T-birds Open Finals with a Win in Edmonton – Seattle Thunderbirds - petsitterbank

T-birds Open Finals with a Win in Edmonton – Seattle Thunderbirds

Edmonton, AB. –Conner Roulette had an assist and scored the game winning goal as the Seattle Thunderbirds edged the Edmonton Oil Kings, 2-1, in Game 1 of the WHL Championship Series at Rogers Place. Game 2 of the best of seven series is Sunday afternoon, also in Edmonton at 3:00 pm PST.

Roulette’s game winner came at 8:55 of the third period as he tipped a point shot from Ty Bauer with Jordan Gustafson earning the second assist. The goal was Roulette’s fourth of the playoffs. “You have to capitalize on those chances this late in the playoffs and I was able to get the tip off a great shot from Bausy.”

The win was the seventh in the playoffs on the road for Seattle, Edmonton handing their first postseason loss on home ice after winning their first seven. T-birds head coach Matt O’Dette called it a good start. “Not the prettiest game but at this time of year we’ll take them anyway we can get them. Nice to get off on the right foot.”

The game started slow for Seattle as they were outshot 21-7 in the first period. “They did have some chances for sure,” said O’Dette. “You try not to let the shot clock affect you. We just continued to play our game and generate some chances and cash in and that’s what we did.”

Seattle got through the first period without surrendering a goal as netminder Thomas Milic had another strong game, ending with 43 saves. Milic said facing a lot of shots early helped him settle into the game. “It helped me get both physically and mentally dialed in and that carried through to the rest of the game.”

Seattle broke on top with a goal early in the second period. Reid Schaefer put a shot on net and Matt Rempe swooped in on the rebound and put a backhand shot past Oil Kings goalie Sebastian Cossa at 1:59. It was Rempe’s sixth of the playoffs with Roulette credited with the second assist. Minutes later Rempe almost scored again, only to see his shot ring off the cross bar.

“I felt good,” said Rempe. “I was excited to play here in Edmonton, I think my line was going good tonight. It almost went in, the second one.”

The Roulette goal gave Seattle a 2-0 lead before the Oil Kings scored on a Carter Souch power play goal at 11:40 of the third. From there it was hang on time as Edmonton pulled Cossa for an extra skater the final two minutes.

Bauer, the T-birds captain, said they know this could be a long series but they’re a confident group. “We know our defensive ability and Milly back there is a rock.” He said Game 1 is behind them and it’s on to the next one.

T-BIRD EXTRAS

Seattle lost the services of Henrik Rybinski after he collided with Edmonton’s Kaiden Guhle in the second period. There was no update on his status.

Game 3 and 4 of the series will take place Tuesday and Wednesday at the accesso ShoWare Center. Game time both nights is 7:05 pm Tickets are on sale at seattlethunderbirds.com and the accesso ShoWare Center box office.

The T-birds are now 7-4 on the road in the 2022 postseason, including two in a row.

Full box score: WHL Network

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