The Seattle Thunderbirds fell 6-2 to the Kelowna Rockets in the first game of the best-of-seven series.
After suffering a heart-breaking series loss to the Rockets in seven games last season in which the team led three games to zero, Seattle rebounded to go 2-1-0-1 in its four regular-season contests against the Rockets. However, both teams earned a total of five standings points from the series.
Branden Troock scored twice and goalie Taran Kozun bounced back from allowing six goals, Friday, to secure his first shutout of the series with 24 saves to help Seattle advance to the second round where it will face Kelowna.
Khaira, who had not scored all series, delivered a hat trick while teammate Brayden Low provided a goal and an assist as Everett extended its season at least one more night with a dominating 6-1 victory in front of 4,908 at the Comcast Arena.
Scott Eansor scored two goals, including the equalizer which eventually carried Seattle into overtime, Tuesday night. Branden Troock also scored and center Russell Maxwell continued his playoff point streak with an assist. It was the first overtime playoff game for Seattle since it dropped Game 7 to Kelowna last season.
With Sunday’s 3-1 win, the Thunderbirds hold a 2-0 edge in their opening round series against Everett. A start that has to please everyone, including general manager Russ Farwell and head coach Steve Konowalchuk.
Through two games of its best-of-seven playoff series versus Everett, Seattle has won the special teams battle decisively while also getting the best goal-tending effort. With 26 Kozun saves leading the way, the Thunderbirds won Game 2 3-1 at Comcast Arena in Everett, Sunday to take a 2-0 series lead.
Thanks to 38 saves from Taran Kozun, those goals held up to give Seattle a 2-1 victory over the Silvertips in Game 1 of their best-of-seven playoff series.
Defenseman Shea Theodore was named to the first-team All-Star squad in the Western Conference, it was announced Thursday. Theodore led the T-Birds — and all WHL defensemen — with 79 points, including 22 goals.
The T-Birds will be taking on an Everett squad that enters the playoffs as the hottest team in the league. After an up-and-down season, Everett finished strong when it mattered most, carrying an 11-0-0-2 record over its final 13 games.