The offseason is of vital importance to Seattle, a team that played 11 rookies over the course of the 2014-15 season. All are expected back for the 2015-16 campaign including goaltender Logan Flodell who will be counted on, at least in part, to replace WHL Top Goaltender finalist Taran Kozun.
Seattle’s first-round playoff exit precipitated a sudden turn of the page to the 2015-16 season. Evan Wardley is one of a quartet of players moving on in their respective hockey careers, while potentially 11 first-year players return for their sophomore seasons with the Thunderbirds.
True, 17, played sparingly Tuesday in his first game action since suffering a wrist fracture January 13 against Spokane.
Jared Hauf connected on a slap shot from the left point, beating Kamloops netminder Connor Ingram for the go-ahead goal with less than five minutes to play. An empty-net goal from Nick Holowko in the final seconds solidified the Thunderbirds’ 3-1 win.
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.
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.
Mathew Barzal tied the game 2-2 with 25 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime with division-leading Everett. After a scoreless overtime, Donovan Neuls and Barzal provided shootout goals to give Seattle an important two points Saturday.
Shea Theodore passed former defenseman Craig Channell, a Seattle Breaker from 1979-82, with two assists in a 6-3 victory Friday night against the Portland Winterhawks.
With the playoffs inching closer, the doubleheader presented a good opportunity for Seattle (25-19-3-3) to pick up four points and build some confidence offensively.
When the season began, Lipsbergs was a part of a large contingent of players vying for the three overage spots on the T-Birds’ roster. Ultimately, Lipsbergs was forced to leave. Hickman’s injury opened up the opportunity to return, one that he jumped at.