Game 72: Thunderbirds end the season with OT loss to Americans
(44-24-2-2)Tri-City Americans 4, (27-35-5-5) Seattle Thunderbirds 3
Lockhart with two assists….Jordan Messier has a goal and two assists
KENT– On the final day of the season for the Thunderbirds a spirited effort ended in a 4-3 overtime loss at the hands of the Americans, a team they simply could not defeat all season long.
Michael Salmon (0-2-2-0) got a rare start in goal and made 28 saves on 32 shots.
The Birds got on the board first when Marcel Noebels rocketed one past Chris Driedger (6-6-0-1) at 2:09 of the first period. It was his 28th goal of the season and it was unassisted.
The Americans went on the power play at 7:48 when Jacob Doty got two minutes for Roughing. They didn’t convert and had four shots on net.
Tri-City tied it 1-1 when Dryden Dow (4) knocked one past Salmon at 13:30.
Connor Sanvido (2) put the Birds up 2-1 at 18:58. The assist went to Luke Lockhart.
After 20 minutes the Birds were up 2-1. The Ams led in shots 14-7.
The Americans tied the game 2-2 when Jordan Messier scored his 26th goal of the season at 6:30 of the second period.
Connor Rankin got two minutes for Tripping at 6:39. The Birds didn’t convert on the power play and had no shots.
The Ams went on the power play at 13:50. Tyler Alos was called for Slashing.
Things would even up at 14:54 when Tyler Schmidt went to the box for Slashing.
The game was tied 2-2 after two periods. Shots in the second period were 9-7 in favor of Seattle. The Ams led 21-16 overall.
The Ams started the third period on the power play as Travis Toomey was called for Roughing at the end of the second period. They didn’t convert and had three shots.
They went back on the power play at 5:02. Erik Bonsor was called for Boarding. Justin Feser put the Ams up 3-2 at 5:50. It was his 26th goal of the season.
Alos tied the game 3-3 at 16:16. It was his sixth goal of the season. The assists were from Lockhart and Bonsor.
The game would go to overtime tied 3-3.
Shots in the third period were 16-9 in favor of the Birds. They also led 32-30 overall.
The Ams won 4-3 as Kruise Reddick scored his 20th goal of the season at 2:39 of OT.
Shots in OT were 2-1 in favor of Tri-City. The Birds outshot the Ams 33-32 overall.
“I thought we played hard tonight,” said Rob Sumner. “We had some chances that we buried and some we didn’t. In overtime it opens up a bit.”
Sumner was asked if it was weird to play a game with no real meaning after playing so many high pressure games over the last month. “We had a game last night that was very disappointing. We tried to come ready to go and it was good that the guys played hard.”
The Birds had several chances to bury pucks in the net but came up empty more often than not. Sumner was asked why that has been a season long sore spot for the Birds.”We’ve had it happen this season where pucks that look like that should go in, don’t. I don’t think it’s hard work being the issue. It’s more of having the mentality, being ready to score those goals. Confidence is also part of it.”
Sumner was asked what his plans were for the days and weeks ahead as the Birds go into off-season mode. “Like every other year there will be an evaluation. Right now it’s about getting guys home and back in school.”
It’s been a rough couple of months with the long losing streak and some fan unrest regarding the lack of success. Sumner was asked if its been particularly tough on him. “There’s always pressure in this business. It’s difficult because we want our team to do well.”
With the Birds not making the playoffs for the second season in a row there is the school of thought that when a team doesn’t have much playoff experience that it could come back to haunt them when they do make the playoffs. “I think you have to wait for that time to see,” said Sumner. “If a team doesn’t perform well they will say it’s because of a lack of experience. If they do play well they will say it’s because they were hungry.”
He was asked if the recent stretch of high pressure games is good experience. “Playing in important games is good experience. It’s not the same as the playoffs though where you are playing a series against one team.”
Sumner was asked about a positive and a negative that might stand out from this season. “We improved our record I guess, we definitely improved on the power play. Our home ice record was disappointing even though we got better at the end. “We wanted to play better at home.”
So ends the 2010-2011 Seattle Thunderbirds season. I will have much to write over the upcoming days including the final report card. I will also have my thoughts on the coaching situation and hopefully an interview with General Manager Russ Farwell to wrap up the season.
The Thunderbirds next game will be sometime in September…stay tuned.
– The Thunderbirds bus driver, Eli Johnson was honored before the game. Eli is retiring after being the Birds driver for 15 years. Congratulations to him.
– The Thunderbirds home record ends up at 13-18-2-3.
– The Birds go winless against Tri-City (0-6-1-2)
– Seattle finishes 10th in the Conference. They are tied in points with Kamloops with 64 but have two fewer wins.
– Calvin Pickard finishes with 68 games played and 4,013 minutes.
– Seattle went 0 for 2 on the power play. Tri-City went 1 for 4.
Game Summary: (courtesy of the WHL website)
1st Period-1, Seattle, Noebels 28 2:09. 2, Tri-City, Dow 4 (Nickles, Messier), 13:30. 3, Seattle, Sanvido 2 (Lockhart), 18:58. Penalties-Doty Sea (roughing, 10-minute misconduct), 7:48.
2nd Period-4, Tri-City, Messier 26 (Schmidt, Holland), 6:30. Penalties-Rankin T.c (tripping), 6:39; Alos Sea (slashing), 13:50; Schmidt T.c (slashing), 14:54; Toomey Sea (roughing), 20:00.
3rd Period-5, Tri-City, Feser 26 (Messier, Holland), 5:50 (PP). 6, Seattle, Alos 6 (Lockhart, Bonsor), 16:16. Penalties-Bonsor Sea (boarding), 5:02.
OT Period-7, Tri-City, Reddick 20 (Messier, Rankin), 2:39. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Tri-City 14-7-9-2-32. Seattle 7-9-16-1-33.
Power Play Opportunities-Tri-City 1 / 4; Seattle 0 / 2.
Goalies-Tri-City, Driedger 6-6-0-1 (33 shots-30 saves). Seattle, Salmon 0-2-2-0 (32 shots-28 saves).
Referees-Trevor Hanson, Colby Smith (57).
Linesmen-Justin Hull (49), Chris Sweeting (137).