(ISN) – KENT, – A back and forth game between the Seattle Thunderbirds and Spokane Chiefs Tuesday night at ShoWare Center ended when Keegan Kolesar scored in the fifth round of a shootout to give the T-Birds a 5-4 win over the Chiefs.
Taran Kozun shined in the shootout, stopping all five shooters he faced to help Seattle along to the win. Kolesar scored the only goal in the shootout and beat Spokane goalie Garret Hughson with a backhand shot up and over the goalie’s blocker. Kolten Olynek was Spokane’s last chance to tie the game back up but was denied when Kozun kicked out his right pad and knocked the puck away.
Hughson stopped Lane Pederson, Shea Theodore, Donovan Neuls and Roberts Lipsbergs before Kolesar scored.
Seattle is now 21-16-2-3 and are two points behind the Chiefs and Portland Winterhawks who are tied for second in the US Division. The T-Birds are 8-1-0-1 in their last 10 games.
The T-Birds travel to Kelowna to take on the Rockets on Friday at 7:30pm. They then go to Everett to play the Silvertips on Saturday at 7:05pm.
The T-Birds took a 1-0 lead 12:42 into the first period. Theodore passed the puck from the left point to Jerret Smith at the right point. Smith came down the boards and put a shot on goal with Ryan Gropp in front of Hughson. Gropp tipped Smith’s shot over Hughson’s glove for his 16th goal of the season.
Off the ensuing faceoff Spokane was called for a tripping penalty and the T-Birds were able to capitalize on the power play to take a 2-0 lead. Ethan Bear took a shot from the right circle that Kolesar deflected past Hughson for his 14 goal of the season. Theodore had the second assist.
Theodore moved into sole possession of second place in points by a T-Birds defenseman with an assist on the T-Birds first two goals. He has 179 career points, two points ahead of Thomas Hickey and eight points behind Craig Channell for first.
Spokane (23-15-3-1) cut the lead to one at 14:49 of the first on a goal from Riley Whittingham. Devon McAndrews took a shot from the left boards that rebounded off the end boards to Whittingham to the right of the goal.
Whittingham was able to beat Kozun with a quick shot. Jason Fram had the second assist.
Seattle outshot Spokane 14-9 in the first period.
The Chiefs tied the game 2-2 22 seconds into the second period. Liam Stewart banged a cross slot pass past Kozun. Kailer Yamamoto and Adam Helewka had the assists.
The T-Birds came right back and took a 3-2 lead when Cory Millette jammed a loose puck past Hughson at 5:28 of the second. Lipsbergs had the puck along the left boards. He made a centering pass that deflected off Neuls skate and right to Millette in front of Hughson. Millette took several whacks at the puck to get it past the goalie. It was the second consecutive game Millette has scored a goal.
Keanu Yamamoto put back a rebound on the power play to tie the game 3-3 at 9:23 of the second. Dominic Zwerger took the initial shot from the right circle that went right to Yamamoto in the left circle. Jackson Playfair had the second assists.
Spokane took a 4-3 lead when Adam Helewka scored at 16:46 of the second. Helewka beat Kozun with a wrist shot from the left circle. Fram and Tyson Helgesen had the assists.
Spokane outshot Seattle 12-8 in the second period. The T-Birds led in shots 22-21 after two periods.
Nolan Volcan tied the game 4-4 at 5:30 of the third period. Bear had the puck in the T-Birds zone and found Lane Pederson at center ice. Pederson passed the puck to Volcan on the left wing and he carried it into the Spokane zone. Volcan took a slap shot from the left circle that Hughson got a glove on. The puck came off Hughson’s glove, got behind the goalie and trickled across the goal line.
The T-Birds got a power play with 3:31 left in the third period but were not able to get the go-ahead goal.
Seattle outshot Spokane 14-3 in the third period and controlled the play for the most part.