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Week Ahead November 2012

October 29, 2012 – November 4, 2012

Recap | Spokane | Swift Current | Moose Jaw | 2011-2012 Archive




RECAP

October 26, 2012

Seattle 3, vs. Tri-City 1

(Post-gameStats)

The Thunderbirds rose above .500 with a 3-1 win over Tri-City Friday night at ShoWare Center. Goaltender Brandon Glover played a great game, stopping 44 shots (19 in the third period) to push the Thunderbirds to their sixth win of the season. Connor Sanvido opened the scoring 7:09 into the game after he smashed in a rebound from Shea Theodore’s deflected shot from the point. Justin Hickman was credited with the second assist. Tyson Dallman scored at the 18:50 mark of the second period to tie the game at 1, but the Thunderbirds scored two goals in the third to get the victory. Brendan Rouse received a pass from Seth Swenson and drove to the left side of the net where a Tri-City defender blocked his path. He quickly spun and sent a no-look, behind-the-back-pass across the crease to an onrushing Roberts Lipsbergs who had a wide open net to put in his first WHL goal for the Thunderbirds. Riley Sheen then added an empty-net goal to seal the game late in the third period. Shots for the game were 45-27 Tri-City.

Keys From Last Week

Q) The matchup between the Tri-City penalty kill (84.5%) and the Seattle power play (31.6%).

                A) The Thunderbirds did not get a chance to showcase its power play unit. However, the T-Birds penalty kill was successful on all four Tri-City power play opportunities.

Q) Will Seattle be able to get the puck past one of the hottest goalies in the league in Eric Comrie?

                A) As the third came via an empty net, the Thunderbirds were able to score twice on 27 shots against Comrie. Not a bad result at all with the way Comrie has played recently.

Q) Seattle has been outshot 111-61 over the past three games, resulting in one win and two losses. Can the T-Birds even out the shots on goal?

                A) The final shot count was 45-27 in favor of Tri-City. A worrying trend if this continues, but Brandon Glover came up big with 44 saves to out-duel Comrie.

October 27, 2012

Seattle 3, at Everett 2

(Post-gameStats)

Thunderbirds goalie Justin Myles earned his first career victory in the 3-2 win over the Everett Silvertips on Saturday night. Everett went ahead through Tyler Sandhu’s goal at 3:32 of the first, but Seattle tied the game 1-1 when Connor Honey one-timed a pass from Shea Theodore past Silvertips goalie Austin Lotz. Alexander Delnov then gave Seattle the lead on a shorthanded goal coming at 13:26 of the second. He streaked down the left side of the ice after getting a pass from Connor Sanvido, and put a backhand shot above Lotz’s glove. Reid Petryk tied the game 2-2 for Everett 7:59 into the third period, but Seattle scored the game winner just 59 seconds later. Honey scored his second goal of the game (his second two-goal game of the season) after he took a loose puck in the neutral zone into the Everett zone and cut into the slot to beat Lotz with the shot. Everett outshot Seattle 29-19 for the game.

Keys From Last Week

Q) Everett has yet to win a home-game this season. Will the Thunderbirds be able to win on the road and keep the Silvertips winless at home?

                A) The Silvertips’ struggles at home continued with the Thunderbirds win. Two wins in two nights also took the Thunderbirds above Everett in the US Division standings.

Q) Cotton potentially facing off against his former team: After being traded to Everett on October 7, Cotton plays Seattle for the first time as an opposing player. Will he be in net for Everett and face off against his old team?

                A) The reunion of former teammates was not to be, as goaltender Austin Lotz played in net for the Silvertips. Maybe he’ll get the call next time Everett visits ShoWare on November 27…?

October 28, 2012

Kamloops 4, at Seattle 3 OT

(Post-gameStats)

“Pink The Rink” Night at ShoWare on Sunday evening saw the Thunderbirds host the #1-ranked CHL team in the Kamloops Blazers, and the two teams did not disappoint. The first period, despite any scoring from either team, was a great indication of how the game would be played: fast, intense, and full of skill. The second period showcased the offensive talent on the ice, as six goals in the period saw both teams head into the third period tied 3-3. Connor Honey and Brendan Rouse got Seattle off to a 2-0 lead with goals in quick succession before the Blazers tied the game with two quick goals of their own. Shea Theodore showcased his multitude of talents when he restored Seattle’s lead to 3-2. He raced to a loose puck in the T-Birds zone, flew around the other side of the ice and up the wing where he faked inside and fired a shot over Taran Kozun’s blocker; Bobby Orr would have been proud. A second JC Lipon goal for the Blazers pushed the game to OT where Colin Smith scored :25 in to steal the win for the visitors. Kamloops outshot Seattle 40-29 for the game.

Keys From Last Week

Q) Kamloops’ Four Horseman: JC Lipon, Colin Smith, Tim Bozon, and Brendan Ranford accounted for 13 total points in the first meeting against Seattle. Can the T-Birds keep the league’s top-four scorers quiet enough to win?

                A) These guys are good. Lipon’s two goals kept the Blazers in the game during regulation, and Smith ended it with the quick OT goal to go along with his two assists. Bozon also added two assists and Ranford added one helper.  They are a threat to score any time the puck is on their sticks.

Q) Both Blazers goalies have posted stellar numbers so far, will the Thunderbirds be able to produce enough offense to bother whichever stalwart is in net?

