Game 7: Wheat Kings stop Thunderbirds winning streak at three games
(6-3-0-1) Brandon Wheat Kings 4, (3-4) Seattle Thunderbirds 1
“We didn’t have our jump. We didn’t have everybody on board but we didn’t quit, guys kept battling. We almost stole a point but a few guys didn’t have it tonight.”….Steve Konowalchuk
KENT- The Thunderbirds three game winning streak comes to an end as the Wheat Kings, behind 49 shots, defeat the Birds 4-1.
The best early scoring opportunity for the Birds would come on a five on three power play advantage for 1:24 and they couldn’t convert.
Three straight penalties against Seattle (Brendan Rouse/Tripping, Kyle Verdino/Checking from Behind, Marcel Noebels/Delay of Game) and much like Saturday night’s game the PK comes up big and doesn’t allow a goal.
No scoring in the period and also very little five on five play with the six combined penalties.
Brandon led 12-11 in shots.
The Wheat Kings take a 1-0 lead (Brenden Walker/3) at 6:12 of the second period. The Birds were being out shot 11-1 in the first half of the period and seemed to be playing back on their heels.
At the radio time out Head Coach Steve Konowalchuk seemed to be chewing out his team.
Dakota Conroy (1) made it 2-0 Brandon at 19:13.
The Birds only managed four shots in the period while Brandon had 19. Seattle was pinned in their own zone for most of the period and when they did have a scoring opportunities thay flat out missed the net several times.
A great chance for the Birds right the start of the third period with a five on three advantage for 1:36 and once again they are stone walled.
The Birds finally get on the board at 10:59 as Luke Lockhart nets his first goal of the season, beating goalie Brandon Anderson (3-3) to make it a 2-1 Brandon lead. Assists went to Verdino and Rouse.
Birds goalie Daniel Cotton (0-1), who was having a superb first WHL start seemed to make a save but he ended up swiping the puck into the back of the net and Brandon went up 3-1 at 13:38. The goal was credited to Darian Dziurzynski (4).
An empty net goal at 18:04 by Alessio Bettaggia (7) put the game on ice as the Wheat Kings win 4-1.
Brandon out shot the Birds 18-17 in the third period and 49-32 overall.
A bad second period and two missed opportunities with a five on three advantage cost the Birds a chance at extending their winning streak to four games. They were out played in long stretches by Brandon especially in that second period where they couldn’t get anything going.
Quotes of the game:
Head Coach Steve Konowalchuk on the second period..
“We didn’t have the same jump that we had the last few games. I don’t know if we weren’t mentally ready or if we didn’t have the legs. We just have to make sure we get our energy back next game.”
On his fiery talk to his team during the second period time out..
“I was upset. I know we can do better than that. When you aren’t playing your best it gets frustrating.”
On the lack of success on the five on three advantages..
“Five on three is huge. You have to find a way to bury a five on three for sure. Power play in general you have to get shots in traffic. Same goes for five on three.”
On Daniel Cotton..
“He played good. He gave us a chance to win”
On Luke Lockhart’s first goal of the seaaon and if it will get him going…
“He’s been going. I don’t look at points. I look at guys competing the right way. He’s been going fine.”
– G Daniel Cotton, in his first WHL start makes 45 saves.
– The Birds PK stays solid going 4/4.
– Lockhart gets his first goal of the season.
– The Birds seem very flat in the middle 20 minutes and it costs them dearly.
– Seattle allows 49 shots on net, including many quality scoring chances.
– Two five on three advantages go for naught. The one at the start of the third period with the Birds down 2-0 was a killer.
– D Jared Hauf was back in the lineup.
– D Shea Theodore was a healthy scratch.
– G Daniel Cotton made his first WHL start.
– Seattle drops to 2-3 at home.
MyNorthwest.com three stars:
First star: Ryan Pulock (+3)
Second star: Brandon Anderson (31/32 saves)
Third star: Daniel Cotton (45/48 saves)
The Thunderbirds play Friday night in Everett against the Silvertips. Game time is 7:30 pm and the action can be heard live at MyNorthwest.com.