KENT – It took overtime and a shootout but the Thunderbirds continued their home mastery over the Everett Silvertips Saturday night.
Seattle had beaten Everett in the accesso ShoWare Center 10 straight times coming into Saturday’s match up but this one wouldn’t be easy as the Thunderbirds found themselves trailing 2-1 midway into the third period. On a power-play chance, the Thunderbirds crashed the net in a scramble and Matthew Wedman was able to find the puck and beat Carter Hart to get the game tied.
That would set up a scoreless overtime and a shootout where Austin Strand would be the only player to convert to send Seattle to a 3-2 win.
“I just saw (Nolan) Volcan whacking at it,” Wedman said of his 10th goal of the year. “I just found a little spot open and chipped it in there.”
The win made it 11 straight for Seattle (27-17-4-2) over the Silvertips at home and snaps Everett’s eight-game win streak.
After losing to Everett the night before, the Thunderbirds made some adjustments and put in a more complete effort.
“They’re hard fought battles every time with those guys,” Seattle head coach Matt O’Dette said. “I thought we improved on last night’s effort, cleaned a couple things we needed to. I’m really proud of the way the guys battled.”
Liam Hughes kicked out 34 Silvertips shots and stopped all three skaters in the shootout for his ninth win of the year. It was his second straight start since missing five games to injury and he was sharp. Hart, the league’s top goalie, made 29 saves in the loss.
“He’s done a great job in there,” O’Dette said his goalie. “Just calm and cool and he makes the big saves when he needs to. When there’s a breakdown he’s there to slam the door.”
The Thunderbirds also ended a string of eight games where they allowed a power-play goal against by killing off both Everett chances. The biggest was a third-period kill that came after a late call on Mike MacLean.
“Some of our details slipped over the past few games,” O’Dette said of the penalty kill. “We buckled down on some of that. We didn’t feel the call on Mike was good, we bound together and dug deep to get the kill. Good job by those guys to pick Mike up and get the kill.”
Seattle also got a look at its future on Saturday as the club recalled 2017 first-round Bantam pick Payton Mount to fill in for the injured Sami Moilanen.
The rookie played on a line with Dillon Hamailuk and Samual Huo and while he didn’t figure in the scoring, he turned in some strong shifts.
“I got the call at 10:30 last night to come down this morning to play,” Mount said. “It’s just really exciting to play my first game. I was actually lying in bed watching a movie and my dad came down to say they needed me in Seattle.”
Like it did on Friday night, Everett (31-19-1-2) opened the scoring in the first period. Connor Dewar fired a wrist shot from the circle at 3:44. Blake Barger would tie the game at 7:34 of the second period when he banged home a centering pass from Noah Philp. It was Bargar’s 10th of the year and ignited the crowd of 5,746.
Everett took a lead seven minutes into the third period on a fine pass from Garret Pilon to the front of the net where Dewar knocked in his second of the night. After Wedman tied it and Seattle failed on a 4-on-3 power-play attempt in overtime, the game went to a shootout.
It was the third straight shootout the Thunderbirds have played in at home and like the two previous, they would come out on top. Hughes shut the door while Strand was able to squeeze a shot through Hart’s pads for what would be the winner.
Seattle hopped on the team bus right after the game to head across the pass to take on the Tri-City Americans Sunday afternoon in Kennewick. It will be the third game in as many nights for Seattle but is followed by a full week without any games.
“Take care of ourselves, make sure we’re eating and getting hydrated,” O’Dette said about gearing up for Sunday. “Getting as much rest as we can tonight and tomorrow. After this we don’t play for a while, so we’ll empty the tanks.”
• Mount will travel with the team to Kennewick and after that, could be sent back home. He is only permitted to play five games until his Midget team’s season ends. He has been playing with the Delta Hockey Academy in Vancouver and has piled up 36 points in 19 games.
• O’Dette was impressed with the rookie. “He was solid, he’s a smart player,” O’Dette said. “The kind of player that you just throw into the fire there. He’s got the smarts and knows where to be and I thought he played real well for us.”
• Hughes is 3-1 in the shootout this season.
• Everett had been 10-4-2-0 when leading after one period, as they did on Saturday. Seattle was able to erase that deficit as well as a 2-1 deficit in the third period.