Carl Stankowski made 33 saves Friday night at ShoWare Center to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 4-2 win over the Tri-City Americans in Game 1 of their best-of-seven first round playoff series.
Game 2 is Saturday at ShoWare Center at 7:05pm.
Stankowski was at his best with the T-Birds leading 3-1 before the 10-minute media timeout of third period. Stankowski stopped Parker AuCoin on a shorthanded breakaway. Austyn Playfair scored at 7:26 of the third on a shorthanded breakaway to cut the T-Birds lead to one goal.
Stankowski then stopped Morgan Geekie on a breakaway, as he was being hooked by a T-Bird defender, drawing a penalty shot. Stankowski stopped Geekie’s five-hole attempt on the penalty shot 9:39 of the third. He then followed that up with a save on a second AuCoin shorthanded breakaway.
Seattle took a 1-0 lead at 5:37 of the first period. Ethan Bear took a wrist shot from the mid-point. Tri-City goalie Rylan Parenteau knocked down the puck and Alexander True got a stick on the rebound. The puck went into the left circle where Keegan Kolesar chased it down. Kolesar spun around and whipped the puck at Parenteau. Kolesar’s shot beat the goalie on the glove.
The T-Birds extended the lead to 2-0 at 8:50 of the first on a power-play goal from Ryan Gropp. Bear took a wrist shot from the mid-point that hit Kolesar in the high slot. The puck went to Gropp in the left circle and he took a quick wrist shot. Gropp’s shot beat Parenteau on the short side as the goalie scrambled over to try and make the save.
The Americans got on the board at 10:10 of the first on a goal from Jordan Topping. Tyler Sandhu and Dalton Yorke had the assists.
Tri-City outshot Seattle 12-9 in the first period.
The T-Birds outshot the Americans 11-4 in the second period and led 20-16 in shots after two periods.
Austin Strand gave the T-Birds 3-1 lead at 4:50 of the third. Strand came across the blue line and skated into the high slot. Strand took a wrist shot that beat Parenteau over the glove. Sami Moilanen and Aaron Hyman had the assists.
AuCoin’s breakaway goal at 7:26 was unassisted.
The T-Birds sealed the win when Kolesar scored his second goal of the game at 17:46 of the third. Turner Ottenbreit had the puck in the left corner of the T-Birds zone as Kolesar was coming out of the penalty box. Ottenbreit played the puck up to Donovan Neuls who banked it off the glass to Kolesar in the neutral zone. Kolesar skated down the left wing and with a defenseman in front of him snapped a wrist shot over Parenteau’s glove.
Tri-City outshot 19-11 in the third period and 35-33 in the game.
Parenteau made 27 saves on 31 shots.
Seattle vs. Tri-City First Round Schedule
Game 1 At Seattle 4, Tri-City 2
Game 2 Tri-City @ Seattle Saturday, March 25, 7:05pm
Game 3 Seattle @ Tri-City Wednesday, March 29, 7:05pm
Game 4 Seattle @ Tri-City Friday, March 30, 7:05pm
Game 5 Tri-City @ Seattle Saturday, April 1, 7:05pm*
Game 6 Seattle @ Tri-City Monday, April 3, 7:05pm*
Game 7 Tri-City @ Seattle Wednesday, April 5, 7:05pm*
* if necessary
First period – 1, Seattle, Kolesar 1 (True, Bear), 5:37. 2, Seattle, Gropp 1 (Kolesar, Bear), 8:50 (pp). 3, Tri-City, Topping 1 (Sandhu, Krebs), 10:10. Penalties – Tyszka, Sea (handling the puck), 1:42. Wotherspoon, Tri (tripping), 8:35. True, Sea (hooking), 10:56. Eansor, Sea (boarding), 19:02.
Second period – No scoring. Penalties – Adams, Sea (checking from behind), 2:57. O’Reilly, Tri (cross checking), 6:22. Moilanen, Sea (high-sticking), 12:28.
Third period – 3, Seattle, Strand 1 (Moilanen, Hyman), 4:50. 5, Tri-City, Playfair 1, 7:26 (sh). 6, Seattle, Kolesar 2 (Neuls, Ottenbreit), 17:46. Penalties – Geekie, Tri (tripping), 6:38. Valimaki, Tri (high-sticking), 8:25. Missed Penalty Shot – Geekie, Tri, 9:39. Wedman, Sea (tripping), 12:13. Kolesar, Sea (hooking), 15:35. Fuller, Tri (roughing, 10-minute misconduct), 19:52. James, Tri (10-minute misconduct), 20:00. Playfair, Tri (cross checking), 20:00. Yorke, Tri (10-minute misconduct), 20:00. Strand, Sea (10-minute misconduct), 20:00.
Shots on goal – Seattle 9-11-11 31, Tri-City 12-4-19 35. Goalies – Seattle, Stankowski 35 shots-33 saves (1-0-0); Tri-City, Parenteau 30-27 (0-1-0). Power plays – Seattle 1-6; Tri-City 0-7. A – 3,359. Referees – Kevin Bennett, Sean Raphael. Linesmen – Nick Bilko, Zach Brooks.