MEDICINE HAT, AB, November 7, 2015 – The Seattle Thunderbirds got two goals from Keegan Kolesar and a goal and an assist from Ryan Gropp to secure a 5-2 win over the Medicine Hat Tigers at the Canalta Centre in Medicine Hat Saturday night.
Seattle goalie Logan Flodell had a very strong game stopping 25 of 27 shots to improve his record to 6-3-1-0.
This was the sixth and final game of road trip through the Central Division. The T-Birds were 2-4-0-0 on the road trip. They will stay on the road for two more games. They play the Victoria Royals on Friday, November 13, and Saturday, November 14. They are back at ShoWare Center on Tuesday, November 17 to take on the Swift Current Broncos at 7:05pm.
Seattle (10-6-1-0) took a 1-0 lead nine seconds into the game. Mathew Barzal won the opening faceoff back to right defenseman Jerret Smith. Smith gained the red line and sent the puck high into the Tigers zone. The puck bounced off a Medicine Hat defenseman right to Ryan Gropp coming down the slot. Gropp snapped the puck over Nick Schneider’s glove for the goal.
The T-Birds scored a five-on-three power-play goal at 14:08 of the first to take a 2-0 lead. Ethan Bear took a slap shot that was blocked and went to the right boards. Barzal collected the puck and skated into the right circle. Barzal made a cross-ice pass to Keegan Kolesar at the bottom of the right circle. Kolesar one-timed the puck past Schneider for his 11th goal of the season.
Both teams had eight shots in the first period.
At 11:27 of the second period Barzal was called for checking from behind. The referees and linesmen met for over a minute to discuss the penalty and ruled it was a major penalty, which carries with it a game misconduct penalty.
Medicine Hat (5-7-2-1) got a five-minute power play from the major penalty and was able to cut the T-Birds lead to one at 12:13 of the second. Max Gerlach scored off a scramble at 12:13 of the second. Mason Shaw and Chad Butcher had the assists.
The T-Birds were able to kill off the rest of the Tigers power play and then scored 20 seconds after it ended to take 3-1 lead. Gropp skated down the right side and cut towards the net. The Tigers poked the puck away from Gropp and were able to control it. Matthew Wedman slapped at the puck on the stick of a Tigers defenseman. The puck deflected high in the air and went over Schneider and into the back of the net. The Medicine Hat goalie did not see the puck in the air or as it went over him into the net. It was Wedman’s second goal of the season.
The T-Birds outshot the Tigers 9-7 in the second period and led 17-15 in total shots after two periods.
Gerlach scored 55 seconds into the third period on a wrist shot to cut the T-Birds lead to 3-2. Shaw and Ty Stanton had the assists.
Flodell made several good saves on a Tigers power play midway through the third period to keep the Tigers from tying the game.
The Tigers took a cross checking penalty at 15:58 and a tripping penalty at 16:37 to put the T-Birds on a five-on-three power play. The T-Birds were able to capitalize when Bear ripped a slap shot from the right circle past Schneider. Gropp moved the puck from the right corner to Jerret Smith at the right point. Smith crossed the puck to Bear who one-timed the pass.
The Tigers pulled Schneider for an extra attacker with over a minute to go in the game. Nolan Volcan got to a loose puck along the left boards. He centered it to Kolesar who gained the red line and then rifled it into the empty net for his second goal of the game.
The Tigers outshot the T-Birds 12-7 in the third period and 27-24 in the game.
Schneider made 19 saves on 23 shots and his record is now 3-4-0-0.
First period – 1, Seattle, Gropp 8 (Smith, Barzal), :09. 2, Seattle, Kolesar 11 (Barzal, Bear), 14:08 (pp). Penalties – Bench, Med (too many men-served by Gerlach), 1:54. Volcan, Sea (falling on puck), 3:57. Clouston, Med (roughing), 12:51. Stanton, Med (slashing), 13:46. Ottenbreit, Sea (hooking), 16:00.
Second period – 3, Medicine Hat, Gerlach 6 (Shaw, Butcher), 12:13. 4, Seattle, Wedman 2, 16;47. Penalties – Mowbray, Med (tripping), 1:04. Watson, Sea (boarding, roughing), 4:16. Clouston, Med (roughing), 4:16. Barzal, Sea (major-checking from behind, game misconduct), 11:27.
Third period – 5, Medicine Hat, Gerlach 7 (Shaw, Stanton), :55. 6, Seattle, Bear 4 (Smith, Gropp), 17:40 (pp). 7, Seattle, Kolesar 12 (Volcan), 19:13 (en). Penalties – Kolesar, Sea (holding), 7:13. Schultz, Med (cross checking), 15:58. Stanton, Med (tripping), 16:37. Stanton, Med (10-minute misconduct), 19:13.
Shots on goal – Seattle 8-9-6 23, Medicine Hat 8-7-12 27. Goalies – Seattle, Flodell 27 shots-25 saves (6-3-1-0); Medicine Hat, Schneider 22-18 (3-4-0-0). Power plays – Seattle 2-7; Medicine Hat 1-5. A – 4,540. Referees – Mike Campbell, Bryce Sebastian. Linesmen – Aidan Henderson, Greg Sarauer.