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.
With the Thunderbirds’ 6-1 win at Tri-City and the Silvertips’ 5-4 shootout loss to Portland, both teams finished with 88 points. That meant that Seattle (41-25-2-4), by virtue of its higher win total, won the tiebreaker over Everett (39-23-7-3) and earned the No. 4 seed.
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.
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.
The problem with the T-Birds lately, as coach Konowalchuk sees it, is the consistency to a man through all four lines. He’s seeing too many turnovers, soft plays and just overall “casual moments.”
Kamloops (13-44-2-3) continued its dominance over Seattle thanks to a Matt Bellerive game-winning shootout goal on a shot that just inched past the goal line. The Blazers forced extra time despite being out shot 16-2 in a third period the teams entered tied 2-2.
Barzal and Gropp, each playing in the midst of their rookie campaigns for Seattle, are clearly two of the brightest young players Seattle has, and both are playing at a high level currently for head coach Steve Konowalchuk.
(1090 The Fan) — One of the bright spots for Seattle over its recent winning stretch (nine victories in the last 10 games), has been rookie Ryan Gropp. Gropp, 17, whom we highlighted earlier this […]
Seattle (31-15-2-3) out-hustled and out-worked a Rockets team that has dominated their foes all season, winning 4-1 at the ShoWare Center. Roberts Lipsbergs had a goal and an assist and Shea Theodore provided another power-play goal to propel the Thunderbirds.