(1090 The Fan) – A dominant first period propelled a Seattle squad, suddenly looking extremely confident, to its fifth consecutive WHL win, this one a 4-2 victory over Tri-City in front of 3,568 at the ShoWare Center, Saturday.
The Thunderbirds (8-2) wasted little time in building off of a 4-2 road trip as they came out pressuring from the initial face-off. The early onslaught yielded an 8-0 advantage in shots-on-goal and forced the Americans head coach Jim Hiller to take a timeout just 5:34 in.
It did little to slow down Seattle.
Roberts Lipsbergs scored twice, Shea Theodore had a goal and newly acquired Adam Henry, playing in his first game as a T-Bird, scored with :03 remaining in the first period to stake Seattle to a 2-0 lead it never relinquished.
“They were ready to go,” Seattle head coach Steve Konowalchuk said of his team after the win. “And it was another challenge, it was a very emotional win last night (over Kelowna). Getting in at five in the morning, I was interested to see how committed the guys were going to be to being focused — they were ready to go.”
They certainly were as the Americans could attest. The second period saw more of the same with Seattle out-shooting Tri-City 12-8. The T-Birds extended their lead to 3-0 when Theodore roofed a slapshot past Americans goalie Eric Comrie after a Seattle power play had just expired.
Thunderbirds goalie Danny Mumaugh lost the shutout 5:37 into the third period when Tri-City (4-6-0-1) forward Beau McCue got hold of a loose puck and found the back of a wide open net. Mumaugh finished with 27 saves for Seattle.
Lipsbergs, then, added his second goal of the evening when he one-timed a pretty feed from Justin Hickman on a 5-on-4 advantage. It capped a strong extended power play and built Seattle’s lead back to three, the score: 4-1.
Speaking of Seattle playing with added confidence so far this season, Hickman agreed.
“We;re having fun this year,” said Hickman. “Every night, we know that we can do it. The whole locker room has that belief that we can comeback and obviously it was nice last night getting a little revenge on the Rockets. They are a top team, too so it gives a big boost of confidence that we can skate with anybody in the league and beat anybody in the league.”
Connor Rankin led the way for Tri-City, finishing with two points, including a goal scored at the 16:54 mark of the third period that capped the game’s scoring. Comrie finished with 40 saves against 44 shots for the Americans.
1. SEA Roberts Lipsbergs 7 (Barzal, Hickman), 13:37
2. SEA Adam Henry 1 (Smith, Delnov), 19:57
3. SEA Shea Theodore 4, 14:51
4. TC Beau McCue 5 (Rankin, Tot), 5:37
5. SEA Roberts Lipsbergs 8 (Hickman, Barzal), 11:36 PP
6. TC Connor Rankin 5 (Nickles, Williams), 16:54
-Anthony Dion, 1090 The Fan
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