Game 43: Thunderbirds strong third period effort falls short as they lose to Blazers
By Mike Caccioppoli
(33-10-1-2) Kamloops Blazers 5, (17-25-0-1) Seattle Thunderbirds 3
I’m most frustrated today about the penalties (especially in the second period). Just not the right mindset there. It’s selfishness….As far as a playoff spot we’re confident, there is no panic there. We are more confident as a team now than we were a week ago. There is still some stuff we have to clean up. There are some good things to take from this game and we have to keep building on it… Head Coach Steve Konowalchuk
KENT- Behind 4-1 going into the third period the Thunderbirds made a late push to get at least a point out of the game but still fall 5-3 to the Blazers. Once again the Birds power play failed them as they go 0 for 6 with the man advantage including a two minute five on three opportunity.
The Birds had trouble early getting the puck out of their own end and it cost them when Chase Souto (8) shot one past a screened Daniel Cotton to put the Blazers up 1-0 at 2:30 of the first period.
After killing off a T-Bird penalty the Blazers scored off a lucky bounce from a bad angle. Tim Bozon scored his 24th goal and the Blazers were up 2-0 at 9:30.
The Birds got on the board at 17:59 when Chance Lund (10) shot one point blank past Cam Lanigan. It came just after the Birds failed to score on the power play but were able to keep the pressure on in the Blazers zone. Assists went to Colin Jacobs and Brad Deagle.
The Birds were down 2-1 after 20 minutes and were being outshot 16-9.
Kamloops took a 3-1 lead at 13:26 of the second period whenChase Schaber tallied his 16th goal of the season.
They would get a power play goal less than three minutes later to take a 4-1 lead.Bronson Maschmayer scored his 9th goal of the season.
Kamloops took a 4-1 lead into the third period. They were also outshooting Seattle 29-18.
The Birds failed to score on a two minute five on three advantage that began at the end of the second period and carried over to the third period.
Chance Lund (11) scored his second goal of the game to cut Kamloops lead to 4-2 at 2:37. Assists went to Cason Machacek and Tyler Alos.
The Birds got to within a goal at 4-3 when Seth Swenson scored his 4th goal of the season at 17:07. Assists went to Luke Lockhart and Dave Sutter.
Cotton was pulled with 1:20 left in favor of the extra attacker.
Seattle had their chances but couldn’t get the tying goal and with six seconds left Schaber (17th of season, second of game) hit the empty net to give the Blazers a 5-3 win.
Quotes of the game:
Head Coach Steve Konowalchuk on his team fighting till the end…
The guys competed till the end we just couldn’t score enough goals, they scored more than we did.
On the missed opportunity with the two minute five on three..
I’m most frustrated today about the penalties (especially in the second period). Just not the right mindset there. It’s selfishness.
On if some of the calls might have been bad…
They are what they are. They were calling some chintzy stuff so you have to play that way. You have to play to the game. I don’t understand some of them but if you know they are calling them then guys can’t be taking those penalties later on.
On if it’s a difficult task playing against such a potent offensive team…
Yes they jump into the play well and you need to be making smart decisions away from the puck as well.
On the decision to start Cotton against arguably the best team the Birds will face this weekend…
I thought Cotton played well against them last time. So I wanted to give him a shot. He was fine. It’s tough when you get in and don’t play that often but he played well in the third period and gave us a chance to win.
On whether rebound control is something you worry about with a goalie that hasn’t played much..
It’s timing. When a guy doesn’t get a lot of playing time there is a lot of pressure on him. It’s tough to get the timing but he was fine.
On too many of the Birds players “telegraphing” their shots…
That’s sometimes experience and sometimes confidence. You have to be able to know what the right play is at the right time. You have to be able to know what you are doing before the puck gets to you. We will keep showing them video and working at it.
On the mindset of the team right now…
As far as a playoff spot we’re confident, there is no panic there. We are more confident as a team now than we were a week ago. There is still some stuff we have to clean up. There are some good things to take from this game and we have to keep building on it.
On facing Everett Saturday night…
They have been playing good hockey since before Christmas. They compete in every game. They have confidence right now.
Late effort. The Birds showed some effort in the third period even though they were down 4-1 and didn’t convert on a two minute five on three power play.
Lund. Chance gets two goals and nearly a third when he hit the post on a power play. Now he needs to keep it going as he’s been streaky so far this season.
PK. Despite giving up one goal on six chances the Birds PK was solid against a very strong power play.
PP. The difference in the game was that one power play goal the Blazers had while the Birds went 0 for 6 and didn’t score on a two minute five on three advantage. Their power play is next to last in the league.
D zone miscues. Still too many D zone problems. At least two Kamloops goals were a result of giving the puck up in the D zone. Can’t do that against any team especially one as good as the Blazers.
Missed opportunities. The Birds missed at least a few open nets because of bad passing/poor shooting. Really comes back to haunt you in a close game.
Penalties. The Birds really lost this game in the second period when they took penalty after penalty and had no offensive momentum at all. Yes some of the calls were awful but as Konowalchuk said you just have to play smarter and less selfish.
Eight games under. The Birds are now a season high eight games under .500. They have also lost eight of their last nine games. Little by little the teams below them are catching up. They need to start getting some points soon.
-F Branden Troock was a scratch. Konowalchuk said after the game that he wasn’t feeling well.
-D Evan Wardley remains out with an upper body injury.
-F Brendan Rouse remains out with a hand injury.
-Seattle drops to 10-11-0-1 at home. They are 0-3 against Kamloops (0-2 road, 0-1 home.)
-Daniel Cotton drops to 0-5. Cam Lanigan improves to 8-4.
Thunderbirds second half record: 4-8.
710Sports.com three stars:
First star: Colin Smith (goal and assist)
Second star: Chance Lund (two goals)
Third star: Bronson Maschmeyer (goal and assist)
The Thunderbirds play Saturday night in Everett against the Silvertips. Game time is 7:05 pm and the action can be heard live at 710Sports.com.
Game summary is on the WHL website.