T-Birds End 2017 with Shootout Win over Winterhawks
PORTLAND - Seattle Thunderbirds goalie Ryan Hughes stopped all three Portland Winterhawks shooters Sunday night at the Moda Center in Portland to lead the T-Birds to a 4-3 shootout win.
Cody Glass was the Winterhawks first shooter and Hughes stopped his five-hole attempt. Noah Phil was the T-Birds first shooter. Philp waited out Portland goalie Cole Kehler and then snapped the puck over the glove.
Skyler McKenzie was the Winterhawks second shooter. McKenzie came down on Hughes and the goalie flashed a quick poke check that hit McKenzie's stick and caused him to lose control of the puck and not get a shot off. Zack Andrusiak was the T-Birds second shooter and had a chance to win the game but Kehler made a blocker save on his snap shot.
Ryan Hughes was the Winterhawks third shooter. The Portland center skated towards the Seattle net, made a move to his right, and took a shot but goalie Hughes made a pad save to win the game.
Hughes finished with 33 saves and improved his record to 6-4-0-1.
The T-Birds next game is Friday, January 5, at the Kelowna Rockets at 7:05pm. They hos the Spokane Chiefs on Saturday, January 6, at 7:05pm at accesso ShoWare Center.
Seattle outshot Portland 12-10 in a scoreless first period.
Portland (22-12-1-2) took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by McKenzie at 2:22 of the second period. Glass and Brendan De Jong had the assists.
The T-Birds took a 2-1 lead with two goals 37 seconds apart in the second period.
On the power play Donovan Neuls passed the puck to Reece Harsch and the defenseman entered the offensive zone. Harsch skated into the right circle and beat Portland goalie Cole Kehler over the blocker at 7:31 of the period. Jarret Tyszka had the second assist.
Nikita Malukhin scored a greasy goal at 8:08 of the second to give the T-Birds a 2-1 lead. Noah Philp skated from the left circle into the slot and took a shot. The puck rebounded off Kehler into the crease. Malukhin banged the puck past the goalie for his fourth goal of the season. Turner Ottenbreit had the second assist.
Portland tied the game 2-2 at 14:05 of the second on a goal from Reece Newkirk. John Ludvig had the only assist.
Seattle (18-14-4-1) had a 22-19 advantage in shots after two periods.
The T-Birds took a 3-2 lead at 16:57 of the third period. Ottenbreit took a wrist shot from center ice that missed the Portland net and came off the end boards right to Matthew Wedman to the left of the crease. With a Winterhawks defenseman draped on his back, Wedman worked the puck past Kehler as he fell to the ice. Nolan Volcan had the second assist.
Portland pulled Kehler for an extra attacker with 1:55 to go in the game. Ryan Hughes tied the game at 19:02 off a scramble play in the right circle. Alex Overhardt and Glass had the assists.
Kehler finished the game with 27 saves on 30 shots and his record is now 18-8-1-2.
T-Birds single game tickets for the 2017-18 season are currently on sale online on the T-Birds website and at the accesso ShoWare Center box office.
Season Tickets for the WHL Champion T-Birds 2017-18 season are currently on sale. Season tickets can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.
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