In the 12 games over the month of February, the unit’s scoring production wasn’t consistent with their activity. Not one of the three forwards topped seven points for the month in which they combined for 18 as a group.
The seven point difference separating Seattle (31-23-4-4) and Portland grew to nine with Seattle’s 5-2 loss Saturday in front of 5,035 at the ShoWare Center. With 10 games to play, the deficit appears insurmountable.
In all, the game featured 30 assessed infractions, 102 combined penalty minutes and 13 power plays.
As things stand currently, Seattle will face bitter rival Portland in the first round, with the Winterhawks holding home ice thanks to an eight-point edge in the U.S. Division standings.
The Hitmen (37-18-1-4) throttled Seattle, handing it a 3-2 defeat in front of 5,132 at the ShoWare Center Tuesday. The Seattle forwards found little room to operate all night, managing just 20 shots on goal after scoring 14 times in its last three games.
Bill Swartz sits down with Seattle Thunderbirds Head Coach Steve Konowalchuk to discuss this weeks upcoming games.
In 19 games since coming over to the Thunderbirds from Prince Albert, Millette has provided nine goals and 10 assists while filling an important veteran role in Justin Hickman’s absence.
Seattle scored four second-period goals en route to a 7-0 skinning of the first-place Silvertips in front of 5,008 at the ShoWare Center. It was the worst shutout loss for Everett since it was beaten 8-0 by Portland January 12, 2013.
Barzal, 17, has played in 14 games since returning to the Thunderbirds’ lineup January 23 after missing nearly 11 weeks with a fractured knee cap. After a slow start, Barzal has rounded into the form expected of him with four goals and 14 assists.
Mathew Barzal assisted on all four of Seattle’s goals to lead the offense. Millette added a goal and two assists playing alongside the second-year center and Shea Theodore had a goal and an assist for the T-Birds.
In the first game of a two-night doubleheader with the first-place Silvertips, Seattle held on for a 3-2 shootout victory. Forward Roberts Lipsbergs had two goals and goaltender Taran Kozun stopped 21 shots in regulation and overtime and another seven shootout attempts.
A hat trick by star forward Oliver Bjorkstrand carried Portland past the Thunderbirds for the third time in the last four matchups between the two squads. The loss put Seattle nine points behind their division rival for second place, a spot that guarantees home-ice advantage in the first round of the WHL playoffs.
Calgary’s Jake Virtanen had a goal and an assist while propelling the Hitmen past Seattle with three unanswered goals Tuesday. The Thunderbirds fell to 2-2 on their current six-game homestand with the 3-2 defeat.
Entering the weekend trailing first-place Everett by 11 points, the third-place Thunderbirds picked up three points with wins over Lethbridge and the Silvertips Friday and Saturday at the ShoWare Center. Head coach Steve Konowalchuk has his team peaking at the right time with the playoffs approaching.
Victoria jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period against a lackluster Seattle squad Sunday. Goaltender Taran Kozun was later lifted, but the damage had been done.
Seattle (28-20-3-3) overcame six penalties and a late deficit to upset Kelowna, the Western Hockey League’s best team, Tuesday at the ShoWare Center. Defenseman Jerret Smith scored the game-winning goal 16:26 into the third period.
Seattle won its fourth consecutive game in a 3-0 shutout of Vancouver Saturday behind 38 saves by goaltender Taran Kozun and two points by star center Mathew Barzal. The team has won five of its last six games and appears to be playing its best hockey as the season enters the final weeks.