T-Birds out shoot Moose Jaw in 4-3 win
By Andrew Eide
The Seattle Thunderbirds showed they had some resiliency Saturday night in Moose Jaw as they twice came from behind to eventually beat the Warriors 4-3 in a shoot out. After surviving the overtime period Seattle got shoot out conversions from Alex Delnov and Riley Sheen, along with goalie Brandon Glover stopping two of the three Moose Jaw shooters, to secure the win. After scuffling in the first two games of their road trip Saturday was a nice bounce back for Seattle.
“They were resilient,” Head Coach Steve Konowalchuk said afterwards. “They didn’t quit, even after that third goal which could have killed us.”
The game started off looking like Seattle might be in for another long night. They spent most of the period pinned in their own end chasing the puck and were out-shot 10-5. Moose Jaw took advantage and built a 2-0 lead behind goals from Andrew Johnson and Tanner Eberle. It looked like we might be in for a repeat of last weeks 8-2 blow out in Spokane.
This night would be different. The first big moment came late in the first when Seth Swenson took an interference penalty with just over three minutes left in period. Down two goals already a goal would put the game away for sure. The T-Birds penalty kill has been good all year and came up huge on Saturday. They killed off the late penalty and kept the game within reach.
“That’s a huge kill,” Konowalchuk said. “Once most teams get that third goal, its a tough hill to climb. The penalty kill has been the difference for us.”
Killing big penalties can also build some momentum and it seemed to do so for Seattle as the T-Birds came out flying in the second period. This time they were the team in control of the puck, they were winning the forecheck battle and they out shot Moose Jaw 13-5. That great work paid off late in the period as a Brendan Rouse shot deflected to Seth Swenson who had the whole net at his disposal and scored his second goal in as many nights.
“We definitely weren’t ready to play in the first,” Konowalchuk said. “It was a tough sled for us but they buckled down and turned it around. I didn’t say a whole lot to them (between periods). They know how to play, they know what to do, they know they got out-worked in the first.”
The T-Birds completed the climb early in the third, on the power play, as Luke Lockhart made a nice pass out front to Roberts Lipsbergs who scored on a nice wrist shot. The T-Birds were flying high and came close several times to taking the lead but Moose Jaw goalie Daniel Wapple made some spectacular saves. That got the Warriors going a bit and they took the lead 10 minutes in as Sam Fioretti knocked home a rebound.
The T-Birds kept coming though and after drawing another penalty they tied it back up with five minutes left. On the power play Shea Theodore took a shot that went wide and rebounded back out in front where Rouse was parked to score his fourth of the season.
In the overtime period things looked bleak again as Evan Wardley took a boarding penalty putting Moose Jaw on a 4-on-3 power play for the last two minutes. The T-Birds killed off that penalty with an effort that Konowalchuk called ‘gutsy’. There were many heroes as Glover made some big saves, Rouse hustled to clear the puck and Jesse Forsberg made some big blocks just before the buzzer.
Seattle would then go on to pick up the second point in the shoot out and raise their record to 8-7-1-0. The T-Birds next play on November 6th against the Brandon Wheat Kings.