EDMONTON, AB, November 2, 2017 — Seattle Thunderbirds goalie Matt Berlin made 30 saves Thursday night at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, to lead the T-Birds to a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oil Kings.
The game was the T-Birds fifth game on a six-game road trip through the Central Division. The T-Birds are 4-1-0-0 on the trip and have won their last four games. The last game of the road trip is Saturday at the Medicine Hat Tigers at 6:30pm.
Berlin had 12 saves in the first period and nine saves in the second and third periods. He improved his record to 5-3-0-1.
Prior to the game against the Oil Kings, general manager Russ Farwell announced goalie Eric Ward signed a WHL Standard Player Agreement with the team. Ward, who is from Edmonton, is currently playing with the CAC Edmonton Canadians Midget AAA team. He has played in seven games with the Canadians and has a 2.88 goals against average and a .930 save percentage.
Ward took part in the T-Birds Rookie and Main Training Camps prior to the start of the 2017-18 season.
Defenseman Tyrel Bauer made his T-Birds debut against the Oil Kings. Bauer, from Cochrane, Alberta, was the T-Birds second round pick, 41st overall, in the 2017 Bantam Draft. Bauer signed a Standard Player Agreement with the team on June 14.
Edmonton outshot Seattle 12-5 in a scoreless first period.
Seattle (9-5-0-1) took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by Austin Strand at 11:26 of the second period. Donovan Neuls won a faceoff battle in the left circle back to Strand at the left point. Strand crossed the puck to Reece Harsch who then sent it right back to Strand. Strand one-timed the pass from the left circle and beat Edmonton goalie Boston Bilous high on the glove side.
Strand has nine goals this season, eight of which have come on the power play. Strand has a six-game point streak with five goals and three assists in the last six games.
Neuls has a five-game point streak with three goals and four assists in the last five games.
The Oil Kings held a 22-11 lead in shots after two periods by outshooting the T-Birds 10-6 in the second period.
Edmonton (5-9-2-0) tied the game 1-1 at 6:47 of the third period on a goal from Jantzen Leslie. Trey Fix-Wolansky and Davis Koch had the assists.
The T-Birds broke the 1-1 deadlock at 15:14 of the third period by forcing a turnover in front of the Oil Kings net. Zack Andrusiak got the loose puck and was all alone in front of Bilous. Andrusiak beat the goalie over the glove with a quick wrist shot for his seventh goal of the season.
Edmonton pulled Bilous with under a minute left in the game. Blake Bargar worked the puck to center ice before passing to Nolan Volcan who was able to hit the empty net and secure the fourth consecutive win for the T-Birds. Volcan has a three-game goal streak.
Edmonton outshot Seattle 9-8 in the third period and 31-19 in the game.
Bilous had 16 saves on 18 shots and his record is now 0-4-1-0.
The T-Birds next home is Friday, November 10, against the Tri-City Americans at accesso ShoWare Center at 7:35pm.
T-Birds single game tickets for the 2017-18 season are currently on sale online on the T-Birds website and at the accesso ShoWare Center box office.
Season Tickets for the WHL Champion T-Birds 2017-18 season are currently on sale. Season tickets can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.
First period – No scoring. Penalties – Leslie, Edm (interference), 9:34. Andrusiak, Sea (tripping), 13:10. Briscoe, Sea (hooking), 17:57. Mohr, Edm (slashing), 19:29.
Second period – 1, Seattle, Strand 9 (Harsch, Neuls), 11:26 (pp). Penalties – Wedman, Sea (high-sticking), 7:24. Fix-Wolansky, Edm (hooking), 11:16. Hamaliuk, Sea (tripping), 12:02. McNelly, Sea (boarding), 16:51.
Third period – 2, Edmonton, Leslie (Fix-Wolansky, Koch), 5:54. 3, Seattle, Andrusiak 7, 15:14. 4, Seattle, Volcan 5 (Bargar), 19:38 (en). Penalties – Carpendale, Sea (roughing), 2:53. McDonald, Edm (slashing), 2:53.
Shots on goal – Seattle 5-6-8 19, Edmonton 12-10-9 31. Goalies – Seattle, Berlin 31 shots-30 saves (5-3-0-1); Edmonton, Bilous 18-16 (0-4-1-0). Power plays – Seattle 1-4; Edmonton 0-6. A – 5,572. Referees – Cody Rude, Chris Crich. Linesmen – Scott Fulmer, Ethan Cronkhite.