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.
Two late third period goals allowed Spokane to inch closer to Seattle with a 6-4 win, Tuesday night. Spokane now sits fifth, just two points behind the Thunderbirds in fourth place and three in front of Everett in sixth.
It was a game the Thunderbirds absolutely had to have after a 3-game losing skid left their grip on the No. 4 seed tenuous. Shea Theodore finished with three assists, Danny Mumaugh had 32 saves in his first start in eight games and Alexander Delnov tallied his 28th goal of the season to lift the T-Birds.
Late goals from forwards Justin Hickman and Brendan Troock carried Seattle to a statement-making 4-1 win over Portland, Saturday at the ShoWare Center in Kent. Goalie Taran Kozun had 41 saves and Seattle halted one of the greatest regular-season streaks in WHL history.
In the end, Alexander Delnov scored the game-winner in overtime to lift Seattle past Prince Albert 4-3. Mathew Barzal scored two goals, Roberts Lipsbergs added his first goal in nine games, and Shea Theodore contributed two assists to lead the T-Birds.
Roberts Lipsbergs and Alexander Delnov, playing on the same line for the majority of Saturday’s game with the team still shorthanded, combined to deliver seven points, including the late equalizer and overtime game-winner as Seattle stunned Spokane with a 4-3 overtime victory, Saturday.
After being outscored 22-3, the T-Birds went into Prince George and came away with consecutive wins Tuesday and Wednesday to end a 5-game losing streak and at least salvage part of the trip.
Seattle (22-10-1-3) goaltender Justin Myles provided 36 saves including some critical ones late as Everett attempted a furious late rally with a 2-man empty-net power play with 45 seconds left. The win was Seattle’s 10th in its last 11 contests, and evened the season series with Everett (22-11-4-0) at one win apiece even as the team was outshot 38 to 21.
Seattle (21-10-1-3) got off to a fast start thanks to Delnov. The 19-year-old Russian scored after he corralled a loose puck in the slot at 5:06 in the first period. He then assisted on Ryan Gropp’s goal which gave the T-Birds a 2-0 lead with just over seven minutes to play in the period.
Seattle’s sweep of Spokane extended its win streak to six games and vaulted the team into fifth place in the Western Conference standings with 40 points. Danny Mumaugh provided 26 saves and Shea Theodore and Adam Henry each had two assists.