T-Birds Trip up ‘Tips
KENT, Wash. –Jeremy Hanzel’s power play goal broke a 1-1 tie, and the Seattle Thunderbirds defeated the Everett Silvertips, 5-1, Saturday at the accesso ShoWare Center. Seattle is now 50-9-1-2 on the season, just the second time in franchise history they have reached the fifty-win mark. The Thunderbirds five game homestand concludes next Friday when they host the Portland Winterhawks at 7:05 p.m.
Hanzel finished the night with two goals and an assist, but it was the power play goal at 6:12 of the third period that stood as the game winner. “Just don’t try to do too much on the power play,” he said. “Sometimes simple is better. Just getting that puck to the net and it found its way in.” Kyle Crnkovic and Sawyer Mynio earned the assists.
Hanzel also scored Seattle’s fifth goal and has set career bests this season in goals (12) and assists (29). “I’m just buying into our team systems,” he commented. “Just trying to play the way I’m supposed to play.”
His head coach Matt O’Dette, agrees. “He’s having a great season. He does everything. He’s physical, he’s good defensively, he’s chipped in 40-plus points, he sticks up for teammates. He does everything we need him to do.”
As for the game, O’Dette thought his team started well but didn’t play a complete sixty-minute game. “I thought we started the game much better than we did the previous night,” he explained. “I didn’t think the second was our best period. We had a lot of zone time but we weren’t attacking the net. The third period is the team we want to see for sixty minutes. We have to figure that out.”
The Thunderbirds did grab a 1-0 lead in the opening period as Brad Lambert set up Dylan Guenther for the goal at the 15:25 mark. Hanzel had the second assist. Everett tied it just before the end of period two with a shorthanded goal from Jackson Berezowski.
After Hanzel’s power play goal put Seattle back on top in the third, the Thunderbirds struck three more times in a five-minute span. Nico Myatovic scored his 27th of the season at 10:53. Lambert sniped home his 14th at 13:01. The Winnipeg Jets first round pick now has 32-points in just 21-games since being re-assigned to Seattle in mid-January.
“It’s a good opportunity for me here,” said Lambert of his time so far with the Thunderbirds. “We have a great team; a lot of great players and I like playing with them. We’re trying to go as far as we can.” He said it’s easy to fit in with so much talent on the roster. “It’s easy to play when you have great players around you.”
Hanzel’s second of the game came unassisted at 15:55 to close out the scoring. The Thunderbirds outshot the Silvertips 47-15. Thomas Milic needed only 14 saves to earn his 24th win in goal.
The only other time the T-Birds won 50 games was the 1989-90 campaign when they finished 52-17-3.
Seattle wins the season series against Everett by winning nine of the ten games. They outscored the Silvertips in the series 47-17.
Jared Davidson still needs one goal to reach the 100-goal mark in the WHL. Reid Schaefer was held off the scoresheet, snapping his eight-game point streak.
The Thunderbirds set a franchise record with the win. They have earned points in sixteen straight games (15-0-0-1). The previous record was fifteen (15-0-0-0), set back in the 1994-95 season.
Seattle’s magic number for clinching the top seed for the Western Conference playoffs is down to five points with six games remaining.
Boxscore: WHL Network