T-Birds come up flat in Portland, lose 6-1

Oct 21, 2012, 8:47 AM | Updated: 8:48 am

By Andrew Eide

Over the long haul of a hockey season there will be good games and terrible games. Seattle’s 6-1 loss to Portland Saturday night falls squarely in the later catergory. The T-Birds had been playing well, winning three in a row before dropping a tough loss to Spokane Friday night and played with little passion Saturday.

Waiting for them in Portland was a Winterhawks team that had not played in a week and was looking for some payback for Seattle’s opening night victory in the Rose Garden. After the game Head Coach Steve Konowalchuk sounded pretty frustrated with his team’s effort.

“I actually liked half of our guys, how they played, we had half the team that was horrible,” he said.

As they did in Spokane, the T-Birds got on the board first as Luke Lockhart scored his sixth goal of the season after some good pressure by Seattle. After not being able to generate much offense the night before this was a good sign for the T-Birds. Portland pushed back however and tied the game up six minutes later when Dominic Turgeon beat Brandon Glover for his first goal of the season.

Five minutes later Chase De Leo had the puck below Seattle’s end line and drew several defenders with him which left Taylor Peters alone in front of the net. De Leo got him the puck and he fired it past Glover, who had little to no chance to make the stop.

A turning point in the game may have been the second when Portland out-shot Seattle 15-3 as the T-Birds again were not able to generate any sustained pressure and seemed a bit flat. The back breaking moment may have come with two seconds left in the period.

With a face off in the Seattle end Portland pulled Mac Curruth for an extra skater. After a scramble off the face off Nic Petan was able to get the puck to Troy Rutkowski, who was left alone right in front and he beat Glover for the third Portland goal just before the horn. The offials went to the replay video to make sure the puck hit the back of the net before time expired. The end result was that Rutkowski beat the clock and the goal stood.

In the third period Seattle had a couple of early power play opportunities but was unable to cash in. The frustration seemed to be building for the team and with six minutes left Jesse Forsberg roughed up Ty Rattie and got into a scrap with Adam De Champlain. That seemed to ignite Portland as they then went on a goal scoring barrage and scored three more goals as Seattle seemed to stop skating.

“It’s a 3-1 game and if we keep playing, we’re in it,” Konowalchuk said about the third period. “Then Forsberg got in a fight and the flood gates opened. We had too many passengers tonight.”

Seattle seemed flat the whole night and did not play with a lot of spark or energy. After making the long bus ride from Spokane they got into Portland around one in the morning. With Portland well rested it seemed to have an affect on the game. Steve Konowalchuk was not buying that as an excuse however.

“Yeah we got in late,” he said. “But half the guys can play and half stink, so I don’t think that was it. We need to work on paying the price for your teammates and working hard all game.”

With the loss Seattle falls to 5-5-0-0 and will get a chance to right the ship this coming weekend where they will play three games in three nights against Tri-City, Everett and Kamloops.

Game Notes

In a match up of the second best power play in the league against the second best penalty kill Portland got the better of it as they held Seattle scoreless on three attempts. Portland cashed in on one of their four chances.

Mitch Elliot returned to the lineup after missing two games with the flue that had been going around.

Tyler Alos was a scratch Saturday night with what Konowalchuk called an upper body injury.

Luke Lockhart continues to have the scoring touch. He scored his sixth goal last night and now has six on the early season. He is on track to vastly improve on the 16 goals he managed last season.

Follow Andrew on twitter @andyeide

Thunderbirds

Thunderbirds GM Bil La Forge has some moves to make this offseason. (Brian Liesse/T-Birds photo)...
Andy Eide

Thunderbirds GM Bil La Forge dishes on the upcoming offseason

Thunderbirds general manager Bil La Forge will make some moves this summer to improve his club. Will they be big ones?
2 years ago
Seattle’s Keltie Jeri-Leon celebrates his final WHL goal Sunday against Spokane. (Brian Liess...
Andy Eide

Thunderbirds end strange and hard season on a high note with dominating win over Spokane

The Seattle Thunderbirds dealt with a lot of adversity this season but end on a high note.
2 years ago
Keltie Jeri-Leon plays his final WHL game for the Thunderbirds Sunday night. (Brian Liesse)...
Andy Eide

Keltie Jeri-Leon set to play his final WHL game as Thunderbirds face Spokane Sunday

After five seasons, Seattle's lone over-aged player, Keltie Jeri-Leon will play his final junior game Sunday night.
2 years ago
Seattle rookie Scott Ratzlaff won his first WHL game in his first start. (Judy Simpson/TC Americans...
Andy Eide

Scott Ratzlaff earns first WHL win as Thunderbirds beat Tri-City

Behind a rookie goalie, the Thunderbirds kicked off the season's final weekend with a 5-2 win in Kennewick against the Tri-City Americans.
2 years ago
The Seattle Thunderbirds celebrate after snapping a six-game losing streak Sunday night. (Brian Lie...
Andy Eide

Thunderbirds enjoy winning again after snapping six-game losing streak

The Seattle Thunderbirds have been scuffling but battled against a good Portland Winterhawks club to snap a six-game losing streak.
2 years ago
Thunderbirds forward Reid Schaefer fights for position Sunday in Portland. (Megan Connelly/Winterha...
Andy Eide

Dealing with adversity, young Thunderbirds drop pair of games in Portland

Injuries and penalties have thrown a ton of adversity at the young Thunderbirds which showed up in a pair of losses at Portland this weekend.
2 years ago
T-Birds come up flat in Portland, lose 6-1