Game 25: Thunderbirds are edged by Americans in Kent
(20-7) Tri-City Americans 4, (11-13-0-1) Seattle Thunderbirds 2
“I thought our goalie got speared when he had the pick froze and we end up (down five on three). If he has it frozen, he has it frozen. Whether there is a whistle or not you don’t come in (and spear him). The other game Sanvido got called for (doing basically the same thing). Consistency would be good there. “… Head Coach Steve Konowalchuk
KENT- A controversial five on three power play for the Americans that resulted in a goal was the difference in a close game between the Thunderbirds and Americans.
Seattle took a 1-0 lead at 15:08 of the first period when Jared Hauf scored his first WHL goal. Sean Aschim got the assist.
Some good chances at both ends with the Ams having the slight edge in shots 14-13 and the Birds leading 1-0 after 20 minutes.
The Birds were being outshot 8-1 through the midway point of the second period but Calvin Pickard (11-10-0-1) was keeping the Ams off the scoreboard.
The Ams tied the game 1-1 on a five on three advantage. The Birds were already down a man when Brad Deagle was called for Cross Checking. The call was suspect because Pickard was also speared and that wasn’t called. The call was booed loudly by the in 2,739 in attendance. The goal was scored by Adam Hughesman (20) at 15:54.
Only five shots on goal for the Birds in the period with the Ams registering 13.
Tri-City took a 2-1 lead at 4:52 when the Birds had trouble clearing the zone and Brendan Shinnimin scored his 10th goal of the season.
The Birds power play got going and Aschim put his seventh goal of the season past Ty Rimmer (12-4) to make it a 2-2 game.
Tri came right back and scored their second power play goal of the game after Burke Gallimore was called for High Sticking. Patrick Holland (7) gave the Ams the 3-2 lead at 6:29.
The Birds pulled Pickard with a minute left to get the extra attacker and Justin Feser(12) scored into the empty net with less than one second left to give the Ams the 4-2 win.
Quotes of the game:
Head Coach Steve Konowalchuk on the controversial call that gave the Ams a five on three…
“I thought our goalie got speared when he had the pick froze and we end up (down five on three). If he has it frozen, he has it frozen. Whether there is a whistle or not you don’t come in (and spear him). The other game Sanvido got called for (doing basically the same thing). Consistency would be good there. “
On the difference in the game…
“I thought special teams were the difference. At times it killed our momentum. They also had us hemmed in.Their power play was better than ours.You can’t give them that many power plays. They are a good team with a good power play.”
On the Birds missing some opportunities to score..
“We have to hit the net when we get scoring chances. Probably five times we missed the net on scoring chances. It’s hard work to get scoring chances so you can’t miss them.”
On whether the Birds weren’t hitting as much as the last game against Tri…
“Maybe not quite to a man. I thought some guys were physical. For the most part they gave it a pretty good effort but we just came up short.”
On the ineffectiveness of the power play for most of the game..
“We have to have more urgency. You have to know what you’re going to do with the puck before you get it. We have to execute quicker.”
On being very thin up front…
“It wasn’t the fault of the guys that stepped up and got ice time. Doty and Elliot played well, same with Aschim, Guiel and Wardley. It wasn’t because of the injuries, no excuse there.”
On the game plan going into Portland..
“Same game plan, they are similar teams. We have to go out there and outwork them and be physical, control the neutral zone and stay out of the box.”
–Birds score the first goal of the game something they have only done eight times this season.
-Aschim has a great game with a goal and assist as the Birds try to plug holes left by injuries to their top forwards.
-For the most part they give a solid effort against a very good team once again after beating Tri 3-0 last game.
–Until the third period the Birds power play looked powerless as they couldn’t even set up.
-Too many penalties kill any momentum the Birds may have had before ending up shorthanded.
– Too many missed chances. There were at least five or six scoring opportunities where the shots weren’t even close to hitting the net.
– The call by referee Steve Papp with the Birds already down a man was a killer. It gave the Ams a five on three for 1:31. The spear on Pickard should have been called especially with the Birds already down a man.
– Birds only generate 12 shots combined in the last two periods.
– Seattle certainly doesn’t play well enough overall to deserve two points.
-D Cason Machacek was serving the second game of a three game suspension.
–D Evan Wardley was once again playing up front.
– The Birds continue to be without F Brendan Rouse (hand), F Branden Troock (broken rib), and F Colin Jacobs (shoulder).
– Birds drop to 6-6-0-1 at home. Their five games with at least a point streak at home comes to an end.
710Sports.com three stars:
First star: Brendan Shinnimin (goal and assist)
Second star: Sean Aschim (goal and assist)
Third star: Adam Hughesman (goal and assist)
The Thunderbirds are in Portland to take on the Winterhawks Saturday night at 7 pm. The action can be heard live at 710Sports.com.
Game summary is on the WHL website.