EVERETT, WA – The Seattle Thunderbirds generated 31-shots on goal but could not sneak any past Everett goalie Koen MacInnes, dropping a 3-0 road decision to the Silvertips Saturday at Angel of the Winds Arena. Seattle returns to action Tuesday when they host the Spokane Chiefs at the accesso ShoWare Center. Game time is 7:05 p.m.
For the second straight night against Everett, the T-Birds generated early scoring chances, outshooting the Silvertips 10-3 by the midway point of the first period. As was the case the previous night at home in a 5-4 overtime loss, Seattle couldn’t capitalize on their early opportunities as MacInnes shut the door.
Seattle head coach Matt O’Dette said the effort was there, just not the bounces. “Very similar start as last night. It would be nice to see one of those go into the back of the net to get some momentum going.” He said that onus is on the team. “We didn’t find ways to put pucks in the back of the net. It would have been nice to get an earlier power play to help us do that but the first one didn’t come until late.”
Then, near the midway point of the period, the T-Birds seemed to lose some of their momentum when they lost winger Reid Schaefer to an upper body injury. O’Dette said the loss of Schaefer was tough to overcome. “Schaef’s been playing really well for us, really driving play. When you lose a guy like that, who’s been playing so well, other guys have to step up as it shortens your bench a little.”
In another repeat from the previous game, the Silvertips scored towards the end of the first to grab the lead. Jackson Berezowski tapped in a pass from behind the Seattle net at 17:35 to score the first of his two goals on the night.
The Thunderbirds battled through the second period looking for the equalizer, but a late penalty led to a second Berezowski goal with just over a minute left. The ‘Tips power play goal came on a night when Seattle played a more disciplined game. They limited Everett to just three power plays, one night after surrendering eight.
“That was obviously a focus,” said O’Dette, “We’ve been so good five on five this season, we need to play five on five more, which means staying out of the penalty box. We accomplished that.”
The Silvertips stretched their lead to three goals when Olen Zellweger scored five minutes into the third period. The Thunderbirds were finally awarded their first power play with six minutes left. Once again they were able to create chances around the Everett net, but came up empty.
Despite going 0-2-1-0 in their last three games, team captain Ty Bauer says there is no panic with this team. “It’s early. We’ve got a lot of kinks to work out but the heart, the raw talent on this team is something you haven’t seen in a long time.” Bauer knows they have areas to clean up but the compete is there. “These ones sting, especially against these rival teams. That being said, we never quit. We battled all the way to the end, we gave everything we had. We left it all out on the ice.”
Seattle played the game without Lucas CIona who was handed a two-game suspension by the WHL for his five-minute charging major in Friday’s overtime loss to Everett. Ciona will also miss Tuesday’s home game against Spokane. He’s eligible to return to the lineup next Friday when the T-Birds travel to Kennewick to face the Tri-City Americans.
With the shutout loss to Everett Conner Roulette had his three game goal scoring streak snapped.