(1090 The Fan) — On two-for-one Tuesday, the Seattle Thunderbirds put forth 50 percent effort and got drubbed by Kamloops 7-1 in front of a sell-out crowd at the ShoWare Center on New Year’s Eve.
Cole Ully scored two goals for Kamloops (10-25-2-2), while Collin Shirley and Joe Kornelsen each had a goal and an assist.
Seattle (22-11-2-3) was hoping to close off a great month of December the right way, but got off to a disappointing start against the Blazers, a team that came in dead last in the B.C. division. Prior to Tuesday’s game, the T-Birds were 7-1-1-0 for the month.
“It was not a good game at all,” Seattle head coach Steve Konowalchuk said. “Maybe the first five minutes I thought we had some couple chances, but after that there wasn’t anybody who played a good game.
“We just talked about the effort — the physical effort (and) the mental effort,” Konowalchuk said about what he told his players in a long postgame locker room meeting. “There was some selfishness out there, a lot of guys over-extending shifts and a few things like that that we haven’t seen in our game in awhile.”
It was also the first time we’ve seen Seattle drop back-to-back games in awhile. The Thunderbirds entered with 10 wins in their past 12 even after falling to Everett in overtime on Saturday. The team hadn’t lost two consecutive games since November 19th and 22nd.
As Konowalchuk alluded to, there wasn’t much good from Everett in this one.
An unfortunate sequence led to Kamloops’ first goal as defenseman Shea Theodore broke his stick when he tried to clear a puck deep in Seattle’s zone. Instead, the puck sat at his feet, leaving him helpless as the Blazers’ Mitch Lipon took control of the puck and sent it by Justin Myles at 9:11.
The Blazers went up 2-0 late in the first period when Collin Shirley secured a loose puck in front of the T-Birds’ net and put it past Myles.
It didn’t get much better after that.
Coach Konowalchuk lifted Myles in favor of Danny Mumaugh looking to spark the team, but Mumaugh subsequently yielded three goals to the Blazers in the second period and the rout was on.
Branden Troock scored a power-play goal for his 19th of the season with just over 14 minutes remaining in the third period to cut Kamloops’ lead to 5-1. Any momentum to be gained was not to be as the Blazers answered a mere 23 seconds later.
Yes, it was that kind of night. Mumaugh finished with 20 saves on 25 shots, while Myles had 10 on 12 shots.
“We clearly didn’t work hard enough and they took it to us,” Seattle captain Justin Hickman said.
Seattle now faces a tough 5-game road trip over the next eight days that sees them go through much of the Central division and back-to-back tilts with Prince George.
Hickman knows his team can bounce back from this defeat.
“Just respond. Just get back to basics,” said Hickman. “(It) just starts with working hard. We didn’t work anywhere close to hard enough tonight. That’s going to be the main focus the next couple of games.”
1. KAM Mitch Lipon (2), 9:11 (SH)
2. KAM Collin Shirley (4) (Shynkaruk, Kornelsen), 19:21
3. KAM Cole Ully (16) (Shirley, Looysen), 11:04
4. KAM Ryan Rehill (1) (Harlacher), 18:04
5. KAM Tyson Ness (9) (Bolduc, Sterzer), 19:07
6. SEA Branden Troock (19) (Hickman, Theodore), 5:48 (PP)
7. KAM Cole Ully (17) (Clouston), 6:11
8. KAM Joe Kornelsen (3), 12:02 (SH)
-Anthony Dion, 1090 The Fan
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