The Seattle Thunderbirds came back from a two-goal deficit in the third period Sunday night at Veterans Memorial Arena to defeat the Portland Winterhawks 5-4 in a shootout.
The Winterhawks were leading 4-3 when Sami Moilanen scored the tying goal with 46 seconds left in the game with goalie Matt Berlin on the bench for an extra attacker. Moilanen knocked the puck past Portland goalie Cole Kehler on a scramble in front of the net. Jarret Tyszka and Ethan Bear had the assists.
Both teams had a breakaway chance in overtime but Berlin and Kehler made the saves and the game went to a shootout.
Berlin stopped Portland’s first shooter, Joachim Blechfeld, with a chest save. Mathew Barzal was the T-Birds first shooter and he beat Kehler with a stickhandling move and slid the puck past the goalie’s outstretched right leg.
Portland’s second shooter, Keegan Iverson, scored on a wrist shot. Alexander True was the T-Birds second shooter and his attempt got through Kehler but stopped on the goal line and the referee waved no goal.
Berlin stopped Skyler McKenzie, Portland’s third shooter, on his five-hole attempt. Moilanen was the T-Birds third shooter and he came down on Kehler skating right to left. Moilanen skated through the top of the crease forcing Kehler down and then beat the sprawling goalie high for the winning goal.
The T-Birds are in second place in the US Division and in the Western Conference, one point behind the Everett Silvertips for both top spots. The Silvertips have two games in hand on the T-Birds.
Berlin finished with 29 saves on 33 shots and his record is 6-1-2-0.
Seattle (38-17-3-2) took a 1-0 lead at 6:58 of the first period on the power play. Kehler tried to clear the puck from behind his net up the center of the ice. Kehler’s pass hit Tyler Adams in the chest and ricocheted into the net.
Portland (32-24-1-3) tied the game 1-1 at 14:22 of the first on a power-play goal by Evan Weinger. Henri Jokiharju and Keoni Texeira had the assist.
Portland outshot Seattle 11-6 in the first period.
The T-Birds went back in front 2-1 at 2:19 of the second period on an unassisted goal by True. True skated down the right wing and cut to the net. He beat Kehler with a backhand on the short side for his 20th goal of the season.
The Winterhawks tied the game 2-2 at 6:19 of the second on an unassisted shorthanded goal by Caleb Jones.
McKenzie gave Portland a 3-2 lead at 13:42 of the second. Cody Glass had the only assist.
Seattle outshot Portland 15-8 in the second period and led 22-18 in shots after two periods.
The Winterhawks took a two-goal lead at 8:50 of the third period on a goal from Texeira. McKenzie had the only assist.
Donovan Neuls started the comeback for the T-Birds at 11:33 of the third. Neuls took a pass from Barzal and beat Kehler low on the stick side for his 13th goal of the season. Tyszka had the secondo assist.
The T-Birds outshot the Winterhawks 21-11 in the third period and 50-33 in the game.
Kehler had 45 saves on 49 shots and his record is 24-16-0-1.
The T-Birds travel to Kennewick to play the Tri-City Americans on Friday at 7:05pm. The T-Birds host the Kelowna Rockets on Saturday at ShoWare Center at 7:05pm and the Everett Silvertips on Sunday at 5:05pm.
T-Birds single game tickets for the 2016-17 season are currently on sale. Fans can purchase single game tickets online or at the ShoWare Center box office.
First period – 1, Seattle, Adams 4, 6:58 (pp). 2, Portland, Weinger 18 (Jokiharju, Texeira), 14:22 (pp). Penalties – Ginnell, Por (tripping), 2:51. Texeira, Por (interference), 6:03. Hyman, Sea (high-sticking), 7:59. Bishop, Sea (kneeing), 13:10. True, Sea (roughing), 17:13. Weinger, Por (roughing), 17:13. Adams, Sea (roughing), 19:59. Weinger, Por (roughing, interference), 19:59.
Second period – 3, Seattle, True 20, 2:19. 4, Portland, Jones 7, 6:19 (sh).9:30. 5, Portland, McKenzie 36 (Glass), 13:42. Penalties – Dosanjh, Por (slashing), 4:31. McKenzie, Por (interference), 18:07.
Third period – 6, Portland, Texeira 11 (McKenzie), 8:50. 7, Seattle, Neuls 13 (Barzal, Tyszka), 11:33. 8, Seattle, Moilanen 18 (Tyszka, Bear), 19:14. Penalties – Texeira, Por (interference), 9:30. Strand, Sea (hooking), 16:42. Neuls, Sea (roughing), 20:00. Overhardt, Por (roughing), 20:00.
Overtime – No scoring. Penalties – No penalties.
Shootout – Seattle 2 (Barzal G, True NG, Moilanen G). Portland 1 (Blichfeld NG, Iverson G, McKenzie NG).
Shots on goal – Seattle 7-15-21-6-1 50, Portland 11-8-11-3-0 33. Goalies – Seattle, Berlin 33 shots-29 saves (6-1-2-0); Portland, Kehler 49-45 (24-16-0-1). Power plays – Seattle 1-6; Portland 1-2. A – 9,233. Referees – Adam Griffiths, Fraser Lawrence. Linesmen – Adam Brastad, Erik Freeman.