The biggest award, though, went to overage goaltender Taran Kozun. Kozun, 20, was named the team’s Most Valuable Player after a season in which he finished with a 2.41 goals against average.
Seattle completed its regular-season series with the Winterhawks with a superior 7-4-1-0 record over their bitter Interstate-5 rival. The series was really a tale of two halves with the T-Birds winning five of the first six and Portland taking four of the final six.
Roberts Lipsbergs scored both regulation goals for the Thunderbirds (34-24-4-5) before Jerret Smith netted the decisive goal in the shootout.
Wardley’s hits set the tone for the way Seattle likes to play. Because of his presence, Seattle is able to match up well with most top lines around the Western Hockey League. When Wardley is on the ice, opponents notice.
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.
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.
Kozun yielded three goals in 15:49 of the first period before being pulled for backup Logan Flodell with Seattle in a 3-0 hole. He was caught out of position on the Royals’ first two goals before being beat by a great pass on the third goal.
Mathew Barzal tied the game 2-2 with 25 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime with division-leading Everett. After a scoreless overtime, Donovan Neuls and Barzal provided shootout goals to give Seattle an important two points Saturday.
In 13 games with the Hawks, Flodell was 8-4 with a .901 save percentage and 2.44 goals against average. Mumaugh finished his hockey career with a 18-21-4-4 record over three seasons with Seattle. He had a career save percentage of .887 and 3.67 goals against average.
Kozun extended the T-Birds’ winning streak to four games with 38 saves to earn his third shutout. Mathew Barzal had a goal and an assist to lead Seattle’s offense.