Western Conference Champions!

KAMLOOPS, B.C. –Behind three goals from their top line, the Seattle Thunderbirds defeated the Kamloops Blazers, 3-2, in Game Seven of the WHL Western Conference Championship Series at the Sandman Centre Tuesday.  The Thunderbirds win the best of seven series, four games to three.  Seattle advances to the WHL Championship Series where they will face the Edmonton Oil Kings. The series begins Friday at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

To win the T-Birds fought off elimination for the fifth time in the 2022 playoffs, winning the final two games of this series. They become the first team in WHL history to win two Game Sevens on the road in the same playoff run.

“I’m speechless,” said T-Birds head coach Matt O’Dette. “The resiliency from these players is amazing. I’m running out of adjectives to describe the character we have in that room.” O’Dette said his players weren’t ready to go home. “With our backs against the wall again, we found a way to get the job done.”

For the sixth time in the series, Kamloops scored the game’s first goal when Fraser Minten found the back of the net at 8:34 of the first period. The Blazers came close to adding to their lead, but Seattle goalie Thomas Milic came up with two key saves moments later. “It’s just like any other save for me,” said the T-Bird netminder, who turned aside 33-shots on the night. “Stay levelheaded and keep my team in it. Don’t let momentum get away from us.”

Seattle used the game’s only power play to level the score at 1-1 as Jared Davidson scored the first of his two tallies, on assists from Kevin Korchinski and Lukas Svejkovsky. “Svej made a beautiful pass,” said Davidson, who leads the Thunderbirds in playoff scoring. “That’s kind of what we needed. We were kind of struggling a little bit on our power play, but it all came together today when we needed it.”

The T-Birds took the lead for good with a pair of second period goals.  Davidson got his second, from Svejkovsky and Henrik Rybinski at 2:27.  Then at 14:56 Rybinski tipped in a Jeremy Hanzel one-timer to make it 3-1.  Svejkovsky earned his third assist on what turned out to be the game winning goal.

Rybinski said the goal came off a set play with Davidson winning the face off.  “Then I just tapped it back to Svej. Their weak side winger came out to Svej, he made a great play to get it to Hanzy and Hanzy ripped a one-timer. I was just trying to get my stick on it and lucky enough it went off my stick and in.”

Seattle held Kamloops at bay until the waning seconds. With their goaltender on the bench for the extra skater, the Blazers scored again. But Daylan Kuefler’s goal with seven seconds remaining was too little, too late.

O’Dette said his team played the right way with the lead. “Some of our habits were obviously in place, making sure we were on the right side of the puck, making sure we were backchecking. The guys just bought in. They believed, they believe in each other and that’s what you can accomplish.”


Seattle will host Games Three and Four of the WHL Championship Series next Tuesday and Wednesday at the accesso ShoWare Center. Game time both nights is 7:05 p.m. Tickets go on today at 10:00 a.m. at

Lukas Svejkovsky returns to the Championship Series for the second time in his WHL career. He played in the 2019 final with the Vancouver Giants, who lost to Prince Albert in seven games.

Seattle will face a familiar foe. Former T-Bird defenseman Simon Kubicek is now a member of the Oil Kings.

This is the T-Birds third appearance in the league championship series since 2016.

Full boxscore: WHL Network

More News
2022/23 Team Awards
4 days ago
Photo Gallery: Portland 3, Seattle 1
6 days ago
T-Birds Ready for Postseason
6 days ago
T-Birds Topple Portland
7 days ago
T-Birds Rally Falls Short
1 week ago
T-Birds Set Win Mark, Grab Top Seed
1 week ago