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Thunderbirds Split Two-Game Series with Everett

The Seattle Thunderbirds and the Everett Silvertips each took a win as the two battled it out in a two-game series.

Photo Credit
Brian Liesse

KENT - The Seattle Thunderbirds began a two-game series against the Everett Silvertips on Friday and looked to gain some ground on the U.S. Division leaders. They entered the match-up on a five-game win streak while maintaining the third spot in the division. The red-hot Silvertips were on a tear of their own after adding notches to the win column over their previous seven games.

The teams first took to the ice in front of 8,164 fans at the Angel of the Winds Arena.

The scoreboard would tick up for Everett after defenseman Jake Christiansen broke out of their zone with a cross-ice pass to forward Patrick Bajkov — sending the Silvertips into a broken 2-on-2. Bajkovs deflected wrist-shot found the stick of Matt Fonteyne before he mailed a backhander to the trialing Bryce Kindopp. The Alberta native tucked the puck far post with three Thunderbirds surrounding him.

Seattle would even the scoring at the 11:50 mark in the first period while on the powerplay.

The Silvertips attempted to clear the zone after a well-timed poke check by Everett goaltender Carter Hart which sent the puck into the corner. Samuel Huo, a late August signing, countered their effort on the blue line and gave a cross-ice dish to Austin Strand. Strand took a few strides toward the top of the circle before unleashing a shot top shelf on the WJC Gold Medalist.

The Silvertips would find themselves on a power-play of their own only 34 seconds into the second period. After a chest-high stop by Seattle goaltender Liam Hughes, the Tips gathered the rebound and showed patience before Matt Fonteyne found the back of the net from the point. The period would end 2-1 with Everett leading in the shot category by a total of 23-to-15.

Everetts Connor Dewar would secure the win on an unassisted goal at 9:40 in the third period. Dewar redirected a pass by Seattle before jetting off for a 2-on-1 towards the Thunderbirds net. After a skillful toe-drag around a diving defender, he tapped off the effort with a five-hole shot on Hughes.

Hughes would finish the night with 30 saves while Everett’s Carter Hart stopped 20 and found himself at 18-3-0-1 on the season.

Back in their own barn, the Thunderbirds looked to even the series.

Photo Credit
Brian Liesse

The Thunderbirds welcomed their rivals from the north, who have failed to secure a win at ShoWare Center since game one of the 2016 Western Conference semifinals, for the second match-up of the series. The two teams battled in front of 5,476 rowdy fans.

Connor Dewar would play the enemy yet again as he sent one top-shelf on Liam Hughes after a beautiful pass from Garrett Pilon which split the defenders.

Seattle would return the favor by netting one of their own at 7:34 in the second period. Noah Philp brought the puck behind the net before passing to a wide-open Blake Barger who redirected the pass far post on Carter Hart. Right winger Donovan Neuls collected an assist as well by wrapping the puck around the boards towards Philp.

Everett would again take the lead in the third by none other than Connor Dewar who found the back of the net with 7:41 gone on the clock.

This one would fail to secure the lead as Seattle would tie it up on the power-play with a goal at the 10:25 mark. Number 19, Donovan Neuls, sent a smart cross-ice pass to Zack Andrusiak who shot the puck towards the net. Carter Hart left a poor rebound out front as both Mathew Wedman and Nolan Volcan crashed the net — causing complete chaos. Somehow, amidst the turmoil, Wedman was able to punch the puck past the netminder and send the game into overtime.

The extra play would prove not enough as Seattle failed to produce on a power-play, thanks in part to solid goaltending by Hart, and escaped some sloppy puck movement in their own end.

Noah Philp would lead off the shootout for Seattle, but fail to convert as Hart made quick use of his glove. Everett’s Patrick Bajkov would flash his quick hands and creativity but ultimately ring one off the crossbar on an unphased Hughes. Both goalies would stay true by stopping Andrusiak (Seattle) and Fonteyne (Everett).

Austin Strand would step up to the stage and beat Hart with his change of pace and numerous dekes. Liam Hughes eventually secured the win by failing to bite on a fake shot from Pilon. He would finish the night with 34 saves on 36 shots.

The Thunderbirds hit the ice again today in a 5:05 pm match-up with the Tri-City Americans.