T-Birds Bust Broncos
KENT, Wash. –Jared Davidson and Lucas Ciona each scored twice, and teamed up on the game winning goal, as the Seattle Thunderbirds beat the Swift Current Broncos, 4-2, Tuesday at the accesso ShoWare Center. With the win Seattle ups their record to 34-8-1-1. The Thunderbirds play at home again Friday when they host the Everett Silvertips. Game time is 7:05 p.m.
The winning goal came midway through the second period when Davidson stripped a puck off the stick of a Swift Current player, just outside the Bronco’s blueline. “I was just making a read. He cut to the middle, and I got lucky with a stick in the right place and then Ciona did the rest.”
After stealing the puck, Davidson found Ciona in the slot for the score. The goal was Ciona’s second of the game and 21st of the season. It came after he was named the Seattle team captain earlier in the day. “It felt good. We came out pretty hard tonight. It was pretty cool having that on (the “C” on his jersey), just getting out there for the first time with it. It was nice to get the win with it. Almost like getting the monkey off your back.”
Thunderbirds head coach Matt O’Dette said Swift Current gave them a challenge with a very physical game. “They’re a physical team. They play hard. We knew that going into the game and they brought that.” He said Seattle can play that way too. “We’re usually the team setting the physical tone. Credit to our guys. The going got tough out there and it wasn’t an easy game. We had to dig deep to get it done, so that was nice to see.”
Swift Current got on the board first with a power play goal at 3:41 of the first period from Brady Birnie. Seattle responded with Davidson’s first goal of the night, getting a pass from Reid Schaefer and getting in behind the Bronco’s defense to tie it at 9:49. Jeremy Hanzel had the second assist.
Davidson said there was no panic after giving up the early goal. “We like to stay composed on the bench. That’s a big key for us, staying levelheaded and going onto the next shift.”
Ciona then scored on the power play in the final minute of the first period to put the Thunderbirds up 2-1. He did it by redirecting in a shot from Kevin Korchinski. “It’s such a crucial part (of the power play), being in front of the net, taking away the goalie’s eyes and getting a lot of shot volume. It’s huge for us and we’ve got to keep building on it.”
Swift Current made it a one goal game with a power play goal early in the third period from Mathew Ward, but the Thunderbirds were able to hold the Broncos off until Davidson scored into the empty net with just 21-seconds left in the game.
Thomas Milic earned his fifteenth win of the season with a 29 save effort as the Thunderbirds outshot the Broncos 43-31.
The home game Friday against Everett kicks off a busy weekend for Seattle. They will travel to Everett Saturday for a rematch with the Silvertips and return home Sunday to play the Spokane Chiefs.
Brad Lambert played in just his third game with the Thunderbirds since being reassigned to Seattle on January 9th by the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets. The game against Swift Current was his home ice debut. He had not played a game since January 14th in Saskatoon. He had an assist on Seattle’s second goal. In the three games with the Thunderbirds, he has three points (1g, 2a).
O’Dette said Lambert has only shown a glimpse of his talent but still has been noticeable in each game he’s played. “He looked really good on the power play. Lots of speed. He can get to pucks really quick. And all that is without practicing with us for two weeks. He hasn’t had a real practice with us yet.”
Earlier in the day the Thunderbirds announced their official leader group. They named Lucas Ciona captain and Nolan Allan, Jared Davidson, Jordan Gustafson and Luke Prokop as alternate captains.
Boxscore: WHL Network