CRANBROOK, BC, October 31, 2015 – Ryan Gropp scored twice Saturday afternoon at Westman Financial Place to help lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 5-2 win over the Kootenay Ice.
This was the T-Birds first game of a six-game road trip through the Central Division. The T-Birds road trip continues Sunday against the Calgary Hitmen at 3pm at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
The T-Birds and Ice traded power-play goals in the first period.
Kootenay (3-12-2-0) opened the scoring 4:16 into the game on a power-play goal by Bryan Allbee. Allbee took a slap shot from center ice inside the blue with a screen in front of Seattle goalie Logan Flodell. The shot found its way past Flodell.
Seattle (9-2-1-0) tied the game 1-1 with Ryan Gropp’s power play goal at 12:17 of the first. Keegan Kolesar took a shot from the left circle that rebounded to Gropp to the right of the net. Gropp slammed the puck past Kootenay goalie Wyatt Hoflin as he tried to slide right to left to make the save.
Seattle outshot Kootenay 12-6 in the first period.
Nolan Volcan and Mathew Barzal staked the T-Birds to a 3-1 lead with goals 1:22 into the second period.
Barzal carried the puck into the Ice zone along the right boards right after the opening faceoff. He centered the puck to Jared Hauf coming into the zone. Hauf made a wrist pass to Volcan coming through the slot. Volcan turned his back to Hoflin and tipped Hauf’s pass past the goalie 13 seconds into the period for his fourth goal of the season.
Ethan Bear took a slap shot from center ice inside the blue line as Barzal skated from right to left through the high slot. Barzal tipped Bear’s pass and the puck went past Hoflin on the glove side. Turner Ottenbreit had the second assist with a pass to Bear from the left boards at the blue line.
The T-Birds took a three-goal lead at 13:29 of the second on Gropp’s second goal of the game. Defenseman Jerret Smith banged the puck off the glass and into the neutral zone where Gropp got to it. Gropp came into the Ice zone on a two-on-two with Nick Holowko on his left. Gropp skated into the high slot and beat Hoflin with a hard wrist shot into the top right corner of the net. Flodell had the second assist on the goal.
Seattle led in shots 20-15 after two periods.
Keegan Kolesar scored a five-on-three power-play goal to make it a 5-1 lead for the T-Birds at 6:32 of the third period. Gropp took a shot from the left circle and Alexander True took a whack at the rebound. The puck came into the high slot where Kolesar got to it. Kolesar whipped the puck past a prone Hoflin to get his 10th goal of the season.
Philp scored a power-play goal at 13:47 of the third to get the second goal of the game for the Ice. Allbee had the only assist on the goal.
The T-Birds outshot the Ice 15-9 in the third period and 35-24 in the game.
Flodell stopped 22 of 24 shots to improve his record to 5-1-0-0.
Hoflin made 30 saves on 35 shots and his record falls to 2-9-1-0