(1090 The Fan) — Seattle held onto its lead this time around.
One night after blowing a late two-goal lead to its opponent, the Seattle Thunderbirds (9-3-0-1) roared back for a six goal effort in defeating Swift Current 6-3.
Riley Sheen started a four-goal run by the T-Birds midway through the second period that staked Seattle to a 4-1 advantage the Broncos weren’t quite able to overcome. The win helped Seattle snap a two-game losing skid in front of 3,269 at the ShoWare Center, Saturday.
Swift Current (6-6-0-1) entered with 13 points and a third place standing in the East Division. However, they were also 1-4 on the road and 0-2 against the U.S. division, and didn’t improve upon that mark Saturday, after it was out shot 43-28.
Sheen finished with a goal and an assist, Roberts Lipsbergs had a goal and an assist and Shea Theodore delivered two assists to lead the T-Birds. Seattle goaltender Justin Myles had 25 saves on 28 shots.
Despite the final result, it wasn’t pretty early. Another lackluster first period performance from from the T-Birds left them trailing 1-0 entering the second.
“First period (was) a little bit of a chess match. Both teams were coming off a couple of losses so sometimes you can expect guys to feel it out,” Seattle head coach Steve Konowalchuk said. “I thought at the end of the first period we had a few big hits that carried over to the second period.”
The team certainly looked far more energetic in the second, bringing speed and physicality to the contest it did not over the initial 20 minutes. It started with forward Justin Hickman dropping the gloves against Broncos defenseman Dillon Heatherington. According to Konowalchuk, the fight definitely sparked the team.
“For sure it did,” Konowalchuk said. “That’s a big guy on our team and a big part of their team… I think we wore them down throughout the game.”
Shortly after the resulting 4-on-4 expired, the Thunderbirds went on their tear, scoring four goals in an 11-minute span. Sheen made it 1-1 when he deflected a Jerret Smith slap shot past Broncos goalie Landon Bow 6:03 in.
Seth Swenson gave the T-Birds the lead less than two minutes later, when he scored on a 3-on-1 breakaway. Then it was Branden Troock cleaning up a rebound in front of Bow for his fourth goal of the season at the 11:56 mark. Roberts Lipsbergs capped the run with his team-leading 10th goal of the year at 17:30.
For all the momentum Seattle built, Swift Current would not be swept away easily. Defenseman Julius Honka scored a late goal after a faceoff in the Seattle zone at 19:04 mark to make it 4-2. Seattle held a 19-6 shots-on-goal edge in the period.
There was some unwanted consternation midway through the third when Broncos’ leading scorer Coda Gordon beat Myles on a breakaway to cut the T-Birds lead to 4-3. However, one night after not finishing strong, Seattle answered back. Jared Hauf and Justin Hickman scored goals just over a minute apart to give the T-Birds a commanding 6-3 lead that all but sealed the Broncos’ fate with just over six minutes remaining.
“Our guys stayed composed and we got back at,” Konowalchuk said. “You could hear them on the bench saying, ‘We’re fine, we’re fine.’ Anytime that soon something like that happens, it’s in your mind a bit, but the guys kept playing.”
1. SC Colby Cave 7 (Harris), 13:55
2. SEA Riley Sheen 3 (Smith, Theodore), 6:03
3. SEA Seth Swenson 4 (Elliot), 7:23
4. SEA Branden Troock 4 (Sheen, Theodore), 11:56
5. SEA Roberts Lipsbergs 10 (Barzal), 17:30
6. SC Julius Honka 4 (Cave), 19:04
7. SC Coda Gordon 8 (Sanvido, Honka), 9:16
8. SEA Jared Hauf 2 (Delnov), 12:24
9. SEA Justin Hickman 3 (Lipsbergs), 13:27
– Anthony Dion, 1090 The Fan
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