Game 49: Late turnover leads to go ahead goal for Chiefs and sixth straight home loss for Seattle
By Mike Caccioppoli
(28-14-4-3) Spokane Chiefs 5, (18-29-1-1) Seattle Thunderbirds 3
We lost a battle at the blue line. On all of their goals there were key breakdowns. The power play goal they came wide with speed, we should have gotten it out. The four on four goal there was a battle at the red line and we over compensate and try to do another persons job there and they pass to the point. Then they score on the face off because we don’t block the shot……No one is choking on our team. Guys are trying hard but trying hard and getting the job done aren’t the same thing….Head Coach Steve Konowalchuk
KENT- The Thunderbirds were 1:12 away from gaining at least a point in the standings when a turnover at the blue line resulted in the eventual game winning goal for Spokane. Dominik Uher had a four goal effort for the Chiefs. Seattle has now dropped six straight at home and 13 of 15 overall.
Dominik Uher (17) put the Chiefs up 1-0 at 9:22 of the first period when he skated in unimpeded and stuffed one past Calvin Pickard. It was a power play goal.
Seattle tied it with a power play goal of their own at 13:06. Connor Honey scored his 2nd goal of the season. Brad Deagle and Jared Hauf got the assists.
The game was tied 1-1 with Spokane leading 13-8 in shots after 20 minutes.
The Chiefs went up 2-1 at 2:43 of the second period whenDominik Uher scored his second goal of the game and 18th of the season.
Seattle had no shots in the first 11 minutes of the period.
Seth Swenson tied the game on only the third shot of the period for the Birds. It was his 5th goal of the season coming at 13:23. Burke Gallimore and Luke Lockhart got the assists.
After 40 minutes the game was tied 2-2 with Spokane leading 29-13 in shots.
Brenden Kichton (11) gave the Chiefs a 3-2 lead at 12:07 of the third period.
Dillon Wagner (4) tied the game on a one timer that got past Erik Williams at 15:14. Connor Honey and Dave Sutter got the assists.
A giveaway at the blue line with 1:12 left allowed Dominik Uher (19) to record the Hat Trick and put the Chiefs up 4-3.
With eight seconds left Dominik Uher scored his 4th goal of the game and 20th of the season with an empty net goal.
Seattle loses 5-3.
Quotes of the game:
Head Coach Steve Konowalchuk on the turnover at the blue line that caused the game winning goal…
We lost a battle at the blue line. On all of their goals there were key breakdowns. The power play goal they came wide with speed, we should have gotten it out. The four on four goal there was a battle at the red line and we over compensate and try to do another persons job there and they pass to the point. Then they score on the face off because we don’t block the shot.
On whether his team is feeling the pressure mount from all of the losses…
No one is choking on our team. Guys are trying hard but trying hard and getting the job done aren’t the same thing.
On all the games against the top teams in the Conference coming up…
The only thing you can do is go back at it. You either go back at it or you feel sorry for yourself and the latter doesn’t get you anywhere. You have to keep working at it. Every guy has to be going every shift, we can’t make mistakes.
On the solid night for Honey and Swenson…
Honey is working hard, he’s not afraid to go into areas. He works hard and makes sure he gets the puck. Swenson does some good things, he makes some good offensive plays. At times he needs to make some smarter decisions but he’s been a nice addition.
On losing a lot of close games lately…
All we can do is practice and go back it. It doesn’t feel good when you lose a game like that.These games lately we are finding ourselves just coming up short. If we keep going at it we’ll find ourselves coming up on the other end.
On how his team can finally win in Kennewick…
We haven’t come out of the gates like we’ve wanted to there. I want to play a complete game there and give ourselves a chance.
Fighting back. The Birds do fight back to tie the game three times before the killer goal with 1:12 left.
Honey and the power play. The power play looked a bit better in large part to the work of Connor Honey who had another great game. He was everywhere tonight.
40-22. The Birds were nearly doubled in shots. They only managed five shots in the second period including none in the first 11 minutes. If not for a few spectacular saves by Pickard they probably would have been behind by the third period.
1:12. Seattle was that close to earning at least a point against a tough team when a bad turnover at the blue line led to the game winning goal for Spokane. It’s those mistakes that simply can’t happen.
Uher. It seemed as though everything Dominik Uher touched turned into a goal. But as Konowalchuk said they could have all been avoided with better execution.
0-6, 2-12, 5-36. Those numbers signify the Birds struggles in January. They were 0-6 at home this month and 2-12 overall. In the past three January’s Seattle is a combined 5-36. Hard to believe the January collapse has happened for the third season in a row.
-F Branden Troock was out because he is in Kelowna playing in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Wednesday.
-D Braeden Laroque and D Evan Wardley were healthy scratches.
–F Mitch Elliot made his WHL debut playing as a D-man.
-Seattle drops to 10-14-0-1 at home. They are 1-2 vs. Spokane (0-2 home, 1-0 road).
–Calvin Pickard falls to 18-24-1-1. Erik Williams improves to 12-17-3-2.
Thunderbirds second half record: 5-12-1
710Sports.com three stars:
First star: Dominik Uher (four goals..+2 rating)
Second star: Connor Honey (goal, assist and +1 rating)
Third star: Brenden Kichton (goal, assist)
The Thunderbirds play Friday night in Kennewick against the Americans. Game time is 7:05 pm and the action can be heard live at 710Sports.com.
Game summary is on the WHL website.