                A) Kamloops’ Taran Kozun got the call between the pipes. He played very well, with the three Seattle goals no fault of his own and making some key saves to push the game to OT. It’s not a bad problem for the Blazers to have a backup goalie as good as Kozun.

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Spokane Logo



Spokane Chiefs


Tuesday, October 30, 2012 (7:05 PM) @ Spokane Veteran’s Memorial, Spokane, Washington

Season Series: 1-1-0-0

The Spokane Chiefs (10-5-0-0) are tied at 20 points atop the US Division with Tri-City. The Chiefs are 6-4 over the past ten games, and are coming off of a 6-5 loss to Everett on Friday and a 3-2 win over Tri-City on Saturday. Seattle and Spokane split a home-and-home series on October 16 and October 19.

Offensively

The Chiefs offense has scored a US Division best 3.9 goals-per- game through their first 15 games. The Chiefs have scored more than five goals in seven games so far this season; they have put up six goals on the Thunderbirds in the two games played between the two teams this season. Spokane also boasts the second-best power play unit in the CHL with a conversion rate of 33.3%.

The Chiefs are led up front by RW Mitch Holmberg, whose 11 goals puts him seventh in the CHL goal scoring charts. Holmberg has tallied one goal and two assists in the two previous meetings this season against the T-Birds. Holmberg is likely to miss tonight’s game, however, with an upper body injury. Center Dylan Walchuk is tied for the team-lead in assists with 12, while C Mike Aviani leads the team in +/- with a +12.Kichton

Defensively

A good defensive team as well, Spokane fields the third best penalty kill unit in the CHL with an 84.4% successful kill ratio. Surprisingly, their team defense is not quite as stellar as their special teams unit, allowing an average of 3.1 goals per game, third among the US Division teams.

Spokane is led on the blue line by D Brendan Kichton. Kichton is tied for the team lead with 12 assists, as his playmaking skills make him a danger up top with his vision and passing skills. Three forwards lead the Chiefs in penalty minutes, as Aviani, Colin Valcourt, and Carter Proft all sit with 27 PIM.

What to Watch For

The home team won both games in the home-and-home series earlier this season. Can Seattle get a victory on the road against the division leaders?

After losing in OT to the CHL’s #1 ranked team on Sunday, Seattle faces another division leader in Spokane. This game will be another good litmus test for the Thunderbirds to see where they stand with one of the top teams in the league.

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SC Broncos

 
Swift Current Broncos


Friday, November 2, 2012 (6:00 PM) @ Credit Union i-Plex, Swift Current, Saskatchewan

Season Series: 0-0-0-0

The Swift Current Broncos (6-7-3-1) currently sit fourth in the East Division of the Eastern Conference with 16 points, but are just 3-7-0-0 in their last ten games. The Broncos are coming off of a 5-2 win over Kootenay on October 26 and a 4-1 loss to Lethbridge on October 27. The Broncos will play Prince Albert on October 30.

Offensively

In the 17 Swift Current has played this year, they have scored an average of 2.9 goals per-game, while they’re power play ranks fifth in the CHL at 25.7%. The Broncos leading scorer is LW Adam Lowry with 17 points; Lowry also leads the team with eight goals scored.

LW Coda Gordon’s 11 assists lead the Broncos in that category, and his five goals puts him second on the team in total scoring. Defenseman Reece Scarlett has added eight assists from the blue line, making him one to keep eye on for the T-Birds wingers.

LaurikainenDefensively

The Broncos defense has let in 2.9 goals per-game. Their penalty kill unit is ninth in the CHL with an 80.0% kill ratio. Swift Current currently has two rookie goaltenders on their roster in Eetu Laurikainen and Landon Bow. Laurikainen has seen the majority of time in the net having played in 15 games and logging over 875 minutes of ice time thus far. Laurikainen has posted impressive numbers of 2.67 GAA and a .919 SV%.

Defenseman Richard Nedomlal and LW Josh Derko lead the Broncos in penalty minutes with 34.

What to Watch For

This is the Thunderbirds’ first matchup against an Eastern Conference team as they embark on a 6-game road trip through Canada. Can the T-Birds start the road trip off with a win?

Former Thunderbird Chance Lund was traded to the Broncos before the 2012/2013 regular season.

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 Moose Jaw


Moose Jaw Warriors


Saturday, November 3, 2012 (6:00 PM) @ Mosaic Place, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

Season Series: 0-0-0-0

The Moose Jaw Warriors (7-6-2-1) are currently tied for second in the East Division with 17 points though 16 games. The Warriors are 4-3-2-1 over the past 10 games, and are coming off 3-2 win over Prince Albert on Friday, a 5-1 loss to Prince Albert on Saturday, and a 3-2 loss to Medicine Hat on Sunday.

Offensively

Moose Jaw has averaged 3 goals scored per-game so far this season, third best in the East Division. Their power play is one of their strengths, converting 25.3% of their chances, good enough for sixth in the CHL and two spots below the Thunderbirds.Fioretti

The Warriors field one of the top scorers in the league in C Sam Fioretti. Fioretti sits ninth on the scoring charts with a team-high 13 goals and nine assists. The Warriors also utilize a very talented blue-liner in Morgan Rielly, whose 15 assists lead the team and are good for fifth in the CHL. Add in his four goals this season and the defenseman currently sits at #16 on the CHL scoring charts.

