Lipsbergs Returns To T-Birds From ECHL

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(ISN) – KENT,- Seattle Thunderbirds general manager Russ Farwell today announced left wing Roberts Lipsbergs has joined the T-Birds from the Stockton Thunder of the East Coast Hockey League.

“With the developments with Justin’s shoulder and his need to have surgery we are lucky to be able to add Lipsbergs to our team at this time,” said Farwell. “He is a proven scorer and will provide the older experience our team needs as our young forwards continue to develop.”

Last season in 69 games with the T-Birds Lipsbergs had 33 goals and 19 assists for 52 points. In two seasons with the T-Birds Lipsbergs has 110 points on 63 goals and 47 assists in 132 games.

Lipsbergs, from Riga, Latvia, was selected by the T-Birds in the first round, 60th overall, in the 2012 CHL Import Draft. He appeared in 15 games with the Thunder this season and had a goal and two assists.

Lipsbergs is now one of the T-Birds three 20-year-old players and two Import players.

Team captain Justin Hickman will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery within the next week. This season Hickman had 28 points on nine goals and 19 assists with 40 penalty minutes. In five seasons with the T-Birds Hickman played 285 games and had 55 goals and 77 assists for 132 points with 466 penalty minutes. Hickman finishes his T-Bird career in 11th place on the T-Birds all time games played list.

With the addition of Lipsbergs to the roster the T-Bird have released center Florian Baltram to get down to the league mandated two Import players. This season Baltram appeared in 34 games and had one goal and four assists for five points. Baltram, from Vienna, Austria, was the T-Birds second round selection, 108th overall, in the 2014 CHL Import Draft.

The T-Birds have a home-and-home series with the Tri-City Americans this weekend. They travel to Kennewick for a game on Friday at 7:05. They host the Americans on Sunday, January 11, at 5:05pm at ShoWare Center. The game on Sunday was originally scheduled for Saturday, January 10, but was moved to Sunday because of the Seattle Seahawks Divisional Round Playoff game on Saturday.

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