As things stand currently, Seattle will face bitter rival Portland in the first round, with the Winterhawks holding home ice thanks to an eight-point edge in the U.S. Division standings.
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.
Mathew Barzal assisted on all four of Seattle’s goals to lead the offense. Millette added a goal and two assists playing alongside the second-year center and Shea Theodore had a goal and an assist for the T-Birds.
A team head coach Steve Konowalchuk described as “pretty loose” in the hours leading up to the 5 p.m. start, was trounced by Victoria (32-21-3-1) over the first 20 minutes en route to a 6-3 loss in front of 4,368 at the ShoWare Center. Not the way Seattle (29-21-3-4) wanted to begin its six-game homestand.
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.
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.
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.
As one of the older players on the team, Theodore entered his first World Junior experience with an eye on a large role leading the team’s blue line and power-play unit.
Shortly after surrendering three goals and the lead in the second period, the T-Birds responded by out-shooting Spokane 14-3 in the third period to force overtime.