T-Birds Sweep the Weekend

KENT, Wash. –The Seattle Thunderbirds completed a sweep of their three-game weekend with a 4-2 win over the Tri-City Americans Sunday at the accesso ShoWare Center. Brad Lambert led the way with three assists as Seattle won their thirteenth in a row to improve to 48-9-1-1 on the season. The Thunderbirds return to the home ice Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. to host the B.C. Division leading Kamloops Blazers.

Lambert set up Seattle’s first three goals, including the game winner early in the third period. “It was a good win,” said the Winnipeg Jets draft pick. “We battled hard even though It was a three-in-three. It was good to get the job done even though the boys were tired. I thought we played great.”

Thunderbirds head coach Matt O’Dette acknowledged both teams were a bit banged up, with each playing their third game of the weekend. “It was a good job by our guys to buckle down and get the job done. It was not an easy game,” he commented. “I thought it was a sloppy game. There was fatigue for both teams and that played a part, but we relied on our good habits, especially in the third period, to get the win.”

Seattle never trailed in the game. They opened the scoring on a Luke Prokop goal at 6:20 of the first period, with Lambert and Kyle Crnkovic assisting. “We were doing some good things in the O-zone,” said O’Dette. “I think that’s a big strength of ours. You can see what we’re capable of with our D activating at the right time. I thought Kopper (Prokop) made a really good read there and a phenomenal pass from Lambert to find him.”

Tri-City tied it ten minutes later on a Reece Belton power play goal and the two teams left the ice tied at 1-1 after the first period.

The teams exchanged goals early in period two.  The Thunderbirds went back up on a Dylan Guenther goal just thirty seconds in.  With the teams skating four aside, Lambert sprung Guenther up ice with a stretch pass that got him behind the Americans defense and he scored his sixth as a Thunderbird.

Tri-City tied it at 2-2 with a Jalen Luypen goal at the 2:15 mark.

The game winning goal came at 4:41 of the third period as Jeremy Hanzel skated into the slot and fired home his tenth of the season. “I was looking to pass, honestly,” he said. “I think they read my eyes and kind of left me alone in the slot and I just took advantage.” Lambert and Guenther had the assists.

“Hanzy’s doing all the little things that you need from a defenseman,” said O’Dette of his rear guard. “He’s defending well, he’s playing physical and he’s standing up for his teammates. He’s really good on the penalty kill and he’s obviously chipping in for us offensively. We can really see the evolution and the maturity of his game.”

Jared Davidson’s team leading 33rd goal of the season into an empty net, sealed the win for Seattle with just thirty seconds remaining. Scott Ratzlaff picked up his 23rd win in net with a 21 save effort.

After Tuesday’s game against Kamloops, Seattle’s five-game homestand continues next weekend with games Friday and Saturday. The Americans are back at the accesso ShoWare Center Friday at 7:05 p.m. Everett is the opponent Saturday at 6:05 p.m.


Forty percent of Jeremy Hanzel’s ten goals this season have been game winners.

While his five-game goal scoring streak ended, Reid Schaefer earned an assist on Seattle’s final goal and now has points in six straight games and nine of his last eight.

Both Gracyn Sawchyn and Colton Dach, injured Saturday in Seattle’s win in Everett, were out of the lineup Sunday while Tij Iginla missed his third straight game.

After the weekend, Scott Ratzlaff leads all WHL goalies with a 2.00 goals against average. Thomas Milic is second at 2.06. Milic has the league’s best save percentage at .927 while Ratzlaff is third at .923.

Boxscore: WHL Network

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