Game 31:Thunderbirds dominated by Chiefs

Dec 14, 2010, 9:47 PM | Updated: Apr 6, 2011, 11:23 am

(18-9-2-2) Spokane Chiefs 8, (13-11-3-4) Seattle Thunderbirds 2

Thunderbirds lose sixth straight at home..Spokane scores five goals in the third period

KENT– The Thunderbirds aren’t able to stop the offensive juggernaut Spokane Chiefs and lose their third game in a row.

Only 24 seconds into the game the Birds went on the power play. Corbin Baldwin was called for Interference. The Birds got one shot on net. At 6:54 Mitch Elliot was given a Cross Checking minor and the Chiefs went on the power play for the first time. The Chiefs did not register a shot.

Spokane got on the board first at the 9:14 mark when some sloppy work by the Birds in front of Michael Salmon (0-2-1-0) led to a goal by Michael Aviani (5) and the Chiefs were up 1-0.

The Birds tied the game 1-1 when Travis Toomey (4) got to a rebound and put it past James Reid (18-7-1-1). The goal was scored at 17:43 and it was assisted by Brendan Rouse and Burke Gallimore.

A heavyweight battle between Scott Ramsay and Darren Kramer at the 18:45 mark. Several punches exchanged and some connected on both ends.

After 20 minutes the game was tied 1-1 with Spokane having the advantage in shots 13-10.

The Birds got the first power play chance of the second period when Brady Brassart was called for Hooking at 3:16. Seattle got three shots on goal during the man advantage.

Spokane went back on top 2-1 at 6:50. Mitch Holmberg got to a loose puck to the left of Salmon and slapped in his seventh goal of the season.

Seattle went on the power play for the third time when Marek Kalus was given a double minor for High Sticking at 10:41. Tyler Johnson (23) scored a short handed goal at 12:34. The Birds only registered two shots on net during the four minute power play.

The Birds went into the third period down 3-1. Shots were 24-23 in favor of the Birds. The difference through 40 minutes was the play of Spokane goalie James Reid, who made some big saves in important spots and the Birds four minute power play where the Chiefs scored short handed. Sumner spoke about that turning point. “We were playing well and we had a great opportunity with the four minute power play and we showed disappointment with that situation not going our way.”

Spokane got a power play chance at the 2:40 mark of the third period when Justin Hickman was called for Tripping. They converted and went up 4-1 at the 3:17 mark. Dominik Uher (5) was credited with the goal. The Chiefs went up 5-1 when Brassart (3) broke in two on one and scored at 7:17. This prompted Rob Sumner to take a time out.

The Birds cut the lead to 5-2 at 9:49. Colin Jacobs (14) slapped one past Reid. It was assisted by Gallimore and Brenden Dillon. The Chiefs came right back to go up 6-2 when Matt Marantz (7) knocked one in at 11:02. They scored another goal 23 seconds later as Collin Valcourt (4) slapped one past Salmon to go up 7-2.

Chance Lund and Kenton Miller dropped the gloves at the 12:32 mark. Lund got an extra two minutes for Unsportsmanlike Conduct putting Spokane on the power play. Just seconds after it expired the Chiefs went up 8-2 as Steve Kuhn (8) scored at 14:39. Sumner then pulled Salmon and put in Daniel Cotton who was just recently called up.

Charles Wells was called for High Sticking at 17:46 and Spokane went back to the power play. They didn’t convert.

Ramsay got into his second fight of the game with just nine seconds left. He went at it with Valcourt along the boards.

Seattle loses to Spokane 8-2 and are out shot 38-27. They were out shot 15-3 in the third period. The Birds gave up five goals in the final 20 minutes. Sumner was asked what happened to make things go downhill so quick in the third. “Perhaps we got a little rattled, and they didn’t stop coming at us. They go to the net hard and they made us pay in the third period.”

The Chiefs have been scoring a ton of goals as of late and the Birds did nothing to slow them down tonight. “They were excellent.Very hard on the puck,”said Sumner.”I thought we were right in there with them in the first half of the game but obviously it slipped on us after that.”

Sumner was questioned as to whether the Birds are simply lacking confidence lately especially offensively. “I want to guard against that because we wanted to play the kind of game we were playing in the first half of the game. We have to find a way to reach that next level offensively and score some goals.”

Things were going so bad that late in the third Sumner decided to pull Salmon in favor of the 16 year old Cotton who was just called up. Sumner was asked if Salmon had some rebound control issues in the game.”They go hard to the net and Mike really battled. It was an opportunity to get Daniel in the game.”

With the Birds having lost six in a row at home and in the last three games combined being outscored 17-4 it’s not a stretch to say that this team is now at a critical juncture in the season. “I always see things as being at a critical juncture,” said Sumner. “We want to play better than we did and we’ll try to regroup and play better tomorrow.”

