Game 41: Swenson helps lead Thunderbirds to victory in Spokane as they snap losing streak

Jan 16, 2012, 5:11 PM | Updated: 5:19 pm

By Mike Caccioppoli

(17-23-0-1) Seattle Thunderbirds 3, (22-14-3-3) Spokane Chiefs 2


SPOKANE- Led by two goals from newcomer Seth Swenson the Thunderbirds snap a six game losing streak and defeat the Chiefs 3-2.


The Chiefs went up 1-0 at 3:46 as the Birds once again fail to clear a puck out which is something that’s happened a lot lately. Mike Aviani scored his 7th goal of the season. The goal came just after the Birds killed a penalty.

Seattle was down 1-0 after 20 minutes. Shots were 11-11. The Birds were shutout for the 5th straight period.

Swenson (2) scored his first goal as a Thunderbird 4:21 into the second period to tie the game 1-1. It was a power play goal assisted by Luke Lockhart and Connor Honey.

The tie didn’t last long as a turnover by Dave Sutter led to a Chiefs goal and a 2-1 lead. Blake Gal scored his 10th goal of the season at 6:42.

The Chiefs took that 2-1 lead into the third period. Shots were 18-18.

Seattle tied the game 2-2 at 11:35 of the third period. Swenson (3)scored off a three on two rush. The goal came just after the Birds killed off a penalty. For Swenson it was his second goal of the game and the assist went to Connor Sanvido.

Justin Hickman (7) broke down ice as the Birds were killing a penalty and scored a shorthanded goal to put the Birds up 3-2. Tyler Alos and Brad Deagle got the assists.

After a Burke Gallimore penalty gave the Chiefs their 6th power play of the game the Chiefs pulled Mac Engel to get the six on four advantage.

The Birds killed off the penalty so with just over a minute left Spokane had the goalie out and the extra attacker on the ice.

Seattle holds on to win 3-2 and break their six game losing streak.


Plus side:

Streak over. The Birds finally break their six game losing streak. Very big when you look at the long losing streaks of the past couple of years.

60 minutes. We haven’t seen it much this season but the Birds play a full 60 minutes. Not a PERFECT 60 but a FULL 60 effort wise.

Power play. Only two chances but the Birds score on one of them and it ends up factoring in big with the one goal victory.

Penalty kill. Even more important was the penalty kill especially in the third period where the Birds took three penalties. Very aggressive and Lockhart and Lund led the way.

Swenson. The new T-Bird doubles his goal total that he had with Portland as he scores two goals, both game tying goals.


Minus side:

D zone lapses. The Birds still had a couple of bad D zone lapses. Not clearing the puck, and turnovers. Seems like other teams are scoring anytime the Birds make a mistake.

Too many penalties. They got away with it today but giving the Chiefs six power play chances including three in the third period nearly cost them the game. You have to be more disciplined especially with the “avoidable” penalties.


Game Notes:

– F Jacob Doty was a healthy scratch.

– Seattle improves to 7-13 on the road. They are 1-1 against Spokane (0-1 home, 1-0 road).

– This was only the second time the Birds and Chiefs have met this season. They still have six more games head to head (three home and three on the road).

– Calvin Pickard improves to 17-19-0-1. Mac Engel drops to 19-12-1-2.


Thunderbirds second half record: 4-6. three stars:

First star: Seth Swenson (two goals)

Second star: Justin Hickman (game winning SH goal)

Third star: Luke Lockhart (assist and big PK minutes)


The Thunderbirds play Tuesday night in Kennewick against the Americans. Game time is 7:05 pm and the action can be heard live at


Game Summary is on the WHL website.


twitter @mike710espn


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

Game 41: Swenson helps lead Thunderbirds to victory in Spokane as they snap losing streak