Having come from a team in the bottom tier of the WHL Western Conference standings, goaltender Taran Kozun can appreciate the difference between a winner and a loser.
Seattle (32-15-2-3) has now won 10 of its last 11 games. With 20 games remaining, the team has its sight firmly set on winning the U.S. Division and getting home ice for the playoffs.
Spencer, 17, made his debut with the Seattle Thunderbirds, Friday night as the team edged Portland 3-2. It was the forward’s first game since signing November 29th out of Minnesota.
The win was also Seattle’s (20-9-1-3) first in regulation over the Winterhawks this season. Troock had two goals and an assist, and Danny Mumaugh improved to 10-5 thanks to 33 saves on 35 shots. In the sixth match-up between the two squads this season, each team was without at least one leading scorer.
Seattle (13-9-1-3) played an aggressive, intense hockey game from the opening face off, an effort it desperately needed after a troubling loss at Vancouver Friday night. Hickman scored two goals, including the tying goal with under four minutes to play. Roberts Lipsbergs extended his goal streak to four consecutive games, and Mathew Barzal chocked up two more assists to give him 22 through 26 games in his rookie season.
Seattle head coach Steve Konowalchuk pinpointed the power play as an area the team must improve upon after Saturday night’s win.
Shea Theodore, the Thunderbirds starting defenseman, scored his 11th goal of the season and added another assist to give him 24 total points through 19 games played. In a season of inconsistencies for Steve Konowalchuk’s team, Theodore has been the lone constant.
Morgan Klimchuk scored twice for Regina and Connor Gay had three assists as the Pats sent Seattle to its fourth consecutive loss with a 5-3 victory. Regina (11-9-0-0) out-shot Seattle 54-31.
Brendan Leipsic and Taylor Leier each scored two goals, while the team’s co-scoring leaders, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Nic Petan, added two assists apiece to help carry the Hawks to their 10th consecutive win.
Wardley was ejected from the game immediately with a game misconduct for “charging,” and the hit also ended the night for De Champlain, who had to be helped off the ice by teammates and the training staff.