T-Birds Soar Past Winterhawks

Brian Liesse

Hughes has career high 51 saves in 6-4 win over Portland

KENT, November 17, 2018 — Goalie Liam Hughes had 51 saves and Matthew Wedman had two goals Saturday night in front of 5,052 fans at accesso ShoWare Center to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 6-4 comeback victory over the Portland Winterhawks.

The T-Birds next game is Wednesday at 7:05pm against the Vancouver Giants at the accesso ShoWare Center.

Hughes’ 51 saves were a career high. His previous high for saves in a season was 44 against the Kelowna Rockets in a 4-1 win on October 6 this season at home. Hughes record is now 8-7-2-0.

Portland (13-7-0-2) took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by Jake Gricius at 2:02 of the first period. The puck trickled through Seattle goalie Liam Hughes and was on the goal line before it was cleared by a T-Birds defenseman. The referee waved no goal and play continued. Several minutes later at the first whistle the video review booth buzzed the referees that the puck had crossed the goal line.

The Winterhawks took a 2-0 lead at 7:59 of the first on a goal by Clay Hanus. Goalie Dante Giannuzzi had the only assist.

Jared Davidson celebrating his first career WHL goal, which started the T-Birds comeback against the Portland Winterhawks Saturday, November 17, at accesso ShoWare Center.

Seattle (8-9-3-0) cut the lead to one at 8:56 of the first on Jared Davidson’s first goal of the season. Samuel Huo won a faceoff in the right circle back to Louden Schaufler at the right point. Schaufler crossed the puck to Tyrel Bauer at center ice. Bauer took a slap shot that rebounded off Giannuzzi to Davidson left of the net. Davidson slammed the puck into the net.

The T-Birds tied the game 2-2 on a greasy goal by Samuel Huo. Payton Mount sent the puck to Huo in the high slot. Huo took a shot that Giannuzzi stopped but Tyler Carpendale sent the rebound back at the goalie. Giannuzzi stopped Carpendale but Huo was on top of the crease and batted the puck away from a Portland defenseman trying to clear the puck and into the net for his third goal of the year.

Portland outshot Seattle 16-14 in the first period.

Matthew Wedman scored two goals in 27 seconds early in the first period to put Seattle up 4-2.

Matthew Wedman scoring his first goal against the Winterhawks Saturday at accesso ShoWare Center.

Wedman won a puck battle on the right boards to Nolan Volcan who carried the puck to the goal line. Volcan cut towards the net and centered the puck to Wedman chasing the play. Wedman beat Giannuzzi through the legs at 5:10 for his sixth goal of the season.

Andrej Kukuca sprung a three-on-one break for Wedman in the neutral zone. Wedman skated into the right circle and beat Giannuzzi with a hard wrist shot over the glove at 5:27. Simon Kubicek had the second assist.

The Winterhawks had a 33-22 advantage in shots after two periods by outshooting the T-Birds 17-8 in the second period.

Kukuca extended the T-Birds lead to 5-2 at 4:08 on a crazy sequence of events. Portland was pressing in the offensive zone and the T-Birds were able to clear the puck. Giannuzzi skated into the high left circle to get the puck back up to his teammates. Volcan intercepted the pass in the neutral zone with the goalie out of position. Volcan entered the zone and got a shot that was blocked by a Winterhawks defenseman. Kukuca got the rebound to the right of the net and centered it with the goalie trying to get into the crease. Giannuzzi fell down as Volcan took a second shot that was blocked. Kukuca poked the puck into the net at the right post with the Giannuzzi still on the ice and out of position.

Portland cut the lead to two goals at 9:20 of the third on a goal from Nick Perna assisted by Seth Jarvis and Reece Newkirk.

Hughes and Volcan set up the T-Birds sixth goal. Hughes sent the puck from behind his net up the left wall where Volcan got it in the neutral zone. Volcan chipped the puck into the offensive zone, chased it down and then centered the puck to Zack Andrusiak for a breakaway. Andrusiak beat Giannuzzi over the glove for his 10th goal of the season at 13:30.

Gricius scored a power-play goal with Giannuzzi on the bench for an extra attacker at 19:26 for Portland’s fourth goal. The goal went to video review and after several minutes was determined to be a good goal.

Portland outshot Seattle 22-14 in the third period and 55-36 in the game.

Giannuzzi had 30 saves on 36 shots and his record is now 1-2-0-0.

Single game tickets are on sale online on the T-Birds website and at the accesso ShoWare Center box office.

The T-Birds are now taking orders for Flex-24 Ticket packages. Fans that purchase the 24-Flex Ticket Package will be able to select any available premium seat for any game, in any ticket combination, during the 2018-19 season.


First period – 1, Portland, Gricius 11 (Hughes, Glass), 2:02 (pp). 2, Portland, Hanus 2 (Giannuzzi), 7:59. 3, Seattle, Davidson 1 (Bauer, Schaufler), 8:56. 4, Seattle, Huo 3 (Carpendale, Mount), 15:38. Penalties – Hamaliuk, Sea (checking to the head), :21. Hanas, Por (interference), 5:05. Newkirk, Por (roughing), 20:00. Kubicek, Sea (roughing), 20:00.

Second period – 5, Seattle, Wedman 6 (Volcan), 5:10. 6, Seattle, Wedman 7 (Kukuca, Kubicek), 5:37. Penalties – Volcan, Sea (cross checking), 7:06. Hughes, Sea (interference-served by Mount), 9:31. Gricius, Por (high-sticking), 12:02. Mount, Sea (interference), 13:44. Kukuca, Sea (slashing), 16:21.

Third period – 7, Seattle, Kukuca 5 (Volcan, Wedman), 4:08. 8, Portland, Perna 1 (Jarvis, Newkirk), 9:20. 9, Seattle, Andrusiak 10 (Volcan, Hughes), 13:30. 10, Portland, Gricius 12 (Newkirk, Glass), 19:26 (pp). Penalties – McNelly, Sea (elbowing), 5:29. Savey, Sea (roughing), 5:29. Fromm-Delorme, Por (unsportsmanlike conduct), 5:29. Freadrich, Por (roughing), 5:29. Newkirk, Por (cross checking), 15:56. Hamaliuk, Sea (interference), 19:02.

Shots on goal – Seattle 14-8-14 36, Portland 16-17-22 55. Goalies – Seattle, Hughes 55 shots-51 saves (8-7-2-0); Portland, Giannuzzi 36-30 (1-2-0-0). Power plays – Seattle 0-3; Portland 2-5. A – 5,052. Referees – Ryan Benbow, Steve Papp. Linesmen – Michael Bean, Nathan Van Oosten.

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