T-Birds Shut Out Chiefs

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(ISN) – SPOKANE, – Seattle Thunderbirds goalie Taran Kozun made 20 saves Sunday night at Veterans Memorial Arena in Spokane to lead the T-Birds to a 2-0 shutout of the Spokane Chiefs.

The shutout was the first of the season for Kozun as he stopped 20 shots and improved his record to 21-13-3-3.

Seattle (23-18-3-3) took a 1-0 lead at 9:09 of the first period. Ryan Gropp carried down the right wing in to the Spokane zone. Gropp cut through the right circle and put a shot on goal. Tyson Verhelst made the save but Donovan Neuls banged in the rebound for the opening goal. Shea Theodore had the second assist.

The T-Birds took a 2-0 lead late in the third period on the power play. Roberts Lipsbergs sent the puck from the left corner to Jerret Smith at the left point. Smith made a cross-ice pass to Shea Theodore in the right circle. Theodore beat Verhelst with a wrist shot over the blocker at 16:09 of the period.

The T-Birds moved into third place in the US Division standings. They are seven points behind the second place Portland Winterhawks and 12 points behind the first place Everett Silvertips. Spokane (23-20-3-1) has now lost six games in a row.

Seattle outshot Spokane 27-20 in the game.

Verhelst stopped 25 of 27 shots and his record is now 8-6-0-0.

The T-Birds travel to Kamloops to play the Blazers on Wednesday at 7pm. They then have back-to-back games in Prince George against the Cougars on Friday, January 30 and Saturday, January 31. Both games in Prince George start at 7pm. The next home game is Friday, February 6, against the Portland Winterhawks at ShoWare Center at 7:35pm.

T-Birds single game tickets for the 2014-15 season are available 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.

First period – 1, Seattle, Neuls 5 (Gropp, Theodore), 9:09. Penalties – Volcan, Sea (major-fighting), 3:30. Bechtold, Spo (major-fighting), 3:30. Osterman, Sea (major-fighting), 4:10. Laday, Spo (major-fighting), 3:10. Gropp, Sea (holding), 5:00. Wardley, Sea (high-sticking), 9:46. Helewka, Spo (high-sticking), 17:59. Olynek, Spo (roughing), 17:59. Gropp, Sea (unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:59.

Second period – No scoring. Penalties – Gropp, Sea (slashing), 1:51. Theodore, Sea (delay of game), 3:09. Bench, Sea (too many men-served by Holowko), 12:43. Helewka, Spo (major-fighting), 13:14. Eansor, Sea (major-fighting), 13:14.

Third period – 2, Seattle, Theodore 7 (Smith, Lipsbergs),16:09 (pp). Penalties – Stewart, Spo (hooking), 1:29. Cardiff, Spo (tripping), 6:37. Fram, Spo (high-sticking), 9:09. Hauf, Sea (10-minute misconduct), 11:38. McAndrews, Spo (10-minute misconduct), 11:38. Ka. Yamamoto, Spo (roughing), 15:05. Whittingham, Spo (10-minute misconduct), 20:000.

Shots on goal – Seattle 8-8-11 27, Spokane 8-6-6 20. Goalies – Seattle, Kozun 20 shots-20 saves (21-13-3-3); Spokane, Verhelst 27-25 (8-6-0-0). Power plays – Seattle 1-5; Spokane 0-5. A – 4,328. Referees – Jason Nissen, Nick Swaine. Linesmen – Tim Digby, Ron Dietterle.