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Thunderbirds’ struggles continue in loss at Everett

Nov 17, 2017, 11:19 PM | Updated: Nov 20, 2017, 4:15 pm
Seattle's Turner Ottenbreit fights for position with former teammate Luke Ormsby during Seattle's 3...
Seattle's Turner Ottenbreit fights for position with former teammate Luke Ormsby during Seattle's 3-2 loss (Chris Mast via AP Images)
(Chris Mast via AP Images)

EVERETT – The last thing the struggling Seattle Thunderbirds needed to see Friday night was Everett goalie Carter Hart.

The Philadelphia Flyers prospect made 31 saves at the Xfinity Arena to lead his Silvertips to a 3-2 win that sends the Thunderbirds to their fifth straight defeat. Seattle out shot and out played Everett for most of the game but Hart would be the difference that allowed the Silvertips to win with a late tally.

Nolan Volcan would score twice for Seattle but it wouldn’t be enough in what would be a frustrating evening for the Thunderbirds.

“There are no moral victories in the game of hockey,” Seattle coach Matt O’Dette said after.

From the start of the game, the Thunderbirds controlled the puck and peppered the Silvertips net 12-5 in the first period. They took a lead, created chances, but one mistake would allow Everett (10-10-1-1) to tie and eventually find the late game-winning marker.

Despite chances against Hart, Seattle (9-9-1-1) continued its struggles to score, which opened them up to have that mistake cost them.

“Like I keep saying, the margin for error is not very big when you’re not scoring goals and playing against a goalie like that,” O’Dette said. “We play well for a good chunk of that game. What’s been an issue for us is the big mistake at the wrong time of the game.”

As they did the last time in Everett, the Thunderbirds struck first. Volcan slapped a loose puck past Hart from the slot after a scramble play in front of the Silvertips net at 9:12 of the first period.

Seattle continued to control the play after surviving a five-minute power play that continued into the second period. The Thunderbirds got back to pushing the pace but that one mistake sprung up and the Silvertips tied the game at 13:01 of the second period.

It would come while Seattle was on a power play. They turned the puck over at the blue line and Patrick Bajkov intercepted it with nothing but open ice ahead of him. He made a move, got Liam Hughes down and slid the puck past him.

It was Bajkov’s 11th of the season as the 20-year-old became the second highest scorer in Everett history.

“Obviously, that short-handed goal was the play tonight,” O’Dette said of the goal. “We were controlling that game pretty well, that gave them some life. Similar story, we played extremely hard and a key mistake at the wrong time.”

The two teams would remain deadlocked into the third period and overtime seemed like a possibility.

Everett would end that possibility at the 15:10 mark when Hughes couldn’t handle a shot from Sean Richards and Reece Vitelli was there to bang home his second of the year.

The Silvertips would add an empty net goal from Richards to make it 3-1 before Volcan would score his second with just 11 seconds left in the game.

Seattle out shot the Silvertps 33-26 and missed on its two power-play opportunities. They created chances all night long but couldn’t get enough pucks past Hart.

“We’ve got to get multiple attempts at the net with traffic,” O’Dette said about his offense. “(Hart’s) not going to get beat clean many times with a clear shot. We have to get bodies in front of him and take away his eyes.

The Thunderbirds will get an immediate chance for revenge as the two teams will play again Saturday night, this time at the ShoWare Center in Kent.

“Let it sting, it doesn’t feel good,” O’Dette said about his message to the team after. “Take the positives out of this game and move forward and apply them to tomorrow’s game… guys are disappointed, but we’ll be ready tomorrow night to face these guys again.”

Notes

• Bajkov’s goal was his 217th point with Everett which moved him past Josh Winquist for second all-time in Silvertips scoring. He also added an assist and trails Zach Hamil by 44 points for the top spot.

• Seattle was without Sami Moilanen who is listed day-to-day with an upper body injury.

• Donovan Nuels was in the lineup Friday despite suffering from a hand injury in Seattle’s 6-4 loss to Prince Albert this past Tuesday.

• Volcan’s two-goal night gives him points in eight of his last nine games and the speedy winger is on pace to smash his career high in points set last year at 44.

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