Defensively

If there’s an area the Thunderbirds can take advantage of the Warriors, it’s on defense. Moose Jaw allows an average of 3.4 goals per game, fourth best in the East Division. Their penalty kill is also mediocre, with the tenth-ranked unit in the league at 77.4%.

The Warriors two rookie goaltenders, Justin Paulic and Daniel Wapple, have split time in net for Moose Jaw, with Paulic posting slightly better numbers and more ice time in return.  Paulic’s GAA is a very respectable 2.99 while his SV% stands at .898. Wapple has posted a 4.03 GAA and a .882 SV%

What to Watch For

The Thunderbirds fourth-best power play unit takes on the tenth-ranked penalty kill unit. Can the T-Birds take advantage of the special teams?

Sam Fioretti is another talented forward for Seattle’s defenseman to go up against. Can the Thunderbirds defense keep him off the score sheet?

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COMING NEXT WEEK

November 6 @ Brandon

November 7 @Regina

November 9 @ Prince George

November 10 @ Saskatchewan


November 5, 2012 – November 11, 2012

Recap | Brandon | Regina | Prince Albert | Saskatoon | 2011-2012 Archive




RECAP

October 30, 2012

At Spokane 8, Seattle 2

(Post-gameStats)

The Chiefs skated to a commanding 5-0 lead before the first intermission, leaving quite a task for Seattle to try and make a comeback in the later periods. The lead was pushed to 6-0 before Seattle got on the board through Luke Lockhart’s hard shot from the slot; he was assisted by Connor Honey on the goal. Justin Hickman added a power-play goal in the third period, but with the score already 8-1, it was not enough to spark a comeback and the T-Birds lost by a final score of 8-2.

November 2, 2012

At Swift Current 4, Seattle 3

(Post-gameStats)

Seattle took a 1-0 lead into the second period on Taylor Green’s first goal of the season. Riley Sheen fed him a beautiful backhand pass across the top of the zone for Green to rip into the Bronco net. After Swift Current tied the game in the second, the T-Birds responded with a goal from Seth Swenson. The Broncos then went on the score three goals, two coming on the same Broncos penalty kill, roaring back to take a 4-2 lead in the third period. Sheen scored on a wraparound goal to cut the lead to 4-3, but that’s where the scoring ended, as the Broncos beat the Thunderbirds behind those two short-handed goals.

November 3, 2012

Seattle 4, at Moose Jaw 3 SO

(Post-gameStats)

The Thunderbirds got their first win of the long road trip after a tense overtime period and shootout. Seattle came back twice in this game, coming back from two goals down in the second period and one goal down in the third period. Down 2-0, Seattle’s Seth Swenson scored his second goal in two days off a feed from Brendan Rouse, and Roberts Lipsbergs scored a power-play goal early in the third period to tie the game at 2-2. Moose Jaw scored again to make it 3-2, but a second power-play goal of the evening, this one coming from Brendan Rouse, sent the game into overtime. The T-Birds killed off a Warrior power play in the overtime period, as Brandon Glover made two saves and Alexander Delnov and Riley Sheen scored in the shootout to give Seattle the 4-3 win.

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Brandon



Brandon Wheat Kings


Tuesday, November 6, 2012 (5:00 PM) @ Westman Comm. Group Place, Brandon, Manitoba

Season Series: 0-0-0-0

The Brandon Wheat Kings currently sit second in the East Division with an overall record of 8-7-2-1, giving them 19 points through 18 games. The Wheat Kings are coming off a 3-2 win over Moose Jaw on November 2 and a 4-2 loss to Calgary on November 3. They have a record of 3-5-1-1 over the past 10 games.

Offensively

The Brandon Wheat Kings goal scoring has been one of the best, averaging 3.2 goals scored per-game (tied for first in the East Division). The Wheat Kings power play sits 10th in the league with a respectable 19.5% conversion rate going into Tuesday’s game with the Thunderbirds.

Leading the Wheat Kings in scoring so far are LW Alessio Bertaggia (10-10-20), D Ryan Pulock (8-11-19), and C Nick Buonassisi (7-10-17). Bertaggia leads Brandon in goals and points, while Pulock leads all other Wheat Kings in assists while also adding eight goals as a defenseman through 18 games. Pulock was third in goals (19) overall scoring (60) for all CHL defenseman last year, and looks to be keeping pace so far this season.

Defensively

The Wheat Kings defense has given up an East Division-worst 3.9 goals per-game, having let in 71 goals through the first 18 games this season. Their penalty kill is a big reason why they’ve let in so many goals, with a league-worst penalty kill rate of 67.5%. 27 of their 71 goals allowed have come on the penalty kill.

The Wheat Kings have primarily used G Corbin Boes this season, with him logging 775 minutes of ice time compared to G Curtis Honey with 316 minutes. The two have posted similar stats, with Boes’ 3.95 GAA and .883 SV% slightly higher than Honey’s 3.61 GAA and .908 SV%. Boes was in net for both of Brandon’s games last weekend.

What To Watch For

The Thunderbirds third-best power play unit taking on the league’s worst penalty kill unit. Can Seattle take advantage of this matchup?

A potential reunion is on hand for the Honey twins: Seattle’s Connor Honey and Brandon’s Curtis Honey are both hopeful of playing against one another in this matchup. Should be fun to see the two battle.

