Seattle’s 6-foot-2 leading scorer entered Friday’s contest with 12 goals and 10 assists through 27 games. He now has 13 goals and 11 assists for a six-point advantage over the Thunderbirds’ next leading scorer.
Theodore, 19, has played in seven games since returning last month. He’s expected back in the lineup this weekend after missing the past two games with the flu. His return brings scoring stability and leadership in an inexperienced Thunderbirds squad in need.
Khaira, 16, has played in 21 games through the first two months of his debut WHL season. Seattle head coach Steve Konowalchuk has seen the 6-foot-3, 213-pound defender from Surrey, B.C. progress in his first season above the Bantam level.
Shea Theodore had three assists and Mathew Barzal provided two to lead the Thunderbirds’ scorers on a night the team won their eighth consecutive home game and earned their first season series win over Tri-City since the 2004-05 campaign.
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.
Gropp, 17, signed on October 15th after being selected sixth overall in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft. After his three point game Friday night, Gropp has three goals and three assists in 14 appearances in his rookie season. The rookie from Kamloops, British Columbia said he’s finally starting to feel comfortable in the WHL.
Forwards Mathew Barzal and Keegan Kolesar join defenseman Ethan Bear, all currently on the T-Birds roster, as selections for the week-long tournament held in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia from December 29-January 4th, 2014.
For Bear, 16, it not only gave Seattle a two-score lead, it was the first of his young Western Hockey League career.