Thunderbirds fall to Kelowna 7-4 for third straight loss
The Thunderbirds were in Kelowna Monday afternoon for a matinee against the Rockets.
Seattle got off to a good start but the Rockets blew the game open in the third period when they scored five goals on way to a 7-4 decision. Kelowna’s Rourke Chartier notched a hat trick and the Rockets also got two goals and two assists for Justin Kirkland.
It was the third straight loss for the T-Birds as their second-half malaise continues.
Seattle came out of the gates strong on Monday, out-shooting the Rockets 13-9 in the opening frame. Rookie Jared Palechaty picked up his first WHL goal when he scored on a slap shot to put the T-Birds up 1-0.
The T-Birds continued their strong play into the second period and were awarded a 4-minute power play on a double-minor to Tyson Baillie 5 minutes into the second. A chance to blow the game open turned against them as Chartier scored a short-handed goal for his first of the afternoon.
With the score tied, the Rockets turned it on.
They put the T-Birds on their heels and out-shot Seattle 21-5 in the period. Justin Kirkland would score his 21st of the season late in the period to put the Rockets up 2-1. Logan Flodell got the start on Monday for the injured Landon Bow and ended the day making 34 saves. He was excellent in the second period and made several big saves to keep the game within reach.
Seattle managed to score late in the second to tie it when Mathew Barzal got on the board on the power play. It was his 15th of the season and the first time in three games that he got on the score sheet.
Scott Eansor scored early in the third period, also on the power play, to put the T-Birds up 3-2 but that is when the wheels came off.
Cole Linaker tied it up 2 minutes after Eansor’s goal and then the Rockets exploded for four more goals, two by Chartier. Nolan Volcan scored his 11th to cut the lead 6-4 late and then Kirkland hit the empty net to seal the deal for Kelowna.
Not only was it the T-Birds’ third straight loss but they missed a chance to gain ground on the first-place Everett Silvertips, who were losing in Victoria.
The two teams will meet again on Tuesday night in Kent to complete their home-and-home.