Seattle Thunderbirds (27-11-4-1) forward Conner Roulette recorded three assists and a goal in his team’s 7-3 victory over the Victoria Royals (12-28-4-1) on Saturday.
The T-Birds also benefited from three-point nights from forwards Henrik Rybinski (two goals, one assist) and Lukas Svejkovsky (one goal, two assists).
Head coach Dan Price expressed his frustration with the lack of on-ice results from his team over the past month:
“It was a good effort,” said Price postgame. “But effort doesn’t get you points, doesn’t get you into the playoffs…we’re going to work on more than just effort, we’re going to work on execution.”
Forwards Tarun Fizer and Bailey Peach had strong performances for the Royals, each recording a goal and two assists.
The team also celebrated defenceman Anson McMaster’s 100th career Western Hockey League game on Saturday. The Siksiska, AB native was originally selected by the Winnipeg (then Kootenay) Ice in the 2017 WHL draft, spending part of three seasons with the team before joining the Royals at the start of the 2021-2022 season.
Seattle came out strong for the second night in a row, opening up the scoring on a goal by defenceman Lucas Ciona (14) at 6:41. However, Victoria would respond only a few minutes later, tying the game at 1-1 on a marker by defenceman Kalem Parker at 8:12. It was the first career WHL goal for the Clavet, SK native, who was selected by the team in the second round of the 2019 bantam draft.
The Thunderbirds would up the attack in the latter half of the frame, taking a 3-1 into the second following goals by forwards Chase Lacombe (2) at 9:33 and Conner Roulette (16) at 11:35.
The Royals would continue to struggle in the second, surrendering two more goals and finding themselves in penalty trouble more often than not. Seattle’s fourth goal of the night was netted by forward Lukas Svejkovsky (19) at 2:51 of the frame, while forward Matthew Rempe would make it 5-1 with his 11th of the year at 19:04.
Victoria would improve their effort in the third, cutting the Seattle lead to 5-3 on goals by forwards Tarun Fizer (6) at 00:14 and Bailey Peach (26) at 9:36. But the T-Birds would counter with a pair of goals by forward Henry Rybinski at 11:33 (16) and 16:45 (17) to regain the four goal advantage. Neither team would find the back of the net for the remainder of the period and the final buzzer would sound with Seattle taking home the 7-3 victory.
Seattle goaltender Scott Ratzlaff made 25 of 28 saves on the way to his 10th win of the season, while Royals starting net-minder Tyler Palmer stopped 11 of 15 before being replaced in the second period with Campbell Arnold who made 19 of 22 saves down the stretch.