By Andrew Eide
Everett – The Seattle Thunderbirds December to forget grew longer Saturday night as they dropped a second straight game to the Everett Silvertips by a 2-1 score. Unlike Friday’s 2-1 loss, Saturday’s game was not decided until overtime when Josh Winquist ended it on a breakaway with his second goal of the night. Other than that the game was very similar in that it featured several good chances for Seattle, strong goal tending by Everett’s Austin Lotz and a bucket full of blocked shots by the Silvertips.
“We’ve got to shoot the puck harder,” head coach Steve Konowalchuk said. “I thought we played a pretty good game, I thought we had a lot of the ice time advantage as far as territory goes. We were too fine with our shots but we kept coming, finally got a goal but it was a disappointing end.”
Seattle (16-18-2-1) was trailing 1-0 until late in the third period before Seth Swenson tied the game up with less than five minutes left in the game. Prior to that they kept throwing pucks at Lotz but had been unable to beat him. The T-Birds were unable to get a second goal and the game slipped away in overtime as Winquist got behind the Seattle defense and made a nice move on Brandon Glover to get the win for Everett.
The T-Birds were not without their chances to win the game. Their power play, which has been good all year, had a second straight bad night going 0-for-5 Saturday. As with the five-on-five play the power play saw Everett blocking shots and Seattle playing a bit timidly.
“A lot of the same,” Konowalchuk said. “We had a couple chances there, they tightened up but they give you the outside shots and we have to be willing to take them. Again, the same thing, sometimes we had the play there but we didn’t execute them. We missed one-timers or whatever play’s there, we have to execute, other times we hesitated.”
Everett (15-22-0-2) got the game’s first goal, in the second period, when Winquist got his first goal after walking in front and getting a puck up high and past Glover.
From there Lotz and the Everett defense clogged the slot, blocked shots and it almost seemed that one goal was going to win it – until Swenson’s goal in the third.
Despite getting one point in the standing the T-Birds are reeling as they have lost seven straight now and head into a stretch that sees them play Portland, Kamloops and three games with Spokane. Those three teams are arguably the three best teams in the Western Conference.
“You know what, it wasn’t a bad hockey game,” Konowalchuk said. “We have to execute, we have to put the puck in the net…there were a lot of things to like other than we didn’t score, didn’t get the win.”
Connor Honey left the game in the second period with an injury. Konowalchuk said that Honey got banged up but wasn’t sure how serious it was.
Brendan Troock caused a scare in T-Birds fans in the third period when he stayed on the ice after a big hit on the boards. He got up slowly, holding his left arm and skated to the bench. It was his second game back after missing two months of hockey with a shoulder injury, but the good news is that he returned to the ice in overtime and Konowalchuk felt that he would be OK.
Brandon Glover was the hard luck loser for a second straight night. He was excellent again Saturday night and made 28 saves on 30 shots on the night.
Yahoo’s Kelly Friesen reported on twitter last night that Prince George forward, and former number one bantam pick, Alex Forsberg has left the club and is asking for a trade. The speculation amongst the media mucky-mucks has been that Forsberg would be a good fit for Seattle, who is looking for a forward. This is purely speculation, and Forsberg will be pricey, but it will be interesting to see which teams might be involved in trying to land him.
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