Kozun extended the T-Birds’ winning streak to four games with 38 saves to earn his third shutout. Mathew Barzal had a goal and an assist to lead Seattle’s offense.
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.
Lipsbergs provided two goals and two assists in Seattle’s third consecutive win, sixth over Portland in nine games this season. And with two assists Friday, Shea Theodore became Seattle’s all-time leading scorer on defense with 188, one more than Craig Channell.
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.
Seattle (23-19-3-3) picked up an important victory over Spokane Sunday to claim sole possession of third place in the U.S. division only to surrender a late lead in Kamloops Wednesday. The team travels to Prince George for a pair of weekend games still searching for consistency.
Seattle Thunderbirds second-year forward Mathew Barzal made his return to the ice Friday at Tri-City after missing more than two months after fracturing his knee cap during a practice in early November.
In front of a sold out crowd of 6,208 at the ShoWare Center Saturday, the Thunderbirds held a 30-13 shot advantage deep into the second period, yet trailed on the scoreboard 3-2. Seattle played much of the game in Portland’s zone, peppering Hill with shots, but the young Portland netminder was terrific.
Taran Kozun’s 2.23 goals against average in 32 starts through January 4 is tops among all qualified Western Hockey League netminders. That reliability between the pipes has kept Seattle (20-16-2-3) in nearly every game, giving it hope for an aggressive playoff push in the second half.
Theodore now has five points in two games since joining the T-Birds Thursday, tying him with Thomas Hickey for second place on the Thunderbirds all-time defensive scoring list with 177 points.
Despite being without 40 percent of its scoring at one point, Seattle went 5-1 in the first six games out of the holiday break to climb into the sixth position in the Western Conference standings.