KENT, February 25, 2017 – Ryan Gropp had a hat trick Saturday night at ShoWare Center to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 5-3 victory over the Kelowna Rockets.
The T-Birds are in second place in the US Division, three points behind the Everett Silvertips who have two games in hand on the T-Birds. The T-Birds finish out the weekend against the Silvertips on Sunday at 5:05pm at ShoWare Center.
Seattle (39-18-3-2) took a 1-0 lead at 3:26 of the on Ryan Gropp’s 26th goal of the season. Keegan Kolesar sprung Mathew Barzal and Gropp on a two-on-one break. Barzal carried the puck into the Kelowna zone on the right wing. Barzal crossed the puck to Gropp who wired a wrist shot over Kelowna goalie Michael Herringer’s blocker.
Gropp made it a 2-0 lead with a power-play goal at 5:42 of the first. Barzal fed the puck from the neutral zone to Ethan Bear at the right point. Bear centered the puck to Gropp in high slot. Gropp beat Herringer with a wrist shot over the glove.
Both teams had nine shots in the first period.
The T-Birds took a 3-0 lead on a power-play goal by Bear at 3:32 of the second period. Barzal held the puck on the left-wing boards. He passed the puck to Austin Strand at the mid-point. Strand move the puck to Bear and he took a quick slap shot. Bear’s shot beat Herringer over the glove.
Kelowna (36-21-5-0) got on the board when Dillon Dube scored on a penalty shot at 8:35 of the second.
Seattle extended the lead to 4-1 at 9:47 of the second on a power-play goal from Kolesar. Barzal held the puck on the left-wing boards then passed the puck to Kolesar at the top of the left circle. Kolesar skated into the high slot and took a hard wrist shot. Kolesar’s shot beat Herringer over the glove. Gropp had the second assist on the goal.
Kelowna outshot Seattle 13-8 in the second period and led 22-17 in shots after two periods.
Reid Gardiner scored a power-play goal at 8:38 of the third period to cut the T-Birds lead to two goals. Dube and Rodney Southam had the assists.
The Rockets pulled Herringer on the penalty kill with 1:22 left in the third period. Kolesar got the puck to Gropp on the on the left wing. Gropp skated into the Rockets zone all alone and put the puck into the empty net for the goal.
Kyle Topping scored at 19:37 of the third to get the Rockets third goal. Braydyn Chizen had the only assist.
Kelowna outshot Seattle 17-7 in the third period and 39-24 in the game.
Toth made 36 saves on 39 shots and his record is now 32-17-1-1.
Herringer made 19 saves on 23 shots and his record is now 26-14-3-0.
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.
First period – 1, Seattle, Gropp 26 (Barzal, Kolesar), 3:26. 2, Seattle, Gropp 27 (Bear, Barzal), 5:42. Penalties – Chizen, Kel (tripping), 5:13. Lind, Kel (slashing), 16:19. Southam, Kel (roughing), 16:19. Ormsby, Sea (roughing), 16:19. C. Foote, Kel (delay of game), 18:39. Moilanen, Sea (boarding), 19:59.
Second period – 3, Seattle, Bear 26 (Strand, Barzal), 3:32 (pp). 4, Kelowna, Dube 11, 8:35 (ps). 5, Seattle, Kolesar 21 (Barzal, Gropp), 9:47 (pp). Penalties – Soustal, Kel (hooking), 2:26. Johansen, Kel (interference), 9:35. C. Foote, Kel (tripping), 11:08. Dube, Kel (tripping), 12:48. Barzal, Sea (embellishment), 12:48. Stephens, Kel (interference), 14:50. Bruggen-Cate, Kel (slashing), 19:33.
Third period – 6, Kelowna, Gardiner 9 (Southam, Dube), 8:38 (pp). 7, Seattle, Gropp 28 (Kolesar, Ottenbreit), 18:53 (pp/en). 8, Kelowna, Topping 12 (Chizen), 19:37. Penalties – Adams, Sea (hooking), 4:25. Bishop, Sea (tripping), 6:57. Ottenbreit, Sea (interference), 12:33. Volcan, Sea (roughing), 15:37. Bruggen-Cate, Kel (roughing), 15:37. Bench, Kel (too many men-served by Topping), 18:05. Southam, Kel (10-minute misconduct), 18:05. Volcan, Sea (major-fighting), 20:00. Stephens, Kel (major-fighting), 20:00. Chizen, Kel (roughing), 20:00. Soustal, Kel (roughing), 20:00. Strand, Sea (roughing), 20:00. Moilanen, Sea (roughing), 20:00.
Shots on goal – Seattle 9-8-7 24, Kelowna 9-13-17 39. Goalies – Seattle, Toth 39 shots-36 saves (32-17-1-0); Kelowna, Herringer 23-19 (26-15-3-0). Power plays – Seattle 4-9; Kelowna 1-4. A – 5,313. Referees – Jeff Ingram, Shane Warschaw. Linesmen – Zack Brooks, Mark Heier.