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Regina

 
Regina Pats


Wednesday, November 7, 2012 (5:00 PM) @ Brandt Centre, Regina, Saskatchewan

Season Series: 0-0-0-0

The Pats are currently tied at 15 points for fifth place in the East Division with an overall record of 7-11-1-0 through 19 games. Over the past 10 games the Pats are 3-6-1-0, and are coming off a 3-2 loss to Saskatoon on Tuesday, a  4-1 loss to Calgary on Friday, and a 4-1 victory over Prince Albert on Saturday.

Offensively

Regina’s goal scoring record puts them sixth in the East Division, with an average of 2.6 goals scored per game. The Pats have scored 16 goals on 88 power-play chances, averaging out to an 18.2% power play success rate. This puts their power play 14 overall in the CHL.

Regina’s leading scorer is LW Lane Scheidl with 18 points from eight goals and 10 assists through 19 games. LW Morgan Klimchuk is tied at eight goals with Scheidl, and his seven assists places him second on the team in scoring with 15 points. Defenseman Colton Jobke has tallied a team-high 11 assists from the blue line to go along with his one goal.

Defensively

Only Prince Albert (50) and Swift Current (57) have let in fewer goals in the East Division than Regina (63). The Pats have averaged 3.3 goals against this season. Their power play is currently 17 in the CHL with a successful kill rate of 75.5%.

Goaltender Matt Hewitt has seen the majority of ice time (809 min) in net for the Pats. His overall record stands at 5-7-1-0 and has posted a 2.89 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage. Rookie Teagan Sacher, who has started the year with a GAA of 3.38 and SV% of .880, backs up Hewitt.

What To Watch For

The Pats are coming off a win over division-leaders Prince Albert on Saturday. Will the Thunderbirds be able to counter any momentum Regina may have going for them?

Again, the special teams matchup looks to be favorable for the Thunderbirds. Any special teams goals can be a big help on the road.

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 Prince Albert


Prince Albert Raiders


Friday, November 9, 2012 (5:00 PM) @ Art Hauser Centre, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

Season Series: 0-0-0-0

The Prince Albert Raiders sit atop the East Division standings with an overall record of 11-5-0-2, good enough for 24 points. Over the past 10 games the Raiders are 4-5-0-1, with a 3-2 win over Edmonton on November 2 and a 4-1 loss to Regina on November 3. Prince Albert has a game against Swift Current on November 7 before they play the Thunderbirds on November 9.

Offensively

The Raiders have scored a total of 57 this season, averaging out to a 3.2 goals per-game through the first 18 games. They’re currently the only team in the East Division with a positive goal differential (+7). Their power play currently stands at 18.1%, placing them 15th in the CHL in power play percentage.

The Raiders attack is lead up front by C Mark McNeil, whose 17 points currently lead the team. His 11 assists are tied for most on the team with D Josh Morrissey. RW Dakota Conroy leads the Raiders with eight goals, and his six assists leave him tied with Morrissey and C Anthony Bardaro at 14 points.

Defensively

The Raider’s stingy defense has been their strength through the early portion of the season, allowing only 2.8 goals per-game (50 in total) through the first 18 games. Their penalty kill unit has been decent, with a 77.0% kill rate putting them 13th in the CHL ranks.

The Raiders field one of the league’s best goaltenders in Luke Siemens. Siemens has logged 952 minutes of ice time, and has posted a GAA of 2.33 and a SV% of .922. His 2.33 GAA puts him third in the CHL, while also logging the third-most minutes of any goalie in the league.

What To Watch For

Can the T-Birds offense (3.2 goals scored per-game) score enough goals to win against one of the best goalies in the league in Luke Siemens?

With a day of rest coming after back-to-back games on the November and 6 and 7, will the T-Birds still be fresh with the last two games left to play of their road trip through the East Division?

 

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Saskatoon


Saskatoon Blades

Saturday November 10, 2012 (5:05 PM) @ Credit Union Centre, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Season Series: 0-0-0-0

The Saskatoon Blades are currently tied for fifth place in the East Division with 15 points. The Blades have an overall record of 7-9-0-1 through 17 games, and are 5-4-0-1 in their last 10. The Blades beat Kootenay 3-2 on November 2 and lost to Lethbridge 5-4 on November 3. They play the Regina Pats on Friday night before hosting the Thunderbirds this Saturday in Saskatoon.

Offensively

Saskatoon has scored the fewest goals of any East Division team (47), averaging out to 2.8 goals scored per-game. Through 17 games played, their power play has only scored on 17.7% of their opportunities, ranking them 16th in CHL.

The Blades offense is spearheaded by RW Josh Nicholls. Nicholls is currently second in the CHL with 15 goals, only one behind JC Lipon of Kamloops. His eight assists give him 23 total points for the year. Only C Shane McColgan (12) and RW Matej Stranskey (9) have more assists for the Blades.

Defensively

Saskatoon has allowed a total of 64 goals so far this season, giving them a -17 goal differential. They have allowed an average of 3.8 goals per-game. Their penalty kill is ranked 10th in the CHL, with a successful kill rate of 78.4%.

Saskatoon has relied heavily on goalie Andrey Makarov, who’s played in 17 games and logged 973 minutes of ice time for the Blades. He’s posted a 7-8-0-1 record, with quality numbers of 3.08 GAA and .901 SV%. Two forwards lead the team in penalty minutes, with C Lukas Sutter having served 40 minutes in the sin-bin and LW Jessey Astles with 32 PIM.

