Barzal, the T-Birds leading scorer, had a goal and an assist, Pederson had two goals and Scott Eansor two assists to lead Seattle’s scoring in its win over the reigning Memorial Cup Champions. Pederson’s goals were the rookie’s first of his Western Hockey League career.
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.
The Thunderbirds concluded a trying run of four games in five nights with their fourth consecutive loss, a 5-4 overtime defeat at the hands of Kamloops.
Rookie Logan Flodell made 37 saves on 40 shots in his first appearance and start of the 2014 season in a 3-1 loss to Prince George Friday night. The 17-year-old made the Thunderbirds roster as one of three goalies after a strong camp.
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.
Mumaugh finished with 28 saves on 33 shots. He was pulled with two minutes remaining as Seattle went with an extra attacker in an attempt to even the score.
Carter Hart, 16, made 26 saves to record a shutout in his Western Hockey League debut, a 1-0 victory for the Silvertips. An early goal by Everett’s Graham Miller against a distracted Seattle squad held up as the difference to lead the Silvertips to a season-opening win.
Despite some key losses, The Thunderbirds have routinely been picked to finish in the upper half of the Western Conference, second to Portland in the U.S. Division. Seattle’s B.C. Division rivals Kelowna and Victoria are also expected to return strong squads in 2014-15.
This was a game the T-Birds needed to have, to avoid falling down in the series two games to zero, but the team again struggled to contain the potent Kelowna offense.
The Seattle Thunderbirds fell 6-2 to the Kelowna Rockets in the first game of the best-of-seven series.