SPOKANE, November 15, 2016 – Seattle Thunderbirds goalie Rylan Toth made 31 saves Tuesday night at Veterans Memorial Arena in Spokane to lead the T-Birds to a 5-2 win over the Spokane Chiefs.
Toth was at his best in the first period and last 3:12 of the third period. In the first period the Chiefs put 15 shots on goal, several of which came after T-Birds turnovers in their zone. Toth bailed the T-Birds out several times in the first period to keep the T-Birds in the game.
The T-Birds were on the penalty kill for the last 3:12 of the game after a double minor to Keegan Kolesar. The Chiefs pulled goalie Dawson Weatherill a minute into the power play for an extra attacker to give them a six-on-four advantage. Toth stopped a Chief in close and then made a solid save through traffic on slap shot. Toth then had an assist on a shorthanded empty-net goal by Nolan Volcan with 55 seconds left in the game to seal the win.
The T-Birds next game is Friday against the Lethbridge Hurricanes at 7:35pm at ShoWare Center.
Seattle (9-8-0-1) took a 1-0 lead 1:22 into the game on Brandon Schuldhaus’ first goal of the season. Alexander True won a faceoff in the left circle of the Spokane zone back to Schuldhaus at the left point. Schuldhaus skated into the left circle and beat Weatherill over the glove.
The T-Birds made it a 2-0 lead at 14:32 of the first on Scott Eansor’s team leading eighth goal of the season. Reece Harsch started a breakout from behind the Seattle net by passing the puck to Mathew Barzal in the right circle. Barzal skated up ice, crossed the red line and passed the puck to Eansor on the left wing. Eansor carried the puck into the Spokane to the bottom of the right circle. Eansor beat Weatherill on the short side, over the goalie’s right shoulder, with a hard wrist shot.
Spokane (7-7-4-1) cut the lead to one goal at 17:24 of the first on a goal from Kailer Yamamoto. Ondrej Najman and Curtis Miske had the assists.
Seattle outshot Spokane 16-15 in the first period.
The Chiefs tied the game 2-2 13 seconds into the second period on an unassisted goal from Hudson Elynuik.
Spokane outshot Seattle 11-2 in the second period and led 26-18 in shots after two periods.
The T-Birds took the lead back for good at 3:54 of the third period after a very good save by Toth. Ryan Gropp corralled the rebound off Toth in the Seattle zone and skated up ice. Gropp found Barzal in the left circle and the center took a shot. Kolesar was standing in front of Weatherill and batted at the rebound. The puck came to Gropp in the right circle and he put a wrist shot under Weatherill’s right arm for his third goal of the season.
The line of Matthew Wedman, True and Elijah Brown got the T-Birds two-goal lead back at 9:02 of the third. The line pressured the Chiefs for an extended period, generating several chances. The pressure paid off when True scored on a wrist shot from the right circle for his sixth goal of the season.
The win was secured with 55 seconds left in the game. Eansor and Volcan broke up ice on a two-on-one. Eansor passed the puck to Volcan on his left in the neutral zone and Volcan found the back of the net. Toth had the second assist.
Seattle outshot Spokane 13-7 in the third period. The Chiefs finished with a 33-32 advantage in shots.
Weatherill made 28 saves on 32 shots in the loss.
T-Birds single game tickets for the 2016-17 season are currently on sale. Fans can purchase single game tickets online or at the ShoWare Center box office.
T-Birds 2016-17 season tickets are currently on sale. Season tickets can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.
First period – 1, Seattle, Schuldhaus 1 (True), 1:22. 2, Seattle, Eansor 8 (Barzal, Harsch), 14:32. 3, Spokane, Ka. Yamamoto 16 (Najman, Miske), 17:24. Penalties – Hamaliuk, Spo (hooking), 6:17. Helgesen, Spo (holding), 12:24.
Second period – 4, Spokane, Elynuik 6, :13. Penalties – Harsch, Spo (interference), 4:18. Ke. Yamamoto, Spo (hooking), 12:59.
Third period – 5, Seattle, Gropp 3 (Kolesar, Barzal), 3:54. 6, Seattle, True 6 (Harsch, Wedman), 9:02. 7, Seattle, Volcan 8 (Eansor, Toth) 19:05 (sh/en). Penalties – Kolesar, Sea (hooking, unsportsmanlike conduct), 16:48.
Shots on goal – Seattle 16-3-13 32, Spokane 15-11-7 33. Goalies – Seattle, Toth 33 shots-31 saves (7-8-0-0); Spokane, Weatherill 31-27 (4-4-2-1). Power plays – Seattle 0-3; Spokane 0-3. A – 3,317. Referees – Kevin Bennett, Adam Griffiths. Linesmen – Jeremi Del Camp, Anthony Guzzo.