What To Watch For

Josh Nicholls is currently on a three-game scoring streak, with five goals and two assists coming in those three games. Can Seattle stop his hot hand and keep off the score sheet?

The last game in Seattle’s eastern road trip, the Thunderbirds will be looking to take advantage of the leaky Saskatoon defense (3.8 goals allowed) to get a victory before starting a five-game home-stand.

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COMING NEXT WEEK

November 16 vs. Medicine Hat

November 17 vs. Spokane


November 12, 2012 – November 18, 2012

Recap | Medicine Hat | Spokane 2011-2012 Archive




RECAP

November 6, 2012

At Brandon 5, Seattle 3

(Post-gameStats)

The Brandon Wheat Kings defeated the T-Birds 5-3 after going up by three goals midway through the second period. Riley Sheen scored a power-play goal for the T-Birds at 8:55 of the second period. A fourth Brandon goal followed, but Luke Lockhart scored with one second remaining in the second period to cut the lead to 4-2 heading into the third period. Connor Sanvido did manage to cut the lead to 4-3 4:27 into the third period, but an empty-net goal sealed the 5-3 win for Brandon.  Seattle outshot Brandon 41-23 for the game.

Keys From Last Week

Q) The Thunderbirds third-best power play unit taking on the league’s worst penalty kill unit. Can Seattle take advantage of this matchup?

                A) The Thunderbirds went 1/5 on the power play. Some better finishing on their chances could have seen a different end result for the Thunderbirds.

Q) A potential reunion is on hand for the Honey twins: Seattle’s Connor Honey and Brandon’s Curtis Honey are both hopeful of playing against one another in this matchup. Should be fun to see the two battle.

                A) Curtis Honey was indeed in net for Brandon, and he got the better of his brother, Seattle’s Connor Honey, in this matchup. Connor was held scoreless while Curtis got the win for the Wheat Kings.

November 7, 2012

At Regina 5, Seattle 2

(Post-gameStats)

The Thunderbirds came back from an early two-goal deficit in the second period to tie the game 2-2. Seattle tied the game in the second on two power-play goals. The first came from defenseman Shea Theodore 1:51 into the period, followed by Justin Hickman’s goal on the man advantage. After failing to convert a 5-on-3 opportunity after tying the game, Seattle surrendered three unanswered goals to the Pats, with the final tally at 5-2. Shots were 45-22 in favor of Seattle. Goaltender Justin Myles was in net for the Thunderbirds.

Keys From Last Week

Q) The Pats are coming off a win over division-leaders Prince Albert on Saturday. Will the Thunderbirds be able to counter any momentum Regina may have going for them?

                A) Regina got a 2-0 lead, but Seattle battled back to tie it and could have gone ahead on a long 5-on-3 power play. But Regina roared back and countered with three unanswered goals.

Q) Again, the special teams matchup looks to be favorable for the Thunderbirds. Any special teams goals can be a big help on the road.

                A) Two power-play goals were a good sign for the T-Birds. One more power-play goal may have changed the momentum completely for the Birds.

November 9, 2012

At Prince Albert 3, Seattle 0

(Post-gameStats)

The Thunderbirds were shut-out by the Raiders on Friday, losing 3-0 at Prince Albert’s Art Hauser Centre. Luke Siemens stopped all 28 Thunderbird shots, and improved his record to 12-4-0-2. Seattle goalie Brandon Glover stopped 28 of 31 shots, taking his record to 7-7-1-0 on the year. The Raiders outshot Seattle 31-28 for the game.

Keys From Last Week

Q) Can the T-Birds offense (3.2 goals scored per-game) score enough goals to win against one of the best goalies in the league in Luke Siemens?

                A) It was not to be. Siemens posted a shutout here, stopping all 28 shots the Thunderbirds threw at him.

Q) With a day of rest coming after back-to-back games on the November and 6 and 7, will the T-Birds still be fresh with the last two games left to play of their road trip through the East Division?

                A) The lack of scoring may say enough, but you can’t discount the goaltending by Siemens making the Thunderbirds offense struggle.

November 10, 2012

Seattle 6, at Saskatoon 2

(Post-gameStats)

Four goals in the span of 4:16 in the third period helped pushed the Thunderbirds to a 6-2 victory over Saskatoon. Shea Theodore opened the game’s scoring on a power-play goal 3:59 into the first period to get the T-Birds in front 1-0. Another power-play goal, this one coming from Seth Swenson at 18:53 of the first, pushing the lead to 2-0 before Saskatoon scored 18:02 into the second to get one back. Seattle then scored four goals in the third period, eliminating any chance of a Blades comeback. Roberts Lipsbergs, Alexander Delnov, Connor Canvido, and Connor Honey had the goals for the Thunderbirds, with the first three coming within 44 second. Seattle outshot Saskatoon 41-32 for the game, and Brandon Glover got his eighth win of the season, bringing his record to 8-7-1-0.

Keys From Last Week

Q) Josh Nicholls is currently on a three-game scoring streak, with five goals and two assists coming in those three games. Can Seattle stop his hot hand and keep off the score sheet?

                A) Nicholls was held off the score sheet. Seattle’s big third period was the key, but keeping a talented forward like Nicholls in check is a big help.

Q) The last game in Seattle’s eastern road trip, the Thunderbirds will be looking to take advantage of the leaky Saskatoon defense (3.8 goals allowed) to get a victory before starting a five-game home-stand.

