Eansor capped a four-goal third period for Seattle (35-25-4-5) with the easiest goal of the bunch. His empty-net goal tallied his first career Western Hockey League hat trick in an eventual 7-3 victory over their U.S. division-rival in front of 6,084 at the ShoWare Center.
Roberts Lipsbergs scored both regulation goals for the Thunderbirds (34-24-4-5) before Jerret Smith netted the decisive goal in the shootout.
Hickman, 20, finished 11th on Seattle’s all-time games played list with 285 over parts of five seasons. He scored 55 goals and finished with a total of 132 career points.
The Hitmen (37-18-1-4) throttled Seattle, handing it a 3-2 defeat in front of 5,132 at the ShoWare Center Tuesday. The Seattle forwards found little room to operate all night, managing just 20 shots on goal after scoring 14 times in its last three games.
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 had a goal and an assist to lead Seattle (28-20-3-3) which trailed 1-0 midway through the third period. Goaltender Taran Kozun saved 32 of 33 shots against the second-best offense in the Western Hockey League, a team that entered with 236 goals.
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.
It was an important weekend of road games for Seattle after it rebounded from consecutive losses with a 2-0 homestand over divisional rivals Tri-City and Spokane to begin the week. Yet, the T-Birds played like two completely different teams.
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.
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.