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After injury and a trade from Everett, Blake Lyda is ready for shot with Thunderbirds

New Seattle goalie Blake Lyda watches the puck during Thunderbirds training camp Tuesday. (Brian Liesse/T-Birds)

KENT — During Seattle’s Tuesday morning’s scrimmages, the goalie for Team Blue had a strange look. He was wearing a Thunderbirds jersey, but his mask was painted Everett Silvertips colors, with a bear on one side and featuring an old English styled ‘E’. The same lettering that the Silvertips used for their jerseys two seasons ago.

The goalie in question was Blake Lyda, and he was making his debut as a Thunderbird.

After being picked up in a trade with the Silvertips on Bantam Draft day, he hadn’t had a chance to get a new mask.

“It just came in, during the intermission there,” Lyda said after coming off the ice. “I got the new one and will bust it out here.”

Lyda, 17, was a fourth-round draft pick of Everett’s in the 2017 draft but found himself in a system with a crowded goalie crease. With Dustin Wolf already in Everett  — one of the top goalies in junior hockey — there wasn’t going to be much chance of ice time with the Silvertips.

“It’s tough when you have two goalies that are pretty much the same age and they have a lot of years left,” he said of the situation. “This is a little better situation.”

With Roddy Ross the number one goalie in Seattle, Lyda will slot in as his back up. Lyda has put up good numbers everywhere he has played and will give Thunderbirds head coach Matt O’Dette a veteran and trustworthy option when Ross needs a night off.

The chance to play a little this season and more in future seasons appeals to Lyda. But being able to play at all is even more exciting for the Edmonton product.

He got into three games for Everett in the 2017-2018 season. He was 15 at the time and called up due to injuries to both Carter Hart and Wolf. Lyda even played a game against Seattle – a 4-3 Thunderbirds win. He would finish that year in the AMMHL with the CAC Canadians and posted an impressive .931 save-percentage.

Things looked promising.

Last year, he started in the AMHL but would only play in five games after complications from an injury caused him to miss most of the season.

“About 10 games in, broke my fingers and was out two months,” he said. “Had surgery with two pins and seven stitches. I came back and it got infected, was on IV for a week. It was frustrating and didn’t really play much last season.”

He’s healthy now and ready to get back to playing hockey. Lyda looked strong in his scrimmage Tuesday morning, a session that ended in a 4-4 tie, thanks to some big saves from the 6-foot-1 goalie.

Lyda is getting used to a new team, new organization and is looking forward to heading back to Everett as a Thunderbird over Labor Day weekend for the Silvertips preseason tournament.

“That’s always a fun tournament to play in,” he said. “I’m super excited to see all the guys and have fun out there.”

By then, he’ll be sporting a proper mask.