                A) The final game of Seattle’s trip through the Eastern Division saw the Thunderbirds end on a high note. The 4-goal margin of victory was the highest of any win for the Thunderbirds so far this season.

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Med Hat



Medicine Hat Tigers


Friday, November 16, 2012 (7:35 PM) @ ShoWare Center, Kent, Washington

Season Series: 0-0-0-0

The Tigers currently sit in fourth place in the Central Division with 23 points, six points below top-ranked Calgary. They have posted an overall record of 11-10-1-0 through 22 games, and are 7-3-0-0 in their last 10, making up significant ground in the process. They recently defeated Moose Jaw 5-2 on November 9 and lost 5-3 to Victoria on November 10.

Offensively

Medicine Hat has scored an average of 3.8 goals per game this season, putting them first in that category in their division with a total of 83 goals scored. They scored 10 goals against Calgary on October 26, the highest output for them so far this season. Their power-play unit ranks sixth in the CHL with a conversion rate of 24.4%.

The Tigers have two talented forwards leading their offense: C Curtis Valk leads the team in points with 34, one ahead of LW Hunter Shinkaruk with 33 points. They both are tied with 15 goals on the season, but Valk’s 19 assists tops Shinkaruk’s 18 helpers. Valk and Shinkaruk are currently third and fourth in the CHL in scoring, respectively.

Defensively

LaniganWhile fielding the highest-scoring offense in the division, only the Red Deer Rebels have let in as many goals per-game as the Tigers within the division, averaging 3.3 goals-against. Their penalty kill ranks 16th in the WHL with a success rate of 75.9%, allowing 20 power-play goals thus far.

The Tigers traded for former Winterhawks goalie Cam Lanigan on October 17, and he has established himself as the Tiger’s first-choice goaltender. He has posted a 2.61 GAA and a .924 SV% in 10 games for Medicine Hat. His backup, Marek Langhamer, has posted a 3.30 GAA and a .884 SV% in 10 games.

What To Watch For

Tiger goalie Cam Lanigan beat Seattle in the T-Birds home opener (as a Winterhawk) on September 22, letting in two goals. Can the T-Birds get revenge on Lanigan in his new uniform?

Medicine Hat has scored the most goals of any team in their division (83). Can the Seattle defense keep the Tigers at bay?

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Spokane Logo



Spokane Chiefs


Saturday, November 17, 2012 (7:05 PM) @ ShoWare Center, Kent, Washington

Season Series: 1-2-0-0

The Chiefs are second in the US Division with 28 points. Their overall record of 14-7-0-0 puts them five points behind Portland (33) for the top-spot, and they are 6-4-0-0 over their last 10 games. The Chiefs beat Kamloops 5-2 on November 9 and lost to Portland 9-1 on November 10.

OffensivelyHolmberg

Spokane boasts the second-highest scoring offense in the US Division, averaging 3.9 goals per-game with a total of 82 goals. Portland is the only team that has scored more goals, with 92. The Chiefs’ power play is very solid, sitting fourth in the CHL with a success rate of 26.6%.

Spokane’s Mitch Holmberg is 13th in the league in scoring, and leads his team with 26 points on 12 goals and 14 assists. C Dylan Walchuk is not far behind Holmberg with 22 points. Walcuhk’s 16 assists lead the Chiefs, and he has also tallied six goals.

Defensively

Spokane isn’t necessarily carried by their offense, but their defense ranks third in the division, averaging 2.9 goals-against per-game through 21 games. Their penalty posts a very solid 82.1% successful kill rate, putting it seventh in the CHL rankings.

The Chiefs top goaltender is Eric Williams. Williams has played in 17 games this season, logging 925 minutes of ice time so far. He has posted a 2.92 GAA and a .897 SV%.

What To Watch For

Seattle has actually done a good job of limiting Holmberg’s production in the three games against Spokane this year; he’s tallied three points on one goal and two assists. Can the T-Birds keep him from being a game-changer this time around?

Seattle’s power play is the top-ranked unit in the league. Can the blistering play continue on the Thunderbird special teams?

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COMING NEXT WEEK

November 21 vs. Kootenay

November 24 vs. Portland


November 19, 2012 – November 25, 2012

Recap | Kootenay | Portland |  2011-2012 Archive




RECAP

November 16, 2012

Seattle 4, vs. Medicine Hat 3

(Post-game €“ Stats)

The Thunderbirds went down 1-0 on a Tigers power-play goal midway through the first period after dominating the first 10 minutes of the game. Two goals in the second period gave Seattle a 2-1 lead heading into the third. Seth Swenson scored his seventh of the season 6:23 in when Connor Sanvido screened a Tigers defenseman and their goalie, allowing Swenson’s shot to beat Cam Lanigan on his glove-side. A power-play goal from Alexander Delnov gave the Thunderbirds a 2-1 lead after he skated through a mash-up of players at the blue line and faked Lanigan on a mini breakaway, lifting the puck over his pads into the open net. Hunter Shinkaruk scored for the Tigers to tie the game 2-2 in the third, but Delnov responded with a wonder goal to give the lead back to Seattle. He received the puck at the red line and rocketed up the right boards. He drove past a defender and dragged the puck across the crease with his top hand while shielding the puck from the defender with his other. Lanigan’s poke-check missed and Delnov tapped in to the empty net while falling over Lanigan’s pad. Shinkaruk again tied the game for Medicine Hat, but Roberts Lipsbergs responded quickly with the final goal to give Seattle the 4-3 win. Connor Sanvido’s shot rebounded off of Lanigan, and Lipsbergs spun to his forehand and fired a shot past Lanigan with 4:03 remaining in the game. Brandon Glover stopped 34 of 37 shots for the T-Birds.

