(1090 The Fan) — A big hit could result in a big loss for Seattle.
Thunderbirds’ defenseman Evan Wardley delivered a “de-cleater” as they say in football, when he crashed into Portland forward Adam De Champlain in the early minutes of the second period of Friday night’s contest.
Wardley was ejected from the game immediately with a game misconduct for “charging,” and the hit also ended the night for De Champlain, who had to be helped off the ice by teammates and the training staff.
Seattle head coach Steve Konowalchuk wasn’t pleased with the play from his defenseman.
“You gotta be able to hit, but you gotta be able to hit within the rules,” said Konowalchuk. “Power plays were big again. We took a penalty early, and then we took another one to give them a 5-on-3…You can’t give good hockey teams (those opportunities).”
“I’ll take a look at it and see, I didn’t think it was necessarily as bad as the ref thought there, but it happens quick. We’ll see.”
Wardley has routinely been on the top line as a defenseman for the T-Birds. Through 11 games, he has no goals and three assists.
The 19-year-old, though, brings much of the T-Birds’ toughness. He’s an imposing figure thanks to his 6-foot, 2-inch 202-pound frame and physical style of play. In the past few games, Wardley’s physicality worked to energize Seattle. Now, the team could be without him for a short period of time.
Thunderbirds’ forwards Connor Honey and Michal Holub continue to sit out for Seattle, Honey has missed the past nine games with an injury. Defensemen Kevin Wolf and Austin Douglas have also missed time and were scratches yet again Friday…Portland forwards Oliver Bjorkstrand (two assists) and Brendan Leipsic (two goals) each extended their point streaks to 11 games in the 5-2 win…Portland entered Friday night’s game with the most goals in the WHL, 82 in 16 games, good for just over five goals per game, which it stuck to on Friday.
-Anthony Dion, 1090 The Fan
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