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T-Birds Are 7th Seed in West After Shootout Loss to Portland

March 17, 2013 - Western Hockey League (WHL) Seattle Thunderbirds

PORTLAND - The Seattle Thunderbirds secured the seventh seed in the Western Conference Playoff Standings Saturday night at ShoWare Center after battling to a 6-5 shootout loss to the Portland Winterhawks.

The T-Birds will face the Kelowna Rockets in the first round of the 2013 WHL Playoffs. The first round playoff schedule is as follows:

Game 1 - Friday, March 22 at Kelowna at Prospera Place at 7:05 p.m.

Game 2 - Saturday, March 23 at Kelowna at Prospera Place at 7:05 p.m.

Game 3 - Tuesday, March 26 vs. Kelowna at ShoWare Center at 7:05 p.m.

Game 4 - Wednesday, March 27 vs. Kelowna at ShoWare Center at 7:05 p.m.

Game 5 - Saturday, March 30 at Kelowna at Prospera Place at 7:05 p.m.*

Game 6 - Tuesday, April 2 vs. Kelowna at ShoWare Center at 7:05 p.m.*

Game 7 - Wednesday, April 3 at Kelowna at Prospera Place at 7:05 p.m.*

* if necessary

Game 3 will be Tuesday, March 26, at 7:05pm at ShoWare Center. The T-Birds will continue the popular Directors Mortgage 2-for-Tuesday promotion for Game 3, which means all tickets will be two-for-one and all beer, soda, popcorn and hot dogs will be $2. The first 2,500 fans at Game 3 will receive a Rally Towel courtesy of Directors Mortgage and The Fan 1090.

Game 4 will be Wednesday, March 27, at 7:05pm at ShoWare Center. The T-Birds have a ticket special Game 4 which is two free tickets when eight tickets are purchased. To purchase the Game 4 ticket special contact the T-Birds at 253-239-PUCK (7825).

Game 3 and Game 4 single game playoff tickets are now on sale online at the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare Center box office. The ShoWare Center Box Office is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday game days at 10 a.m. and Sunday game days at noon.

The T-Birds ended the season with a 24-38-7-3 record and are currently three points ahead of the eighth place Everett Silvertips. The Silvertips lost in overtime Saturday night to the Victoria Royals. Everett (24-40-3-4) finishes the regular season against the Tri-City Americans on Sunday but can not catch the T-Birds in the standings.

In the shootout, Pouliot scored first for Portland to put them in front, and after Lockhart and Sheen both missed their chances and Mumaugh stuffed Petan and Leipsic, Lipsbergs stepped up and fired in his fifth goal of the night to extend the shootout. Seattle couldn't get the puck past Burke on three more shots, and Chase De Leo scored on Portland's sixth attempt to win the shootout 2-1 for the Winterhawks.

Portland (56-12-1-2) took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by Nic Petan at 4:08 of the first period. Derrick Pouliot and Brendan Leipsic had the assists.

Seattle (24-38-7-3) tied the game 1-1 at 9:29 of the first. Taylor Green controlled a loose puck in the neutral zone and then fed Michal Holub on the right side as he entered the Portland zone. Holub skated into the right circle and then crossed the puck to Andrew Johnson charging down the slot. Johnson redirected the pass past Portland goalie Brendan Burke.

The Winterhawks went in front 2-1 at 13:45 of the first when Paul Bittner scored. Petan had the only assist on the goal.

Portland outshot the T-Birds 13-4 in the first period.

The T-Birds tied the game 2-2 at 2:57 of the second period on Roberts Lipsbergs 27th goal of the season. Connor Honey gained the Portland zone on the right side. Honey dropped the puck to Lipsbergs trailing the play. Lipsbergs took a wrist shot that Burke stopped but rebound came into the slot. Lipsbergs followed his initial shot, got the rebound and beat Burke high for the goal. Luke Lockhart had the second assist on the goal.

Portland took the lead for a third time at 4:15 of the second when Pouliot scored. Bittner and Petan were credited with the assists.

Seth Jones scored a power-play goal at 11:21 of the second to give Portland a 4-2 lead. Pouliot and Petan had the assists.

Danny Mumaugh replaced Brandon Glover in the Seattle net after Portland's fourth goal. Glover stopped 17 of 21 shots.

Lipsbergs cut the Portland lead to one goal at 14:18 of the second with a power-play goal. Honey had the puck at center ice inside the blue line. Honey passed the puck to Shea Theodore in the left circle. Theodore quickly moved the puck to Lipsbergs in the slot and he ripped it past Burke over the glove for his second goal of the game.

Leipsic scored at 16:22 of the second to put the Winterhawks back in front by two goals. Petan had the only assist.

Seattle came right back and got back within one when Lipsbergs scored his third goal of the game at 16:46 of the second. Jared Hauf had the puck at the left point. Hauf sent the puck to Lockhart in the left corner. Lockhart held the puck then centered it to Lipsbergs in the slot. Lipsbergs wristed the puck over Burke's glove for the goal.

Seattle outshot Portland 15-14 in the second period. Portland led in shots, 27-19, after two periods.

The Thunderbirds were forced to pull Mumaugh with 1:23 left in the third period in search of the tying goal. With the extra attacker on, Riley Sheen cycled the puck along the boards to Lockhart, who turned and found Lipsbergs open in the slot. Lipsbergs controlled the puck and fired in his fourth goal of night and 30th of the season to tie the game 5-5 at 18:58.

The game headed to overtime with Portland leading in shots 38-36.

Neither team could score in the overtime period, as Portland managed to outshoot Seattle 5-4, bringing the game total to 43-40 in favor of the Winterhawks.

Danny Mumaugh finished with 21 saves on 22 shots, and took his record to 1-7-2-1 on the year.

Brendan Burke made 35 saves on 40 shots, and now has a record of 23-5-1-0.

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Western Hockey League Stories from March 17, 2013


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