Keys From Last Week

Q) Tiger goalie Cam Lanigan beat Seattle in the T-Birds home opener (as a Winterhawk) on September 22, letting in two goals. Can the T-Birds get revenge on Lanigan in his new uniform?

                A) The T-Birds got 4 goals past Lanigan on Friday night. Swenson, Delnov, and Lipsbergs scored the Seattle, getting some revenge for their previous loss to Lanigan at ShoWare this year.

Q) Medicine Hat has scored the most goals of any team in their division (83). Can the Seattle defense keep the Tigers at bay?

                A) Shinkaruk added two more goals to his record, but the T-Birds did enough on defense to get the win. Allowing three goals to the top-scoring team in the Central Division is no small feat.

November 17, 2012

Spokane 3, at Seattle 1

(Post-game €“ Stats)

Seattle lost a tough game 3-1 against Spokane Saturday night. Seattle had two power-play opportunities each in the first two periods, but couldn’t convert and ended up being down 1-0 heading into the third after Todd Fiddler scored for Spokane 1:30 into the second period. Fiddler added another goal 14:32 into the third period, but Roberts Lipsberg’s third goal is as many games made for an exciting final minutes of the game. The T-Birds pulled Brandon Glover and looked dangerously close to tying the game late after several chances in the Chiefs zone, but Fiddler picked up a loose puck in his own zone and fired it down the ice into the empty net for his third goal of the night, taking the final tally to 3-1 Spokane. Shots for the night were 35-34 Seattle.

Keys From last Week

Q) Seattle has actually done a good job of limiting Holmberg’s production in the three games against Spokane this year; he’s tallied three points on one goal and two assists. Can the T-Birds keep him from being a game-changer this time around?

                A) Holmberg was kept off the scoresheet on Saturday night, registering no points. His lack of production was mooted by Fiddler’s three goals and Eric Williams’ play between the pipes for Spokane.

Q) Seattle’s power play is the top-ranked unit in the league. Can the blistering play continue on the Thunderbird special teams?

                A) The Thunderbirds went 0-4 on the power play, missing opportunities to blow the game open and get on the board early. Williams was huge in net for Spokane, as the power play unit missed a chance to change the game for Seattle.

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Kootenay



Kootenay Ice


Wednesday, November 21, 2012 (7:05 PM) @ ShoWare Center, Kent, Washington

Season Series: 0-0-0-0

The Kootenay Ice currently sit in sixth place in the Central Division with 15 points. They are eight points behind Medicine Hat, and have an overall record of 7-12-1-0. In their last 10 games, the Ice are 3-6-1-0, but they are currently on a three-game winning streak. They beat Calgary 4-0 on November 12, Brandon 5-3 on November 16, and shut out the Wheat Kings the next night 4-0 on November 17.

Offensively

The Kootenay Ice have scored a total of 51 goals in 20 games, averaging 2.6 goals scored per-game, which is tied for last in their division with Red Deer. Their power play is ranked only 17th in the league, standing at a 16.5% success rate.Reinhart

The Ice have three scorers with double-digit points. C Sam Reinhart leads the team with 20 points (8 g, 12a), while two players sit tied at 17 points: RW Brock Montgomery leads the Ice with 11 goals (and six assists), while C Jaedon Descheneau leads Kootenay with 13 assists (and four goals).

Defensively

The Ice have let in 65 goals through 20 games, averaging to 3.3 goals per-game. This places them fifth (out of six teams) in their division for that category. Kootenay’s penalty kill unit ranks the same as their power play, 17th. They successfully kill off 76.6% of opponent’s power plays.

Kootenay field two solid goaltenders: Mackenzie Skapski has seen the majority of the ice time for Kootenay, logging 888 minutes so far and posting a 3.04 GAA and a .887 SV% in the 17 games he’s played in. Wyatt Hoflin, meanwhile, has logged 307 minutes of game time, posted a 3.33 GAA, and a .864 SV%. Skapski was in goal for both wins against Brandon last week, so expect him to be between the pipes this weekend as well.

What To Watch For

Kootenay’s leading scorer, Brock Montgomery with 11 goals, is listed as having an upper body injury that may keep him out for 1-2 weeks. It would appear one of the biggest threats to the T-Birds for Kootenay will be missing from action.

The special-teams matchups favor Seattle. After going 0-4 on the power play against Spokane, the Thunderbirds would like to get back on track with their league-leading PP unit (27.5%).

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Portland Logo



Portland Winterhawks


Saturday, November 24, 2012 (&:05 PM) @ ShoWare Center, Kent, Washington

Season Series: 1-2-0-0

After 22 games played, Portland sits in first place in the US Division with an overall record of 17-4-1-0. Their 35 points puts them three ahead of Tri-City, who have played two more games. They are 9-1-0-0 in their last 10 games and are coming off a 6-4 loss to Kamloops on November 16 and a 5-2 win over Medicine Hat on November 17. They face Vancouver on November 21 before heading to Seattle.

