Three straight games against the Chiefs meant seeing a lot of Mitch Holmberg, the Western Hockey League’s leading scorer, for the Seattle forward. In the three contests, Eansor and his linemates held Holmberg and his high-scoring linemate Mike Aviani, to a total of three points.
Seattle’s sweep of Spokane extended its win streak to six games and vaulted the team into fifth place in the Western Conference standings with 40 points. Danny Mumaugh provided 26 saves and Shea Theodore and Adam Henry each had two assists.
Winners of four in a row, including key games against U.S. Division rivals Portland and Spokane, the T-Birds have put a rough start to the month of November behind them, and enter December looking like a much better squad. With key contributors up and down the lineup, Seattle seems to have found the consistency it had been searching for.
Kolesar, 16, who had played in all 26 previous games, did not register a point in the 6-3 win over Victoria. The right wing who will play for Team West at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge beginning in late December, has one goal and three assists this year for Seattle.
Delnov picked up right where he left off Friday night, scoring just 2:11 into the first period and Roberts Lipsbergs followed just 38 seconds later to put the T-Birds quickly ahead 2-0. Facing a goalie on a run like Polivka had been on, Seattle made sure not to let him settle in.
Spencer, 17, joins the Thunderbirds from the Minnesota NW team in the Upper Midwest High School Elite team. With Minnesota NW, Spencer had posted four goals and six assists in 21 games, he also had 30 penalty minutes. In 2012-13, Spencer played for Champlin Park High School in Minnesota and finished with seven goals and 13 assists in 25 games.
Gropp, 17, signed on October 15th after being selected sixth overall in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft. After his three point game Friday night, Gropp has three goals and three assists in 14 appearances in his rookie season. The rookie from Kamloops, British Columbia said he’s finally starting to feel comfortable in the WHL.
Delnov scored two second period goals to give the Thunderbirds a 2-1 lead and the team never looked back from that point forward. Playing alongside Delnov on the T-Birds’ third line, Branden Troock (goal) and Ryan Gropp (goal and two assists) also had good games.
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.