Anthony Dion, 1090 The Fan

(1090 The Fan) — Seattle Thunderbirds forward Justin Hickman is set to return Saturday, as the team travels to Portland to face reigning WHL champions, The Winterhawks.

Hickman received a four-game suspension for a checking to the head major penalty in Game 6 of Seattle’s playoff series against Kelowna. He sat out Game 7 and the first three games of this season to serve the suspension.  Hickman’s presence in the T-Birds lineup is a boost the club is counting on.

“He’s a big part of our team,” said Thunderbirds head coach Steve Konowalchuk. “Especially in a grind out game like tonight, it would have been nice to have a big body and another guy that needs some time, needs the minutes,” Konowalchuk said. “We’ll look at the tape and talk it over and see how it goes.”

Hickman, 19, scored 12 goals and delivered 22 assists last season.

Troock-Delnov-Honey line paying dividends for T-Birds early on

After combining for 11 points in the 6-0 win over Vancouver Wednesday, the Thunderbirds line of forwards Branden Troock, Alexander Delnov and Connor Honey had another big game, delivering six points against Tri-City.

“We’ve got some good chemistry,” Troock said about his line after the game, Friday. “It’s really easy playing with them, they are both really skilled players so I’ve just tried to use my speed and get open and see if they can find me.”

Troock and Delnov are tied for the team lead with three goals and each has at least three assists as well. Honey, meanwhile, has two goals and four assists. Troock made it clear afterwards that he is 100 percent.

“I’m feeling really good. I feel strong, my shoulder isn’t giving me any problems,” said Troock.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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