THUNDERBIRDS

Thunderbirds training camp Day 1 recap

Aug 20, 2019, 9:36 PM | Updated: 9:39 pm
Seattle's Jared Davidson plays the puck during Thunderbirds training camp on Tuesday. (Brian Liesse...
Seattle's Jared Davidson plays the puck during Thunderbirds training camp on Tuesday. (Brian Liesse/T-Birds)
(Brian Liesse/T-Birds)

KENT — Seattle Thunderbirds goalie Roddy Ross wasted no time getting into the action at training camp Tuesday.

The Philadelphia Flyers prospect hit the ice at the accesso ShoWare Center in the morning scrimmage and looked to be in midseason form. He stopped 13 shots as his Team White earned a 5-0 shut out over Team Grey.

Ross will be the Thunderbirds number one goalie and his back up, Blake Lyda, also had a strong showing on Tuesday. Lyda is making his Seattle debut this week after being acquired from the Everett Silvertips in a May trade.

Later in the day, a couple of undrafted goalies stole the show.

Kaden Toussaint, a 2004-born goalie from Red Deer, made 36 saves for Team Green in the afternoon. Toussaint spent last year with the Red Deer Rebels Bantam team where he recorded a 2.12 goals-against average with a .919 save-percentage.

In Tuesday’s final scrimmage, American born Matthew Malin made 34 saves in a 6-2 win for Team Green. Malin is from San Francisco and played for the San Jose Jr. Sharks last season.

Training camp continues Wednesday with more scrimmages, starting at 9 a.m.

Here are some other observations from Day 1 of Thunderbirds training camp.

Players not in camp 

Henrik Rybinski and Simon Kubicek have not appeared at training camp yet. Rybinksi, who was drafted in June by the Florida Panthers, is home in Vancouver dealing with an illness. He is expected to be in Kent at some point during the week.

The defenseman Kubicek is in Europe training with Team Czech but like Rybinski, will be reporting to camp soon.

Winter has come for the Thunderbirds

One player of interest in camp is Winter Wallace. The 17-year-old is from Colorado and played last year in Minnesota for Shattuck St. Mary’s. He’s committed to play NCAA hockey with Michigan State but is on Seattle’s protected list and is in camp to get a better feel for the Thunderbirds and the WHL.

He’s listed at 6-foot-4 and had a monster season last year, scoring 30 goals and 36 assists in 54 games.

Wallace played well on Tuesday. He used his size, threw checks and displayed offensive instincts. Being in camp is no guarantee that he will forgo college to play for the Thunderbirds, but he will be a player to watch as camp progresses.

Conner Roulette puts on a show

There is a great deal of expectation for rookie Conner Roulette, who Seattle selected in the second round of the 2018 draft. He had a tremendous offensive year in Winnipeg last season, and he put on a show Tuesday morning.

He was active all day, picking up a hat trick in the morning scrimmage and ended with the three goals and two more assists during two scrimmages to take the camp scoring lead. He played on a line with Michael Horon and Sam Popwich and the three were dangerous all day, combining for three goals and 10 assists.

Seattle’s other rookies shine

2018 first-round pick Kai Uchacz scored twice to go with an assist on Tuesday and fellow rookie Mekai Sanders was a spark. The latter, a 2018 ninth-round pick from Gig Harbor, created a number of chances and if not for Ross’ play in the morning, might have scored a couple of goals.

Horon and rookie Brendan Williamson also had strong days. Both players have speed and made strong cases for getting into the Thunderbirds lineup.

Mount with the goal of the day

Second-year player, Payton Mount, recorded the goal of the day on Tuesday. The 2017 first-round pick beat a defender along the boards, cut in front of the net only to see his initial shot stopped by goalie Thomas Milic. Mount fell to the ice but the puck came to him and he chipped it over Milic from a prone position.

Mount was good all day and ended up with a goal and two assists.

Returning players play well

It should come as no surprise that the veteran players looked good on Tuesday. Import Andrej Kukuca scored three times, Jared Davidson scored twice to go with an assist and defenseman Cade McNelly led all blue-liners with four assists on the day.

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