T-Birds comeback against Brandon falls short

Nov 7, 2012, 6:50 AM | Updated: 6:50 am

By Andrew Eide

The Seattle Thunderbirds continued their Eastern Conference swing Tuesday night and seemed to follow the same script as the previous games. Coming out slow and tentative to start the game the T-Birds found themselves down 3-0 to the Brandon Wheat Kings before pushing back late in the game. The comeback would fall just short however and Brandon and earned themselves a 5-3 victory.

“We had a bad first period,” Head coach Steve Konowalchuk said. “We got behind the eight-ball and couldn’t quite climb out of it.

The Wheat Kings struck first with two similar goals. Jens Meilleur and Tyrel Seaman cashed in on plays where the puck went behind the Seattle net and nobody covered the two Brandon forwards in front where they banged home goals. Seattle managed nine shots in the first but could not beat Brandon goalie Curtis Honey.

Seattle found their deficit increase three minutes into the second when defenseman John Quenneville fired a slap shot from the circle that beat Brandon Glover and just like that the Wheat Kings had a 3-0 lead.

“We have a few guys who want to feel their way through the start of the game,” Konowalchuk said. “You can’t play that way. Some of it is experience, a little of it is courage to play on the road.”

Down by three goals the T-Birds woke up and started playing good hockey. They began peppering Honey with pucks and managed to get on the board with a Riley Sheen power play goal. The comeback was delayed a bit as Brandon quickly got their three goal advantage back as Eric Roy knocked home a rebound in front of Glover.

Seattle kept coming however and Luke Lockhart was able to score on a scramble play in front of the Brandon net with .1 second left in the second period. Would that goal give the T-Birds some life?

It appeared that it did. Seattle was dominant in the third period and cut the deficit to one goal as Connor Sanvido scored on a sneaky wrist shot four-and-a-half minutes into the third. With plenty of time left it felt like a Seattle comeback was in the cards. They continued to pepper the Brandon net and ended up out-shooting the Wheat Kings 22-6 in the period.

They could not beat Honey however.

Honey was a wall for Brandon and with about five minutes left in the game made a save that sealed the win. Riley Sheen had the goaltender down and took a shot that somehow Honey was able to get his glove on. Sheen threw his head up in disbelief that he did not score.

“He(Honey) was good,” Konowalchuk said. “We put a lot of pucks on net, he made a good save on Sheen and we were just not able to get it done.”

A couple of minutes later Brandon sealed the deal with an empty net goal and Seattle saw their record drop to 8-8-1-0. They have not time to dwell on the game as they take on the Regina Pats Wednesday at 5 pm.

Game Notes –

Curtis Honey was the star for the Wheat Kings making 38 saves. He is the twin brother of Seattle’s Connor Honey. Connor did not figure in the scoring but did get a couple of shots on his brother.

One key to this game was the power play. Seattle was 1-for-5 with the man advantage against the worst penalty kill in the WHL and was a missed opportunity for Seattle.

This was Brandon’s first victory against a U.S. Division team this year, they had lost the previous three meetings.

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