Game 54: Thunderbirds are overpowered by Chiefs in Kent

Feb 5, 2011, 9:58 PM | Updated: Apr 6, 2011, 11:23 am

(32-14-4-2) Spokane Chiefs 5, (19-26-4-5) Seattle Thunderbirds 1

Holmberg with two goals…Pickard makes 54 saves in the loss

KENT– Coming off a big come from behind win against the Silvertips the Thunderbirds are out played in all facets of the game especially special teams as they give up four power play goals and lose 5-1 to the Chiefs.

Just nine seconds into the game Marcel Noebels and Collin Valcourt dropped the gloves and went at it with each getting a double Roughing minor.

Before the ensuing face-off Jacob Doty and Darren Kramer were given USC penalties for jawing at each other.

At 2:17 Travis Bobbee was called for Delay of Game to put the Chiefs on the power play. They did not convert.

They went right back to the power play at 4:41 when Tyler Alos was called for Slashing.

Luke Lockhart (16) broke up ice and put one five hole past Mac Engel (3-6-2-1) to give the Birds a 1-0 lead. The shorthanded goal was unassisted.

The Chiefs came right back to tie the game on a power play goal by Steve Kuhn (18).Time of the goal was 6:22.

Spokane went up 2-1 at 7:35 when Anthony Bardaro knocked his 11th goal of the season past Calvin Pickard (19-24-3-5).

Rob Sumner took an early time-out.

Jared Cowan went to the box for Hooking at 8:27 to put the Birds on the power play.

Colin Jacobs was called for Goaltender Interference at 9:51 to end the Birds power play.

Spokane did not convert either.

The Chiefs went on their fourth power play at 12:03 when Brenden Dillon was called for Boarding. They did not convert.

The Birds went on the power play at 18:19. Dominik Uher went to the box for Checking From Behind. That power play would turn into a five on three when Brenden Kichton was called for Boarding at 19:09.

19 seconds of five on three time would carry over into the second period. 1:10 was remaining on the second penalty.

After 20 minutes the Birds were down 2-1. Spokane led in shots 16-7.

The Birds did not convert on their remaining power play time to start the second period.

A power play opportunity for the Birds at the 11:12 mark. Levko Koper was called for Holding. That was negated when Travis Toomey went to the box for Elbowing 31 seconds into the advantage.

Spokane went on the power play with 1.3 seconds remaining in the period when Toomey was called for Hooking.

No scoring in the period. The Birds were down 2-1 after two periods. Shots in the second were 20-9 in favor of Spokane. They led 36-16 overall.

Spokane went up 3-1 as Tyler Johnson (39) scored a power play goal just 15 seconds into the third period.

The Chiefs went back to the power play at 4:30.Mitch Elliot was called for Tripping. They went up 4-1 when Mitch Holmberg scored his 11th goal of the season at the 5:22 mark.

The Birds went to the power play at 9:25. Tanner Mort was called for Holding. They got their second five on three of the night when Kichton was called for Tripping and for the second time the Birds could not convert.

At 11:53 Burke Gallimore went to the box for Elbowing. The Chiefs quickly scored their fourth power play goal of the night to go up 5-1. Holmberg knocked in his second of the game and 12th of the season at 12:02. “They have a good power play and it was a huge factor in the game,” said Sumner. “They are very good at shooting for redirects. We have to clear pucks better but the bottom line is we were in the box too many times tonight.”

Doty got Kramer to finally drop the gloves and went on to pummel him before the officials stepped in to stop the onslaught. They both went off for five minutes at 12:19.

The Birds go on to lose 5-1.

Shots in the third period were 23-11 in favor of the Chiefs who out shot the Birds 59-27 overall.

After another lopsided loss to the Chiefs, Sumner was asked if losing these kinds of games to teams like Tri-City and Spokane was becoming tiring. “Well it was close until the third period. The shot clock wasn’t certainly. For some of the game we did things well but it obviously got away in the third period. We were up against a heck of a challenge tonight. We dug a hole early penalty wise. Overall we would have liked a better result tonight.”

Sumner as also asked if he was happy with the effort tonight. “I think our team right now there are lots of ups and downs confidence wise. I was happy with our effort but after giving up those power play goals we sagged a little bit.”

Sumner didn’t really comment about two things that took place during the game. On the opening face off Valcourt went at it with Noebels. There is little doubt Spokane coach Don Nachbaur wanted the Birds hot hand to sit for the first five minutes. Kind of a Bush League move by a veteran coach especially since he doesn’t need to do stuff like that to win games with his team.

The officiating was horrific. Refs Trent Knorr and Dan Cowley seemed to think the fans came to see them make calls rather than watch these two teams play. They seemed to call every hit a penalty especially in the first period. They interfered with the tough, competitive flow the game started with and any entertainment value was sucked out of the game.

I’ve said this before and I will say it again. The WHL can’t afford to lose fans..period.

The Birds next game will be Wednesday night in Kamloops. Another game against a team they are fighting for a playoff spot with. “We have to understand the importance of the game,” said Sumner. “We have to stop their top end guys and stay out of the box.”

That game starts at 7 pm and can be heard at

Game Notes:

D Mitch Spooner was a healthy scratch.

-The Thunderbirds home record drops to 7-14-1-3. It’s the second worst home record in the league (Calgary) and Seattle also has the fewest home wins.

– Seattle was 0 for 6 on the power play. Spokane was 4 for 8.

Game Summary: (courtesy of the WHL website)

1st Period-1, Seattle, Lockhart 16 5:04 (SH). 2, Spokane, Kuhn 18 (Gow, Vandane), 6:22 (PP). 3, Spokane, Bardaro 11 (Kramer), 7:35. Penalties-Kramer Spo (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 0:09; Valcourt Spo (roughing, roughing), 0:09; Doty Sea (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 0:09; Noebels Sea (roughing, roughing), 0:09; Bobbee Sea (delay of game), 2:17; Alos Sea (slashing), 4:41; Cowen Spo (hooking), 8:27; Jacobs Sea (inter. on goaltender), 9:51; Dillon Sea (boarding), 12:03; Uher Spo (checking from behind), 18:19; Kichton Spo (boarding), 19:09.

2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Koper Spo (holding), 11:12; Toomey Sea (elbowing), 11:43; Toomey Sea (hooking), 19:58.

3rd Period-4, Spokane, Johnson 39 (Kichton, Holmberg), 0:15 (PP). 5, Spokane, Holmberg 11 (Johnson, Gow), 5:22 (PP). 6, Spokane, Holmberg 12 (Johnson, Kichton), 12:02 (PP). Penalties-Elliot Sea (tripping), 4:30; Mort Spo (holding), 9:25; Kichton Spo (tripping), 9:45; Gallimore Sea (elbowing), 11:53; Kramer Spo (major-fighting), 12:19; Doty Sea (major-fighting), 12:19.

Shots on Goal-Spokane 16-20-23-59. Seattle 7-9-11-27.

Power Play Opportunities-Spokane 4 / 8; Seattle 0 / 6.

Goalies-Spokane, Engel 3-6-2-1 (27 shots-26 saves). Seattle, Pickard 19-24-3-5 (59 shots-54 saves).


Referees-Trent Knorr (42), Dan Cowley (76).

Linesmen-Zach Brooks (26), Tim Digby (75).


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Game 54: Thunderbirds are overpowered by Chiefs in Kent