Offensively

PetanPortland’s high-octane offense has pushed them to the top of the US Division, averaging a ridiculous 4.6 goals per-game, the most of any team in the division. Their 101 total goals are the most of any team in the CHL, with Kamloops a close second with 100, but having played three more games. Their power play is 12th in the league, converting 19.4% of their chances.

Portland’s offense is lead by C Nicolas Petan, whose 37 points lead the team, with 26 assists being good enough for third in the WHL. RW Ty Rattie is Portland’s leading goal scorer, with 14 goals. His 17 assists put him second in Winterhawk scoring with 31 points. The Winterhawks also have the leading scorer for all rookies, in RW Oliver Bjorkstrand (11-10-21) to make for a tough matchup for the Seattle defense.

Defensively

The Winterhawks defense is very stingy, allowing a division-best 2.2 goals per-game so far this season. They also field the second-best penalty kill unit in the league, killing off 89.4% of opponent’s power-play chances.

After trading Cam Lanigan to Medicine Hat, they have two goalies that have split ice time for the Winterhawks. Mac Carruth has logged 555 minutes of ice time, and posted a very impressive 1.41 GAA and .947 SV% in the 10 games he’s played in. He has split time with Brendan Burke, whose numbers are still a respectable 3.27 GAA and .878 SV% in 587 minutes. The two goalies alternated against Kamloops and Medicine Hat last weekend. Defender Derek Pouliott is also worth mentioning here, as he is tied for fourth on the team with 21 points, 16 of which have been helpers from the blue-liner.

What To Watch For

Again, special teams could be huge in this matchup. Seattle’s #1-ranked power play (27.5%) will be tested against the second-ranked penalty kill unit (89.4%).

Three of the brightest young players in the WHL will be featured in this matchup: Portland’s Oliver Bjorkstrand (11-10-212) is first in rookie scoring, while Seattle’s Alexander Delnov sits third (8-9-17) and Roberts Lipsbergs sixth (5-10-15).

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COMING NEXT WEEK

November 27 vs. Everett

November 30 at Portland


November 26, 2012 – December 2, 2012

Recap | Portland | Kelowna | Kamloops |  2011-2012 Archive




RECAP

November 27, 2012

Seattle 5, vs. Everett 3

(Post-game €“ Stats)

Roberts Lipsbergs scored a hat trick Tuesday night at ShoWare Center to help the Thunderbirds beat the Everett Silvertips 5-3. Lipsbergs scored the first two goals for Seattle, and Jesse Forsberg added a short-handed goal in the second period to open up a 3-0 lead. Everett eventually tied the game 3-3 in the second period, but Lipsbergs sealed his hat trick with Seattle’s fourth of the night, and Justin Hickman added a fifth to take the final tally to 5-3.

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Portland Logo



Portland Winterhawks


Friday, November 30, 2012 (7:00 PM) @ The Rose Garden, Portland, Oregon

Season Series: 1-3-0-0

The Portland Winterhawks currently hold the top spot in the US Division of the WHL with a six point lead over Spokane. Their overall record of 20-4-1-0 gives them 41 points through 25 games. They are 9-1-0-0 over the last ten games and are currently on a 4-game win streak. They beat the Thunderbirds 8-2 in their last meeting on November 24.

The Winterhawks boast three of the top ten scorers in the WHL in Nicolas Petan (16-28-44), Brendan Leipsic (15-23-38), and Ty Rattie (15-23-38). Derrick Pouliot has 19 assists from the blue line, and Oliver Bjorkstrand is tied for second (with Seattle’s Alexander Delnov) in rookie scoring with 23 points.

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Kelowna Rockets


Saturday, December 1, 2012 (7:05 PM) @ ShoWare Center, Kent, Washington

Season Series: 0-0-0-0

The Kelowna Rockets come to ShoWare Saturday evening for their first matchup with Seattle this season. They currently are in second place in the BC Division, eight points behind the Kamloops Blazers. Their record of 16-8-1-1 is good enough for 34 points through 26 games. LW Myles Bell is fourth in the WHL in scoring with 17 goals, 22 assist, and 39 points. RW Colton Sissons (10-16-26), LW Zach Franko (11-13-24), and RW Dylen McKinlay (7-17-24) round out the rest of Kelowna’s leading scorers. The Rockets have scored the most goals this season of any WHL team, with 106 total goals.

Goaltender Jordan Cooke has played in 20 games for the Rockets, posting a 2.68 GAA and a .907 SV% while in net.

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Kamloops Blazers

 

Sunday, December 2, 2012 (5:05 PM) @ ShoWare Center, Kent, Washington

 

Season Series: 0-1-1-0

 

After facing the second-ranked team in the BC Division on Saturday, the Thunderbirds take on the top-ranked team in the division on Sunday. The Kamloops Blazers have a record of 20-6-1-1, leaving them with 41 points through 28 games. The Thunderbirds get little respite over the weekend when it comes to talented forwards, as Kamloops fields three of the top five scorers in the WHL. RW JC Lipon leads the league with 21 goals, 32 assists, for 53 points, while C Colin Smith is second with 19 goals, 33 assists, and 52 points. LW Tim Bozon is fifth in the league with 16 goals, 22 assists for 38 points.

 

Cole Cheveldave has been the Blazer’s number one goalie this season, playing in 21 games and posting a record of 15-5-0-0, a 2.34 GAA, and a .910 SV%.

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COMING NEXT WEEK

December 6 at Tri-City

December 7 at Everett

December 8 vs. Portland