Liam Hughes had 44 saves and four different Seattle Thunderbirds players scored in a 4-1 win over the Kelowna Rockets Saturday night at the accesso ShoWare Center.
Hughes and the T-Birds faced a three-man advantage to end the game as the T-Birds had two players in the penalty box and Rockets goalie Roman Basran was on the bench for the extra attacker. Matthew Wedman blocked several Rocket slap shots and Hughes made three key saves and get the win.
Seattle (3-1-1-0) struck early in the first period to take a 1-0 lead. Matthew Wedman from the right circle that deflected off a Kelowna defenseman to the end boards. Nolan Volcan go the puck and centered it to Andrej Kukuca in the slot. Kukuca put a hard wrist shot over Kelowna goalie Roman Basran’s blocker into the top left corner of the net. The goal was Kukuca’s first as a T-Bird.
Seattle outshot Kelowna 13-10 in the first period.
Dillon Hamaliuk scored in his fifth straight game to give the T-Birds a 2-0 lead. Kukuca had the puck in the low left circle on the power play. Kukuca passed the puck to Noah Philp at the top of the left circle and he quickly crossed the puck to Hamaliuk in the right circle. Hamaliuk one-timed the pass from Kukuca and beat Basran high at 2:54 of the second period as the goalie slid over to try and make the save.
Kelowna (1-6-0-0) cut the T-Birds lead to one on a power-play goal by Kyle Topping at 15:16 of the second. Leif Mattson and Liam Kindree had the assists.
The Rockets outshot the T-Birds 17-13 in the second period and led 27-26 in shots after 40 minutes.
Jake Lee put the T-Birds in front 3-1 at 2:54 of the third period with a power-play goal. Lee took a slap shot from the left circle that beat Basran over the left shoulder. Philp and Graeme Bryks had the assists.
The T-Birds iced the game at 14:48 of the third when Zack Andrusiak scored on the power play. Wedman passed the puck with one hand to Andrusiak in the slot. Andrusiak beat Basran over the right shoulder. Simon Kubicek had the second assist.
Kelowna outshot Seattle 18-6 in the third period and 45-32 in the game.
Basran made 28 saves on 32 shots.