T-Birds Blast Cougars

Prince George Cougars L


(ISN) – PRINCE GEORGE, BC,  – Twelve Seattle Thunderbirds registered a point Friday night in Prince George in the T-Bird 9-2 win over the Prince George Cougars at the CN Centre.

Roberts Lipsbergs had two goals and two assists and Keegan Kolesar had two goals and assist in the win. Mathew Barzal had four assists and Scott Eansor had a goal and two assists. Ryan Gropp had a goal and an assist.

Logan Flodell made his second start of the season Friday night. He stopped 21 of 23 shots to get his first win this season.

This was the first of two games between the T-Birds and Cougars in Prince George. They meet in the second game of the back-to-back games Saturday at 7pm.

Seattle (24-19-3-3) went in front 1-0 at 11:13 of the first period. Evan Wardley came out of the penalty box and got a loose puck in the neutral zone. Wardley passed the puck to Barzal on the left wing. Barzal spotted Lipsbergs on the right wind and hit him with a crisp pass. Lipsbergs gained the Cougars’ zone, cut toward the slot and beat Prince George goalie Ty Edmonds with a wrist shot over the glove.

Prince George (20-30-1-1) tied the game 1-1 with a power-play goal by Brad Morrison at 13:21 of the first. Jansen Harkins fed Morrison at the back door and he beat goalie Logan Flodell who was lunging across the crease to make the save.

The T-Birds scored three goals in just under four minutes to take a 4-1 lead into the first intermission.

Ryan Gropp took a feed from Eansor all alone in the slot and beat Edmonds over the glove to give the T-Birds a 2-1 lead at 15:16 of the first. Kolesar worked the puck out of the right corner to get it to Eansor along the right boards.

Lipsbergs got his second of the game, at 16:06 of the first, to give the T-Birds a 3-1 lead. Barzal held the puck below the goal line to the right of the goal. Barzal made a pass to Lipsbergs in the low slot. The pass deflected off Lipsbergs’ skates and past Edmonds at the right post. The referees went to video review to check to see if Lipsbergs made a kicking motion to score the goal. The goal was upheld on video review.

Prince George replaced Edmonds with Tavin Grant after Seattle’s third goal. Edmonds made seven saves on 10 shots.

Eansor converted a nice pass from Kolesar at 19:08 of the first get the T-Birds fourth goal. Kolesar had his back to the goal just outside the crease and made a blind backhand pass to the slot. Grant went down on Kolesar pass, w which found Eansor as he was coming down the slot. Eansor had the whole net to shoot at and pushed the puck past Grant.

Seattle outshot Prince George 11-8 in the first period.

The T-Birds kept the pressure on to start the second period and scored 47 seconds into the period. Eansor held the puck along the right boards and then centered to Kolesar. Kolesar carried the puck into the slot and put a backhand shot on goal. Kolesar’s shot deflected off a skate and got past Grant at the right post.

Shea Theodore scored at 3:37 of the second to extend the T-Birds lead to 6-1. Barzal had the puck along the right boards. Theodore pinched down from the left point and Barzal hit him with a pass. Theodore’s shot hit Grant in the shoulder, deflected up and over the goalie and landed in the net. Lipsbergs had the second assist on the goal.

Turner Ottenbreit scored on the power play at 16:09 of the third to get the T-Birds seventh goal of the game. Barzal had the puck at the top of the left circle. Ottenbreit pinched down from the right point and Barzal spotted him. Ottenbreit took Barzal’s pass and beat Grant high for his third goal of the season. Lipsbergs had the second assist for his fourth point of the game.

Kolesar scored on a breakaway on the power play at 18:23 of the second to get the T-Birds eight goal. Ethan Bear had the puck in front of the Seattle goal and hit Kolesar with a long distance pass as he split two defensemen. Kolesar came down on Grant and beat the goalie over the glove.

The T-Birds had seven shots in the second period and held the Cougars to one shot. The T-Birds led 19-8 in shots after two periods.

Edmonds replaced Grant in the Cougars net to start the third period. Grant made four saves on nine shots in 24 minutes of action.

A great individual effort by Nolan Volcan set up the T-Birds ninth goal. Volcan won a puck battle in the right circle. Volcan turned and found Calvin Spencer in the high slot. Spencer one-timed Volcan’s pass past Edmonds for his fourth of the season.

Tyler Mrkonjic scored from a sharp angle at 15:45of the third to get the Cougars second goal. Tomas Andrlik had the only assist.

Prince George outshot Seattle 14-10 in the third period but the T-Birds finished with a 28-23 advantage in shots.

Edmonds record is 18-20-1-1 as he stopped 15 of 19 shots in the loss.