Game 26:Thunderbirds lose in Kelowna to drop third in a row
(15-11-0-0) Kelowna Rockets 3, (11-8-3-4)Seattle Thunderbirds 2
Noebels with a power play goal…Birds on three game losing streak
KELOWNA–On their first game of four straight on the road the Thunderbirds have trouble generating shots and lose to the Rockets.
Brenden Dillon (3) got the Birds on the board early in the first period off a feed from Travis Toomey. The Birds took the 1-0 lead at the 3:07 mark. Toomey and Dave Sutter got the assists. Jacob Doty took exception to a big hit on Justin Hickman and went at it with Jessey Astles. Doty was given the extra two minutes for Instigating. The Rockets took advantage of the power play opportunity as Zack Franco (6) slapped one past Calvin Pickard (11-8-2-4) to tie the game 1-1.
Kelowna went back on the power play at 12:10 when the Birds were called for Too Many Men. The Birds killed off the penalty.
After 20 minutes the game was tied 1-1. Shots were 9-9. Kelowna had both power plays in the period.
The Birds did a much better job at limiting shots than they have done recently. The Doty penalty was unfortunate, you love to see guys sticking up for teammates but it was deemed to be a clean hit on Hickman. Doty has to pick his spots better.
The Rockets scored on the first shot of the second period to go up 2-1. Mitchell Callahan (13) scored the goal 28 seconds into the period.
Luke Lockhart was pushed, shoved back and the only penalty handed out was against him, for Roughing. So the Rockets went on their third power play of the night at the two minute mark. The Birds killed the penalty as the Rockets were 1 for 3 on the power play.
The Birds picked up their first power play opportunity at 4:40 when Damon Severson was called for Interference. The Birds couldn’t get shots through and couldn’t convert. Erik Bonsor was then called for Tripping at 7:02 to put Kelowna on the power play for the fourth time. Seattle killed off the man advantage.
The Birds went back to the power play at 10:26 when Brett Bulmer was called for Hooking. The Birds couldn’t get much going as they went 0 for 2 on the power play. Kelowna got their fifth power play chance at 14:49 when Charles Wells was called for Hooking. The Birds killed off the penalty allowing one shot.
The teams skated four on four to end the second period when Tyler Alos and Callahan were assessed Roughing penalties at the 19:14 mark.
The Birds trailed 2-1 after the second period. Shots were 21-16 in favor of Kelowna.
Kelowna went up 3-1 on another early period goal as Spencer Main (5) scored at 3:11. Meanwhile the Birds continued to have trouble getting much offense going. Doty and Astles didn’t have enough of each other in the first period so they went at it again in a short lived fight. The Birds would get their third power play chance at 7:31 when Geordie Wudrick was called for Hooking. The Birds finally got back on the scoreboard to make it a 3-2 Kelowna lead when Marcel Noebels (9) knocked one past Adam Brown (12-10-0-0) at 7:46 with assists from Burke Gallimore and Dillon. The goal put the Birds at 1 for 3 on the power play.
Pickard was pulled in favor of the extra attacker with just under a minute remaining. They were not able to get the tying goal and lose 3-2 to Kelowna to drop their third in a row. The Birds were out shot 30-22.
Seattle simply couldn’t get enough shots on net once again. Many of their shots were simply blocked or at times they just plain missed the net on scoring chances. Going hard to the net for gritty goals is a big issue. The Birds were single digits in shots in every period (9-7-6).
Either the players that have struggled putting pucks in the net thus far such as Elliot, Alos, Wells, Lund, and Sanvido are going to have to pick up the pace or the Birds are going to have to look elsewhere for help if they want to realistically contend. Problem is that several others teams in the Western Conference are scoring goals at a breakneck pace. Teams like Prince George, Portland, Tri-City and Spokane. It’s a tight Conference and scoring an extra half goal or so per game on average can make a huge difference.
It won’t get any easier as the Birds now head all the way up to Prince George to face the offensively potent, and resurgent Cougars. They will play two games there before heading back to the States to play the Americans in Kennewick on Friday the 10th.
Friday night’s game in Prince George will start at 7 pm. It can be heard at MyNorthwest.com.
– The Thunderbirds road record drops to 7-4-2-2.
– The Birds have now been out shot in 20 of their 26 games.
– Seattle was 1 for 3 on the power play while Kelowna was 1 for 5.
– Attendance in Kelowna was announced as 6,021.
1st Period-1, Seattle, Dillon 3 (Toomey, Sutter), 3:07. 2, Kelowna, Franko 6 (Severson, McColgan), 7:10 (PP). Penalties-Doty Sea (instigator, major-fighting, 10-minute misconduct), 6:25; Astles Kel (major-fighting), 6:25; served by Elliot Sea (too many men), 12:10.
2nd Period-3, Kelowna, Callahan 13 (Franko), 0:28. Penalties-Lockhart Sea (roughing), 2:00; Severson Kel (interference), 4:40; Bonsor Sea (tripping), 7:02; Bulmer Kel (hooking), 10:26; Wells Sea (hooking), 14:49; Alos Sea (roughing), 19:14; Callahan Kel (roughing), 19:14; Toomey Sea (major-fighting), 19:32; Jobke Kel (major-fighting), 19:32.
3rd Period-4, Kelowna, Main 5 (Bulmer, Chikie), 3:11. 5, Seattle, Noebels 9 (Gallimore, Dillon), 7:45 (PP). Penalties-Doty Sea (major-fighting), 5:57; Astles Kel (major-fighting), 5:57; Wudrick Kel (hooking), 7:31.
Shots on Goal-Seattle 9-7-6-22. Kelowna 9-12-9-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Seattle 1 / 3; Kelowna 1 / 5.
Goalies-Seattle, Pickard 11-8-2-4 (30 shots-27 saves). Kelowna, Brown 12-10-0-0 (22 shots-20 saves).
Referees-Steve Papp (36), Matt Thurston (64).
Linesmen-Ward Pateman (124), Alex Teichroeb (120).