EVERETT, September 6, 2015 – Jamal Watson had two goals and Mathew Barzal had a goal and two assists to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 5-2 win over the Spokane Chiefs Sunday afternoon at Xfinity Arena in the Everett Silvertips Holiday Inn Preseason Classic.
This was the T-Birds third game at the Classic over the Labor Day weekend. They have a 2-1-0-0 preseason record with three games remaining in the preseason schedule.
Seattle goalie Logan Flodell started and played the entire game. He made 16 saves on 18 shots in the win.
Seattle took a 1-0 lead on a shorthanded goal from Ryan Gropp 4:04 of the first period. Mathew Barzal got to a loose puck in the neutral zone and carried it into the Spokane zone while being hooked. The puck went behind the net where Barzal got it and then centered to Gropp all alone in the slot. Gropp waited out Spokane goalie Matt Berlin and beat the goalie over the blocker.
Seattle outshot Spokane 7-2 in the first period.
The T-Birds scored three times in the first 8:06 of the second period to take a 4-0 lead.
Jerret Smith scored a power-play goal at 1:11 of the second to put the T-Birds up 2-0. Barzal had the puck along the left boards. He sent the puck high to Ethan Bear. Bear found Smith in the right circle. Smith beat Berlin through the legs from the bottom of the right circle.
Jamal Watson converted on a hard centering pass from Scott Eansor at 3:16of the second to give the T-Birds a 3-0 lead. Eansor broke down the left wing on a two-on-one break with Watson. Eansor looked to shoot then crossed it to Watson.
Watson set up the T-Birds fourth goal at 8:06 of the second with a good open ice check. Watson checked a Spokane forward attempting to carry the puck out of the defensive zone. Nolan Volcan got to the loose puck in the right circle and centered it to Barzal. Barzal one-timed Volcan’s pass and beat Berlin high.
Berlin was replaced by Tyson Verhelst midway through the second period. Berlin stopped nine of 13 shots.
Seattle outshot Spokane 8-6 in the second period and led 15-8 shots after two periods.
Spokane got on the board on an unassisted shorthanded goal from Kailer Yamamoto at 1:34 of the third period.
Watson scored his second goal of the night at 8:15 of the third. Watson took a feed from Ryan Gropp in the slot and beat Verhelst. Elijah Brown had the second assist, the first point in the WHL for the T-Birds 2015 first round bantam pick.
Hayden Ostir scored Spokane’s second goal at 15:06 of the third period. Koby Morrisseau had the only assist.
The T-Birds outshot the Chiefs 17-10 in the third period and 32-18 in the game.
Verhelst ended with 18 saves on 19 shots in his 31 minutes of play.
After the Classic, the T-Birds next preseason appearance will be in Kennewick at the Red Lion Hotels’ Preseason Tournament at the Toyota Center. The T-Birds will play the Kootenay Ice on Friday, September 11, at3pm and face the Tri-City Americans on Saturday, September 12, at 7:05pm
The T-Birds will conclude their preseason schedule with a home game against the Victoria Royals on Friday, September 18, at 7:35pm at ShoWare Center.
The T-Birds open the 2015-16 season in Vancouver against the Giants onFriday, September 25, at 7:30pm at Pacific Coliseum.
The T-Birds home opener for the 2015-16 season is Saturday, October 3, against the Prince George Cougars at 7:05pm at ShoWare Center.
First period – 1, Seattle, Gropp 1 (Barzal), 4:04 (sh). Penalties – Khaira, Sea (tripping), 3:04.
Second period – 1, Seattle, Smith 1 (Bear, Barzal), 1:11 (pp). 3, Seattle, Watson 2 (Eansor, Volcan), 3:16. 4, Seattle, Barzal 1 (Volcan), 8:06.Penalties – Sozanski, Spo (holding), :46. Ka. Yamamoto, Spo (tripping), 9:08. Barzal, Sea (hooking), 12:30. Hamaliuk, Spo (checking to the head, roughing),17:35. Sea (roughing), 17:35.
Third period – 5, Spokane , Ka. Yamamoto, 1:34 (sh). 6, Seattle, Watson 3 (Gropp, Brown), 8:15. 7, Spokane, Ostir 1 (Morrisseau), 15:06. Penalties –Elynuik, Spo (major-kneeing, game misconduct), 1:26. Watson, Sea (roughing), 12:25. Ka. Yamamoto, Spo (hooking), 17:28.
Shots on goal – Seattle 7-8-17 32, Spokane 2-6-10 18. Goalies – Seattle, Flodell 18 shots-16 saves (1-0-0-0); Spokane, Berlin 13-9 (0-1-0-0), Verhelst 19-18. Power plays – Seattle 1-5; Spokane 0-3. Referees – Duncan Brow, Mark Pearce. Linesmen – Brendon Creyke, Michael, McGowan.