T-Birds Topple Portland

PORTLAND, Ore –Kevin Korchinski scored twice and added two assists as the Seattle Thunderbirds dropped the Portland Winterhawks, 7-3, Friday at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Seattle returns home Saturday for the regular season finale, also against the Winterhawks. Game time at the accesso ShoWare Center is 6:05 p.m.

It was the fifth time over the past two seasons, and third time this year, that Korchinski has had four points in a game. “I think we had a better start than our last game,” said the Chicago Blackhawks 2022 first round pick. “And playing with good players helps. Crank’s (Kyle Crnkovic) making plays Nico’s (Myatovic) making plays and our power play was buzzing,” he added.

Thunderbirds head coach Matt O’Dette said it is something Korchinski has the talent to do every night. “He can take over a game,” he said. “Tonight he was more efficient with the puck, making the right play, the simple play, shooting the puck. That’s what he’s capable of.”

The Thunderbirds (54-10-1-2) fell behind early when Portland scored at 2:17 of the first period on a Josh Zakreski goal. Seattle responded with the game’s next five, fueled by Korchinski. The Seattle defenseman tied it at 7:22 of the first. He then assisted on Lucas Ciona’s power play goal at 6:51 of the second before scoring again at 8:37 of period two. Korchinski added a second assist on a Brad Lambert power play marker at 12:35.

The two sides traded goals in the final four minutes of the second period. Coster Dunn scored unassisted for Seattle at 16:49 and Gabe Klassen answered for the Winterhawks at 18:41.

O’Dette said the Thunderbirds got back on brand after surrendering six goals in a loss in Kamloops Wednesday. “That was nice to see tonight,” he remarked. “For the most part we were playing to our formula, with good habits. I thought everyone chipped in and I thought the young guys played really well.”

Seattle got two more goals in the third period. Reid Schaefer struck first at 7:09 and Colton Dach added a power play goal at 9:10. It was Dach’s third game back after missing time to an injury. In his return he has two goals and two assists. He said these final few games of the regular season are valuable for him before the playoffs start.

“Just trying to get back into that game shape,” he commented. “You can do all the skating you want but when you’re actually out there in a game, it’s a little different cardio so I’m just trying to get my feet under me and play some good hockey.”

Portland closed out the scoring with a Marek Alscher goal but would get no closer. Thomas Milic made 35-saves to earn his 27th win.


Seattle will open the postseason next weekend. They face the Kelowna Rockets in a first round, best-of-seven series. The T-birds host Game 1 on Friday, March 31st. Game 2 is Saturday, April 1st.

Seattle ends the road portion of their schedule with a franchise record of 25 wins, two more than the previous record, set last season.

Both Brad Lambert and Nico Myatovic extended their point streaks to six games.

The win in goal was the 60th of Thomas Milic’s T-birds career.

The Thunderbirds gave regulars Luke Prokop, Jared Davidson and Dylan Guenther, the night off.

Boxscore: WHL Network

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