Thunderbirds Drop Tight Battle to Everett

Everett, WA. – A third period surge fell just short, and the Seattle Thunderbirds dropped a 5-2, decision to the Everett Silvertips Sunday at Angel of the Winds Arena. The loss ended a busy weekend that saw the T-Birds drop two of three games. The Thunderbirds return home to the accesso ShoWare Center this Wednesday to host the Kamloops Blazers. Game time is 7:05 p.m.

Seattle fell behind by two goals before the midway point of the first period. Everett struck first with an even strength goal form Olen Zellweger at 5:03, then added a Ronan Seeley power play goal at 7:41.

Despite the early deficit, Thunderbirds Head Coach Matt O’Dette felt his team was prepared to play. “I thought we were ready to go, we were amped up and had good energy at the start of the game.” He said sometimes you have to credit your opponent. “They made a couple of good plays, scored on a nice shot from the point, then added one on the power play.”

Before the first period ended the T-Birds got one back with a power play goal of their own from Jeremy Hanzel at 19:44, assisted by Matt Rempe and Lucas Ciona. The second period started with the two teams playing 4-on-4. Just 30-seconds in, the Silvertips re-established their two-goal lead when Jackson Berezowski put back his own rebound.

Late in the second period T-birds center Matt Rempe was assessed a five-minute boarding major. Out of the ensuing scrum, Everett ended up with a three-minute power play to start the third period. Not only did Seattle kill it off, but they prevented the ‘Tips from getting a shot on goal. O’Dette said the penalty kill helped turn the tide in Seattle’s direction. “The penalty kill did a great job. We talked about it in the room (between periods) that it was going to be a momentum changing penalty kill and we did just that.”

Seattle used the momentum generated off their penalty kill to go on the attack. They consistently hemmed Everett in their own end, eventually drawing a penalty on the Silvertips. Back on the power play for the first time since the first period, the T-birds closed to within 3-2 when Conner Roulette scored his team leading ninth goal of the season at 8:08, assisted by Kevin Korchinski and Mekai Sanders.

Seattle continued to press, putting 13 shots on net in the final 20-minutes but could not find an equalizer. Their last, best chance came with about 90-seconds remaining but were denied on the doorstep. Everett then cemented their win with two late empty net goals.

Despite the loss O’Dette was pleased with his player’s effort, especially in the third period of the final game of a busy weekend. “What a character group. We’re playing the right way. There’s no quit there. One of these times were going to get the right bounce. I’m super proud of the guys.”  He added that they’re not happy with the loss. “We’re devastated. We’re down right now but I though it was a nice effort to build off of.”


Henrik Rybinski missed his second straight game with an upper body injury suffered Friday in Spokane. He is listed as day-to-day. In his absence, O’Dette has given Sanders more minutes, including on the top power play unit. “He’s played great. He’s earned the opportunity for more responsibility and he’s making the most of it. It’s a testament to his hard work.”

Two Thunderbirds, Scott Ratzlaff and Sam Oremba, leave this week for the U17 Capital City Challenge. The tournament will be held in Ottawa November 26th through December 1st.

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