Kent, WA. –Jared Davidson scored once and added a pair of assists as the Seattle Thunderbirds defeated the Tri-City Americans, 5-1, Saturday at the accesso ShoWare Center. The win snapped Seattle’s three-game winless streak. The Thunderbirds are back in action Tuesday. They host the Prince George Cougars at 7:05. It will be the first time the T-Birds and Cougars have faced each other in nearly 21 months.
For T-Birds Head Coach Matt O’Dette, the win was a complete effort from his entire lineup. “We were anxious to get back in the win column. We didn’t like the taste that was in our mouth from the last three games, but I thought everyone chipped in. I thought we had good habits throughout the game. It was nice to get a win.”
The Thunderbirds put 55-shots on net including 20 in the opening period. It wasn’t until a late first period power play though that they would open the scoring. Mekai Sanders jumped on a rebound and snapped home his sixth of the season at 16:36 with Davidson and Conner Roulette earning the assists.
Davidson set up Seattle’s second goal at 8:50 of the second period. He took the puck behind the American’s net and spotted Alessandro Segafredo out in front and fed him the puck. Segafredo popped home his third of the season. For Segafredo, a native of Asiago, Italy playing in North America for the first time, the adjustment is coming along. “I’m getting used to it now. It’s getting easier every game.” On the goal he said, “I just tried to go to the front of the net and he gave me a nice pass.”
The Thunderbirds would add two more before the second period was over. Jeremy Hanzel wired home his third from the top of the right faceoff circle at 11:08. Roulette with his second, and Jordan Gustafson were credited with the assists. Davidson then scored on the power play at 15:49. Roulette earned his third assist of the night. Kevin Korchinski also assisted on a goal that Davidson said was a long time coming. “Me and Rou, we’ve been working on that for three years now. It finally worked. I just tried to get a good connection on it (the pass) and it went blocker side.”
The T-Birds pushed their lead to 5-0 when Hanzel sent Reid Schaefer in behind the Tri-City defense with a stretch pass from just outside the T-Birds blueline. Schaefer skated past the Americans defense and lifted in his eighth of the season at 5:13. Marc Lajoie spoiled the Thunderbirds shutout bid when he scored Tri-City’s only goal three minutes later.
Seattle won the special teams battle, scoring twice on the power play while their league best penalty kill stopped all four Tri-City power play chances. O’Dette said it was the key to the win. “The key parts of the game are the first kill and the first power play and those went well for us and kind of set the tone for the rest of the night.”
The T-Birds are two games into a four-game homestand. In addition to their Tuesday game versus Prince George, they welcome the Victoria Royals to town Friday, December 3rd. Tickets to all Thunderbirds home games are available online at seattlethunderbirds.com
Roulette extended his point streak to six games. With his three assists he now has nine points over that span on three goals and six assists.
Henrik Rybinski missed a fourth straight game as he continues to deal with an upper body injury suffered back on November 19th in Spokane. At the time of the injury Rybinski had compiled a ten-game point streak.
Two Thunderbirds, Scott Ratzlaff and Sam Oremba, are away this weekend at the U17 Capital City Challenge. The tournament is being held in Ottawa and runs through December 1st.
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