Game 51: Another close game goes against Seattle as they lose to the Blazers
By Mike Caccioppoli
(37-12-1-3) Kamloops Blazers 3, (18-31-1-1) Seattle Thunderbirds 1
KENT- You can call it deja vu or Groundhog Day or whatever you choose to call it but once again the Thunderbirds lose a close game and come away with nothing to show for a decent effort. After Colin Jacobs scored the first goal of the game in the first period the Birds couldn’t add to it and end up losing to the Blazers who sweep them in the season series.
Colin Jacobs (5) put the Birds up 1-0 at 7:26 of the first period. Chance Lund and Shea Theodore got the assists.
At 13:22 Brendan Ranford made it a 1-1 game when he scored his 29th goal of the season.
After 20 minutes the game was tied with the Birds having the edge in shots 14-13.
With just 20 seconds left in the second period the Birds couldn’t clear the puck out and that allowed Cole Ully (7) to score and put the Blazers up 2-1.
The late goal put the Birds behind after 40 minutes. Shots were 28-27 in favor of Kamloops.
Seattle had numerous chances to tie the game in the third period including a late power play and time with the extra attacker after Calvin Pickard was pulled but they simply could not put a puck in the back of the net.
They allow the empty net goal as Tim Bozon (27) gave the Blazers a 3-1 lead at 19:17.
The 3-1 loss extended the Birds losing streak to five games.
Playing with the best. The Birds face another one of the best teams in the league and they are in the game from start to finish.
Shots. Seattle gets 39 shots with their only “down” time coming early in the third period.
Chances on the doorstep. I’m trying to come up with different ways to describe how the Birds are allowing great scoring chances to evaporate. They had chance after chance to get the tying goal but couldn’t find a way to put the puck in the back of the net. It’s the same old story.
Lone goal. Once again the Birds only manage one goal. Jacobs scores the first goal of the game just over seven minutes into the first and then the Birds don’t get another tally the rest of the game.
Late period goals against. The eventual game winning goal was scored with just 20 seconds left in the second period. It was a failure to clear the puck out that allowed that goal to be scored.
Close games. While they were winning most of the close ones earlier in the season the Birds are now losing those games night after night. Another big issue with losing the close ones is not even getting to OT where they could get at least a point out of the game. They are ending up with nothing to show for their efforts.
Depressing numbers. Here they are… Seattle has lost seven straight at home (no home wins in 2012), five in a row overall on this latest losing streak and have lost 15 of their last 17 games.
– F Jacob Doty, F Mitch Elliot and D Evan Wardley were healthy scratches.
– Seattle drops to 10-15-0-1 at home. They were swept by the Blazers this season at 0-4 (0-2 home, 0-2 road).
– Calvin Pickard drops to 18-26-1-1. Cam Lanigan improves to 10-4.
– The Birds now embark on a tough three game road trip (Monday at Spokane, Wednesday at Kelowna, Friday at Spokane).
Thunderbirds second half record: 5-14-1.
710Sports.com three stars:
First star: Brendan Ranford (goal, assist and +2 rating)
Second star: Calvin Pickard (40/42 saves)
Third star: Cam Lanigan (38/39 saves)
The Thunderbirds play Monday night in Spokane against the Chiefs. Game time is 7:05 pm and the action can be heard live at 710Sports.com.
Game summary is on the WHL website.