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.

 

710Sports.com 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 710Sports.com.

 

Game Summary is on the WHL website.

 

twitter @mike710espn

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