Game 19: Calvin Pickard’s 43 save shutout leads the Birds to victory over the Americans

Nov 18, 2011, 10:17 PM | Updated: Nov 19, 2011, 12:49 am

(8-11) Seattle Thunderbirds 3, (15-6) Tri-City Americans 0

“Our guys stuck to the game plan, they grinded it out, they were physical and that’s the way we need to play.”..Head Coach Steve Konowalchuk

“Coming back from the subway series three games in three nights I felt sharp early on and we played well and it paid off in the end.”… Calvin Pickard

KENT- Behind a stellar performance from Calvin Pickard the Thunderbirds defeat the first place Tri-City Americans by a score of 3-0. Sean Aschim scored his first goal as a Thunderbird in the win.

The Americans came out strong and had the first six shots on net. The last two coming on a successful penalty kill for the Thunderbirds. It looked as though the PK got the Birds going as they had the next seven shots on goal.

The Birds had a power play opportunity of their own and while they didn’t score they had four shots.

A fairly even period of back and forth hockey with the Ams out shooting the Birds 14-13 and neither team putting one in the back of the net.

Two big penalty kills back to back for the Birds in the second period (Shea Theodore/Hooking, Kyle Verdino/Checking from Behind) to keep the game scoreless.

With 2:03 remaining the Ams would get their third power play opportunity of the period and fifth of the game when Luke Lockhart was called for Tripping. That would be negated as Mitch Topping went to the box for High Sticking.

No score at the end of two periods with the Ams out shooting the Birds 28-20.

A power play goal off the stick of Aschim (5th of season and first as a Thunderbird) would give them a 1-0 lead at 1:34 of the third period. Verdino and Braeden Laroque got the assists.

Chance Lund (5) gave the Birds a 2-0 lead at 14:18. Burke Gallimore had the assist.

Tri-City pulled goalie Eric Comrie (6-3) with over four minutes left during four on four action to give the Ams the extra attacker.

Gallimore (9) shot the puck into the empty net and the Birds took a 3-0 lead at 18:18.

Pickard (8-9) gets his first shutout of the season as the Birds defeat the Ams 3-0.

Quotes of the game:

Calvin Pickard on being on his game after some ups and downs so far this season..

“Coming back from the subway series three games in three nights I felt sharp early on and we played well and it paid off in the end.”

On playing in the Subway Series…

“It was a lot of fun. The first game we played well, the second game we let our guard down in the third period but it was a great experience for me.”

On the game plan against Tri…

“Our game plan is to hit. It’s going to pay off once we get to the third period as it did tonight.”

Head Coach Steve Konowalchuk on beating a very hot team..

“Our guys stuck to the game plan, they grinded it out, they were physical and that’s the way we need to play.”

On if this was the best 60 minutes the team has played thus far..

“Well especially against a really good team. That’s a top team in the league and we played well. It was a good game top to bottom of the lineup.”

On the week off since the road trip..

“You know what.. we just need to keep working. Our guys worked their butts off all week (in practice). I thought we were skating at a higher pace. You have to skate at a high pace to keep up with the better teams.”

On the penalty kill tonight…

“PK was huge especially against a top power play like that.”

On playing a physical game…

“There are different ways teams are built and we are a skating physical team and we need to play that way to have a chance.”

On the performance of Pickard…

“You know what.. I don’t know why you have to always ask about Calvin. It was a good team win. Calvin was good and it was a good team win. Everybody in the lineup was good.”

On another tough game ahead against Portland…

“We have about 15 more minutes to enjoy this one then we have to get focused.”

Plus side:

After some ups and downs Pickard records his first shutout even though he had just arrived back in town today from the Subway Series in Canada.

– The Birds were a very physical team all night, often delivering punishing hits and it wore the Ams down.

– The penalty kill was very effective in killing off all eight Tri-City power play chances.

– Solid effort up and down the lineup for 60 minutes.

Minus side:

Seattle still needs to clean up some sloppy play in front of their net.

– Too many penalties taken but this time it doesn’t hurt them in the end.

Game Notes:

– D Cason Machacek did not play.

F Mitch Guiel was a healthy scratch.

– The Birds win their first game against the Ams after going winless last season against them.

– Seattle improves to 3-5 at home. They have won three of their last four games overall. three stars:

First star: Calvin Pickard (43 save shutout)

Second star: Sean Aschim (first goal as a T-Bird)

Third star: Eric Comrie (26/28 saves)

Game summary is on the WHL website.

The Thunderbirds play Saturday night at the ShoWare Center against the Portland Winterhawks. Game time is 7 pm and the action can be heard live at


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Game 19: Calvin Pickard’s 43 save shutout leads the Birds to victory over the Americans