The Birds will head to Spokane for the first time this season on Wednesday night to take on the Chiefs. Game time is 7 pm and all of the action can be heard live at

Game Notes:

The Thunderbirds home record drops to 4-6-1-2.

– Seattle’s last home victory was on November 19th against the Chiefs. It was a 2-1 shootout win.

– The Birds were 0 for 4 on the power play, Spokane was 1 for 5.

– Seattle has now been out shot in 25 of their 31 games.

– Lots of minuses for the Birds tonight including D Erik Bonsor (minus 5) and D Travis Bobbee (minus 3).

– When Rob Sumner pulled goalie Michael Salmon, Spokane Head Coach Don Nachbaur also pulled his goalie James Reid and replaced him with Mac Engel.

Game Summary:

1st Period-1, Spokane, Aviani 5 (Valcourt), 9:14. 2, Seattle, Toomey 4 (Gallimore, Rouse), 17:43. Penalties-Baldwin Spo (interference), 0:24; Elliot Sea (cross checking), 6:54; Kramer Spo (major-fighting), 18:45; Ramsay Sea (major-fighting), 18:45.

2nd Period-3, Spokane, Holmberg 7 (Kalus, Aviani), 6:50. 4, Spokane, Johnson 23 (Kichton), 12:34 (SH). Penalties-Brassart Spo (hooking), 3:16; Kalus Spo (high sticking, high sticking), 10:41.

3rd Period-5, Spokane, Uher 5 (Koper, Johnson), 3:17 (PP). 6, Spokane, Brassart 3 (Marantz), 7:17. 7, Seattle, Jacobs 14 (Gallimore, Dillon), 9:49. 8, Spokane, Marantz 7 (Valcourt, Baldwin), 11:02. 9, Spokane, Valcourt 4 (Brassart, Vanscourt), 11:25. 10, Spokane, Kuhn 8 (Baldwin, Kichton), 14:39. Penalties-Hickman Sea (tripping), 2:40; Miller Spo (major-fighting), 12:32; Lund Sea (unsportsmanlike cnd., major-fighting), 12:32; Wells Sea (high sticking), 17:46; Valcourt Spo (major-fighting), 19:50; Ramsay Sea (roughing, major-fighting), 19:50.

Shots on Goal-Spokane 13-10-14-37. Seattle 10-14-3-27.

Power Play Opportunities-Spokane 1 / 5; Seattle 0 / 4.

Goalies-Spokane, Reid 17-7-1-1 (26 shots-24 saves); Engel 0-2-1-1 (1 shots-1 saves). Seattle, Salmon 0-1-1-0 (36 shots-28 saves); Cotton 0-0-0-0 (1 shots-1 saves).


Referees-Brett Iverson (24), Jeff Ingram.

Linesmen-Kiel Murchison (46), Adam Brastad (132).


Thunderbirds GM Bil La Forge has some moves to make this offseason. (Brian Liesse/T-Birds photo)...

Andy Eide

Thunderbirds GM Bil La Forge dishes on the upcoming offseason

Thunderbirds general manager Bil La Forge will make some moves this summer to improve his club. Will they be big ones?

2 years ago

Seattle’s Keltie Jeri-Leon celebrates his final WHL goal Sunday against Spokane. (Brian Liess...

Andy Eide

Thunderbirds end strange and hard season on a high note with dominating win over Spokane

The Seattle Thunderbirds dealt with a lot of adversity this season but end on a high note.

2 years ago

Keltie Jeri-Leon plays his final WHL game for the Thunderbirds Sunday night. (Brian Liesse)...

Andy Eide

Keltie Jeri-Leon set to play his final WHL game as Thunderbirds face Spokane Sunday

After five seasons, Seattle's lone over-aged player, Keltie Jeri-Leon will play his final junior game Sunday night.

2 years ago

Seattle rookie Scott Ratzlaff won his first WHL game in his first start. (Judy Simpson/TC Americans...

Andy Eide

Scott Ratzlaff earns first WHL win as Thunderbirds beat Tri-City

Behind a rookie goalie, the Thunderbirds kicked off the season's final weekend with a 5-2 win in Kennewick against the Tri-City Americans.

2 years ago

The Seattle Thunderbirds celebrate after snapping a six-game losing streak Sunday night. (Brian Lie...

Andy Eide

Thunderbirds enjoy winning again after snapping six-game losing streak

The Seattle Thunderbirds have been scuffling but battled against a good Portland Winterhawks club to snap a six-game losing streak.

2 years ago

Thunderbirds forward Reid Schaefer fights for position Sunday in Portland. (Megan Connelly/Winterha...

Andy Eide

Dealing with adversity, young Thunderbirds drop pair of games in Portland

Injuries and penalties have thrown a ton of adversity at the young Thunderbirds which showed up in a pair of losses at Portland this weekend.

2 years ago

Game 31:Thunderbirds dominated by Chiefs