(1090 The Fan) — It took two weeks, but for Calvin Spencer his WHL debut was no less special.

Spencer, 17, made his debut with the Seattle Thunderbirds, Friday night as the team edged Portland 3-2. It was the forward’s first game since signing November 29th out of Minnesota.

“It was fun,” Spencer said. “It took me awhile, took me a shift to get used to it. I felt like I really fit in out there. Felt good. Great win against a rival team, come in, play at the ShoWare, at home…It was fun.

“(Coming) into the game, I was focusing on getting some shots really, just new to the league, just wanted to get some shots.”

He did that, getting a handful of shots in the first couple of periods, also showing the gritty style his coach and general manager characterized him for. It was also a good experience for Spencer playing in his first big rivalry game. How much did he know about the rivalry with Portland before getting on the ice?

“I didn’t know much about the rivalry,” he said. “But some of the guys came and talked to me about it. It was a big game.”

Spencer’s addition to the T-Birds’ lineup was important as the team was severely short-handed by the time the third period came around.

When the game began, Seattle was without its leading goal-scorer Roberts Lipsbergs, who is off in Poland with the junior team of his native country Latvia. After a late second period fracas, Seattle was also without Evan Wardley and Jared Hauf, who were dismissed with game misconduct penalties. The team also lost rookie forward Mathew Barzal to an undisclosed injury late in the period.

“He’s been good in practice and he’s tenacious, a smart hockey player and a very nice addition,” said Seattle head coach Steve Konowalchuk. “He’s going to help us down the stretch no doubt about it. He’s got a pretty strong future as well.”

-Anthony Dion, 1090 The Fan

(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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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