Officials from the state’s WHL teams and the league office said the Seattle Thunderbirds, Spokane Chiefs, Tri-City Americans and Everett Silvertips might have to leave or shut down if state law isn’t changed to consider amateur athletes non-employees
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.
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.
Khaira, 16, has played in 21 games through the first two months of his debut WHL season. Seattle head coach Steve Konowalchuk has seen the 6-foot-3, 213-pound defender from Surrey, B.C. progress in his first season above the Bantam level.
Starting goaltender Taran Kozun provided 20 saves in his return to the Seattle (11-12-2-2) lineup, while Ryan Gropp scored two power-play goals to lead the T-Birds to a victory which helped salvage a three-game weekend.
In an even first period where shots on goal were 12 apiece, consecutive tripping penalties called on the T-Birds with under six minutes to play led to a 5-on-3 power play for the Chiefs who quickly capitalized.
Seattle’s 20-year-old captain scored two goals and added two assists to lead the team with four points in its 5-3 win over Spokane.
The Thunderbirds snapped a four-game losing streak Friday night by beating U.S. Division rival Spokane 5-3 in front of 3,454 at the ShoWare Center. A second-period Mathew Barzal goal opened the floodgates for a Seattle team that was struggling to score.
Allan, 18, was acquired Monday from Medicine Hat in exchange for a fifth-round selection in the 2016 Bantam Draft. In 34 games during his rookie season for Medicine Hat last year, Allan had no points and 24 penalty minutes.
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.