’s glove hand and landed in the net for the goal.

Justin Hickman couldn’t hit pay dirt on a breakaway as the period came to a close. The captain blocked a point shot and beat the Silvertip to the puck as it bounced back to Everett’s zone. Hickman cut to Lotz’s stick side but his backhander zinged across the ice and past the goal.

Shots in the first period of play were 9-8 Everett. Seattle led in faceoffs 13-5.

Kolesar made it 2-1 with a power-play goal for Seattle, taking advantage of a swath of open ice as the second period began. The home team put the pressure on during a man advantage, denying Everett a needed line change. After two shifts of this stifling pressure, Hickman took a shot from the bottom of the faceoff circle that rebounded out in front of the crease. Kolesar was there to put the puck home. The winger’s shot just barely bounced through Lotz’s pads at 7:32 to give Seattle the lead. Hickman and Bear had the assists, giving Bear two on the night.

Scott Eansor created a chance for Nolan Volcan at 14:10. Volcan was set up in front of the net as Eansor fought along the boards to make space. Eansor eventually found room to get a pass out in front but the puck hit off of Lotz’s pads, pushing it away from Volcan’s waiting stick.

Mumaugh stonewalled the Silvertips on the counterattack following a Kolesar one-on-one breakaway. Mumaugh had only one defender between him and three Everett attackers. The break ended with a shot from Nikita Scherbak that bounced off the sliding Seattle defense to the side of the net, where Mumaugh kicked it away as another Silvertip tried to redirect it home.

Mumaugh’s strong play continued on an Everett power play in the last two minutes of the period. The Seattle goalie fought off two shots as well as a rebound in the slot before diving across the crease to cover up the puck as it bounded toward a waiting Silvertip attacker. The T-Birds’ defense took over from there, clearing the puck twice to end the power play.

Seattle was outshot 12-9 in the second period but led in faceoffs 9-4.

Kolesar scored for Seattle quickly in the third period, making it 3-1 at 1:36. After Mumaugh made a series of saves on the doorstep, the T-Birds rushed up the ice for a two-on-two opportunity. Gropp fed a pass to Kolesar, who was just outside the edge of the crease. The goal, coming as Lotz tried to slide into position, was Kolesar’s second of the night. Gropp and Hickman had the assists.

Everett scored at 8:30 to make it a one-goal game again. Scherbak took a point shot that rocketed through traffic. Mumaugh couldn’t get a bead on the puck until it was too late, giving the Silvertips their first power-play goal on five chances in the game. Ben Betker assisted on the goal.

A two-man advantage was short-lived thanks to Bear, who potted his ninth goal of the season. Bear and Smith passed the puck back and forth at the top of the zone until Bear found the angle he wanted and fired a shot on goal. Lotz made a lunging attempt to knock the high shot away, but to no avail. Kolesar had the secondary assist on the goal, giving him a three-point night and the T-Birds a 4-2 lead.

Lotz left the net after a Seattle icing call, giving the Silvertips 1:42 to score two goals with their six attackers. Everett touched the puck while offside, giving the home team an offensive zone faceoff with a minute left in the game and forcing Lotz back into his net. The T-Birds pinned the puck deep from there and Everett was unable to get the extra attacker on the ice for the rest of the game as Seattle sealed the victory.

The T-Birds trailed in shots 9-8 and faceoffs 12-6 in the third period.

Seattle travels to Portland on Wednesday night for a game against the Winterhawks at 8 pm. After that, the T-Birds will play at home against the Tri-City Americans on Friday at 7:35 pm.

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