T-birds Comeback Falls Short – Seattle Thunderbirds

KENT, Wash. –Conner Roulette set up two goals but the Seattle Thunderbirds came up just short, falling 4-3 to the Everett Silvertips Saturday at the accesso ShoWare Center. Seattle played much of the game with just ten forwards, two under the limit, but still managed to put themselves in a winnable position. Next up for the Thunderbirds is another home game as they battle with the Tri-City Americans Tuesday at 7:05 pm

The T-birds started the game already shorthanded with two forwards out of the lineup due to injury. They then started the game slowly, being outshot early, 7-to-1. Everett capitalized and opened the scoring at 2:18 on an unassisted Ryan Hofer goal.

“Our start was very slow,” said head coach Matt O’Dette. “The first ten minutes weren’t good enough. Got put on our heels. Not the way we draw up the start.”

Seattle then lost center Matt Rempe midway through the opening period after he was assessed a boarding major and game misconduct at 10:25. Hofer took an instigator to negate the first two minutes of the Silvertips power play.

“A short bench got shorter,” said O’Dette. “We got stronger as the game went on and started to take over the game. It’s been a similar story line where we carry a lot of the play, but just fall short.”

Seattle (34-15-2-1) was able to equalize while skating 4-on-4 when Jared Davidson potted his team leading 29th of the season at 10:04, finishing off a cross slot pass from Lukas Svejkovsky. Sam Knazko had the second assist. But Everett’s Alex Swetlikoff scored late on the ensuing three minute 5-on-4 power play to put the ‘Tips back up 2-1 at the end of the first period.

The Thunderbirds got the game back to even at 2-2 with Mekai Sanders scoring his 12th of the season at 3:45 of the second period, assisted by Roulette. Everett answered back with two goals of their own, one by Ben Hemmerling and one by Jackson Berezowski, to put the Silvertips up 4-2 heading to the third period.

Seattle got the third period start they needed when just 21-seconds in Roulette passed the puck out from behind the Everett goal and found Jordan Gustafson who one timed in his 21St to make it 4-3. The T-birds would outshoot Everett 13-4 the rest of the period but couldn’t find the equalizer.

For a second straight night the T-birds went without a power play goal, finishing the game 0-for-4. But O’Dette said the injuries and Rempe’s major penalty disrupted their power play units. “Missing the big bodies in front of the net (Rempe and Lucas Ciona). They’ve been catalysts for our power play, and we didn’t have them tonight.”

After Tuesday’s home game Seattle will play three games in three nights, next weekend. First up is a Friday rematch with the Americans in Kennewick. The Thunderbirds return home Saturday at 6:05 pm to face Portland at the accesso ShoWare Center. Sunday the T-birds travel down to Portland to go up against the Winterhawks at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.


Henrik Rybinski missed a sixth straight game with an upper body injury. Lucas Ciona, injured in Friday’s shootout loss to Portland was out of the lineup as well. Tyrel Bauer, out since suffering a lower body injury December 10thmissed his 31St consecutive game.

Lukas Svejkovsky finished the weekend with three assists. He said the team had two good third periods but need to play that way for sixty minutes. But he said the games against Portland and Everett should help them get playoff ready. “These are huge games, kind of playoff games somewhat, or a playoff feel to it. I thought our third periods these last two games have been really good,” Svejkovsky said if they can play the full sixty minutes liked they’ve played the third they can beat anyone. “We kind of got away from it the first two periods.”

Full box score: WHL Network

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