Spokane, WA. – Jared Davidson scored the game winning goal, and added three assists, as the Seattle Thunderbirds stopped a two-game losing skid with a 6-2 win over the Spokane Chiefs Thursday at the Spokane Arena. Matt Rempe chipped in with two goals as the T-Birds won for the fourth time in five tries in Spokane. The T-Birds close out 2021 with a New Year’s Eve clash down in Portland against the Winterhawks.
Seattle went 4-of-7 on the power play. T-Birds Head Coach Matt O’Dette said they made some subtle changes to get their power play going. “We made some adjustments on it. Just changed up the chemistry a little bit, a little bit of a different look and the guys executed it really well. That’s how important power plays are. You can ignite some momentum by cashing in on your chances.”
Seattle (19-8-3-0) converted on their first power play opportunity at 7:47 of the opening period. Reid Schaefer scored his 12th of the season with Davidson and Henrik Rybinski picking up the assists. Spokane answered back, even strength, five minutes later on a goal from Yannick Proske.
The Thunderbirds were back on the man advantage early in the second period. Just as the Spokane penalty expired, Sam Oremba tapped in a Davidson pass, putting Seattle back on top. Sawyer Mynio was credited with the second assist. The Chiefs (8-17-2-1) answered with a power play goal of their own at 17:01, off the stick of Bear Hughes. But with less than a minute remaining in the second, Davidson wheeled into the slot and snapped home his 12th of the season, giving the T-Birds the lead for good. The assists on the goal went to Ryan Gottfried and Coster Dunn.
After not netting a goal in the first eight games this season, Davidson is now second on the team in goals scored. “Everything is kind of going the right way for me. My linemates have been helping me out too, so I’ve got to give credit where credit’s due, but yeah the puck is just bouncing the right way for me now and going into the net.”
Seattle was not finished with their power play, tacking on three more goals in the third period. The first came just over two minutes into the period while skating 5-on-3. Rempe redirected a Kevin Korchinski shot from the high slot.
Jeremy Hanzel got the second assist then he scored a power play goal of his own at 6:45. Gabe Ludwig earned the lone assist on Hanzel’s fifth goal. Rempe closed out the scoring when he deflected in Schaefer’s shot at 17:52. Davidson picked up his third assist on the goal.
Rempe is one of those power play changes, parking his 6’8” frame in front of the net. “We want to go with more of a shooting power play, generate lots of shots. Me standing in front, being a big body, those guys, Korchinski, Rybinski being super skilled, they made great shots and they hit off me.”
After having only fifteen skaters available in their lost to the Chiefs earlier in the week, O’Dette got a few players back and all contributed to the win. “It’s very difficult to play short and just adding four fresh faces to the lineup, it helps spread out the minutes and the guys gave us good minutes, so it was a nice boost for us.”
Scott Ratzlaff stopped 30-shots to earn his sixth win of the season. The win was his fourth versus Spokane this season.
The Thunderbirds next home game is Saturday, January 8th when they host the Chiefs at the accesso ShoWare Center. Tickets for the 6:05 p.m. game are available online at seattlethunderbirds.com
Dunn, a 2020 draft pick, made his regular season WHL debut. He was credited with an assist on the game winning goal, earning his first WHL point. Defenseman Chase Lacombe, acquired in a trade earlier this week from the Swift Current Broncos, made his T-Birds debut as well.
With the World Junior Championships shut down, defenseman Sam Knazko is set to rejoin the team. Knazko was playing at the tournament with Team Slovakia.
Mekai Sanders missed the game while serving out a one-game suspension for a five minute, checking-from-behind penalty he was assessed in Tuesday’s game.