The Thunderbirds concluded a trying run of four games in five nights with their fourth consecutive loss, a 5-4 overtime defeat at the hands of Kamloops.
In their last three losses, Seattle (4-5-0-1) has surrendered 117 shots on goal, a byproduct of its issues on defense. With Ethan Bear hurt, Evan Wardley suspended and Shea Theodore still with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, the T-Birds are currently relying on younger players.
Seattle (4-3-0-1) entered the first game of a two-night home-and-away double-header against Spokane with six defensemen only to fall to three able-bodied defenders late in the first period after Ethan Bear, Turner Ottenbreit and Jared Hauf all went off with separate ailments.
Mumaugh finished with 28 saves on 33 shots. He was pulled with two minutes remaining as Seattle went with an extra attacker in an attempt to even the score.
Seattle was looking for a weekend sweep over Western Hockey League powers Portland and Kelowna (6-0) in front of 4,358 at the ShoWare Center. Instead, the T-Birds squandered an early two goal lead in succumbing to their nemesis.
Carter Hart, 16, made 26 saves to record a shutout in his Western Hockey League debut, a 1-0 victory for the Silvertips. An early goal by Everett’s Graham Miller against a distracted Seattle squad held up as the difference to lead the Silvertips to a season-opening win.
Despite some key losses, The Thunderbirds have routinely been picked to finish in the upper half of the Western Conference, second to Portland in the U.S. Division. Seattle’s B.C. Division rivals Kelowna and Victoria are also expected to return strong squads in 2014-15.
The Seattle Thunderbirds fell 6-2 to the Kelowna Rockets in the first game of the best-of-seven series.
Scott Eansor scored two goals, including the equalizer which eventually carried Seattle into overtime, Tuesday night. Branden Troock also scored and center Russell Maxwell continued his playoff point streak with an assist. It was the first overtime playoff game for Seattle since it dropped Game 7 to Kelowna last season.
With Sunday’s 3-1 win, the Thunderbirds hold a 2-0 edge in their opening round series against Everett. A start that has to please everyone, including general manager Russ Farwell and head coach Steve Konowalchuk.