KENT, WA. – Reid Schaefer scored twice and added two assists and the Seattle Thunderbirds defeated the Everett Silvertips, 5-1, Saturday at the accesso ShoWare Center. The T-Birds also got a goal and an assist each from Jared Davidson, Henrik Rybinski and Sam Oremba, in earning their second win against their U.S. Division-leading rivals. The T-Birds see action again at home next Friday when they host the Spokane Chiefs. Game time is 7:05.
Thunderbirds Head Coach Matt O’Dette was proud of his team, not only for the win, but for the way they played the entire weekend in earning three of four points, especially with so many players battling through Covid. “Obviously it’s been a whirlwind of a week. Lots of different things happening. The guys stepped up and played extremely hard for each other. That’s T-Birds style hockey.”
As they did Friday in their overtime loss to Portland, Seattle dominated puck possession against Everett, outshooting the Silvertips, 45-19 on the night. It led to Seattle getting six power plays and converting on two of them. O’Dette said when you drive the play you should create power play opportunities. “Usually when you carry the play and play a lot in the O-zone, you have more of an opportunity to draw penalties. It’s nice to be on that side of the fence.”
The T-Birds limited Everett to just three shots on goal in the first period and broke onto the scoreboard with a power play goal in the final minute of the opening period. Davidson registered his 14th of the season at 19:19, assisted by Rybinski and Kevin Korchinski.
Seattle (20-9-4-0) doubled their lead midway through the second period on a goal credited to Rybinski, with Schaefer and Ryan Gottfried earning the assists. The T-Birds stretched their lead to 3-0 with a goal from Oremba earlier in the third, with Schaefer and Rybinski getting the helpers.
Schaefer then scored on the power play at 13:43 of the third, on assists from Davidson and Oremba. The Silvertips spoiled the shutout for T-Birds goalie Scott Ratzlaff when Jackson Berezowski scored at 17:42 but Schaefer ended any hopes of a late Everett comeback when he scored his second of the night into an empty net at 18:26.
O’Dette says the results of the weekend and the way the Thunderbirds played against two of the best teams in the Western Conference, shows they belong in the conversation with those teams. “For us, we know we can play against the really good teams in the league. I think Everett just had an off night. We expect a dog fight every game, but we’re confident we can play with the good teams. We’re one of those good teams. It’s nice to play like that when the good teams come into our building.”
In their two games this weekend, Seattle outshot their opponents by a combine 96-41.
Schaefer and Chase Lacombe both passed through Covid protocol and were in the lineup for Seattle. Both players missed Friday’s game versus Portland. The T-Birds are still waiting clearance for Thomas Milic, Lukas Svejkovsky and Coster Dunn.
Jordan Gustafson was out of the lineup after he was injured late in the first period Friday against the Winterhawks. He is listed as day-to-day.
Full Boxscore: WHL Network