Kent, WA. – Behind a balanced attack and a 19-save performance from Thomas Milic, the Seattle Thunderbirds shutout the Spokane Chiefs, 7-0, Friday at the accesso ShoWare Center. Fourteen T-birds skaters registered at least a point, led by leading scorer Jared Davidson, who had the game winning goal and an assist. The Thunderbirds next action is Saturday in Portland against the Winterhawks. Game time 6:05 p.m.
The Thunderbirds scored on their first shot of the game sixty-seven seconds in, as Davidson kissed one in off the left post for his team leading 15th of the season. Since coming back off the Christmas break, Davidson has 12-points in six games, including five goals. “I’m just trying to drive the play a little bit more this half of the year. The puck’s obviously bouncing very well for me now.”
While it seemed the T-birds were off and running with that early goal, Head Coach Matt O’Dette said the T-birds survived some early Spokane pressure because Milic was on his game from the start. “Yeah, he was good, really sharp early, you know (stopping) a breakaway and a couple of big chances. When you have stretches where you don’t have your feet under you, it’s big for the goalie to step up and make some big saves and Tommy was there.”
Seattle added a power play goal from Matt Rempe at 5:27. The T-birds would end the night 2-for-3 with the man advantage and are now 10 for their last 23 over their last five games. The big change on the power play has been putting Rempe and his 6’9”, 240 lb. frame on the first unit, parking him in front of the opposing goal. “My goal is to take away the eyes of the goalie, and guys shoot around me and try to get tips and deflections. We try to get back door plays around the net and win all the net front battles.”
Seattle got two more goals in the second period. First with another power play goal, this one from Lucas Ciona, and the first goal of the season for Ryan Gottfried.
The T-birds blew it open with three more in the third. Conner Roulette tapped in his 12th of the season at 1:03, then Ciona and Rempe each tacked on their second of the night. Ciona scored at 5:26 and Rempe closed out the seven-goal outburst at 16:08.
Seattle (21-9-4-0) entered the game with their healthiest lineup since before Christmas, giving O’Dette plenty of options, especially among his top twelve forwards. “It’s nice to have some guys back and have that type of depth up front. We played very well, played hard.” While he said it wasn’t the perfect game and there are things to clean up without the puck, he noted everyone was on board. “Really strong game. I thought everyone chipped in and played well.”
The T-birds next home game is next Tuesday when they once again host Spokane. Game time is 7:05 p.m.
Lukas Svejkovsky made his Thunderbirds debut against the Chiefs. Seattle acquired Svejkovsky back on December 27th from the Medicine Hat Tigers, but he had been in Covid protocol since the trade. He promptly picked up his first point with Seattle, assisting on Seattle’s third goal.
Davidson has goals in three straight games. O’Dette says his leading scorer has worked hard to improve his game. “A lot of the credit goes to him, putting that work in, in the offseason. He’s always been a team-first guy. It’s nice to see guys like that have success.”
Seattle has outshot its last three opponents, 136-60.
Full Boxscore: WHL Network