Sports stats

 Seattle Thunderbirds

T-Birds Take Series Lead over ICE

May 17, 2023 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Seattle Thunderbirds News Release

KENT, Wash. -Three goals in a 45-second span of the first period pushed the Seattle Thunderbirds past the Winnipeg ICE, 6-3, Tuesday at the accesso ShoWare Center. The win gives Seattle a 2-1 lead in the WHL Championship Series. Game four of the best of seven matchup goes Wednesday at the accesso ShoWare Center as well. Game time is 7:05 p.m.

It was a blur of a start," said Thunderbirds head coach Matt O'Dette as the two teams traded goals in the first ninety seconds of the opening period. "We get the first one, right off the bat. They answer right away. There were some big saves in there too, one on a breakaway."

Seattle opened the scoring just twenty-five seconds in when Kyle Crnkovic scored his fifth of the playoffs. He said it was fueled in part by the large, boisterous crowd. "It's always easy playing in front of our fans," he remarked. "It was packed tonight. To get one early, to get the crowd into it was awesome."

A minute after the Crnkovic goal Winnipeg answered with a goal from Carson Latimer. Then Seattle got the offense going. The three-goal outburst was started with a power play goal from Jeremy Hanzel, who finished the night scoring twice and adding an assist.

"I've always known I've had it," said Hanzel of his deadly one-timer. "I've just found myself in situations where I get to use it more. Lately guys have been finding me with the puck. It's been great."

The goal, at 13:24 of the first, was followed 23-seconds later by a Brad Lambert goal. Twenty -two seconds after that Jared Davidson made it 4-1. "Shifts after goals," commented O'Dette. "We got right back on the attack, adding goals and capping off a pretty good first period."

The T-Birds added a second power play goal at 8:09 of period two. The goal was Dylan Guenther's 15th of the playoffs, tops in the WHL this postseason. After the ICE's Zach Benson scored to make it 5-2 at 13:42, Hanzel added his second with under a minute and a half remaining in the period.

"We had some timely goals." Said O'Dette. "We didn't finish the game as strongly as we'd like but we're happy with the win."

Winnipeg scored the only goal of the third period, a Zack Ostapchuk power play marker at 12:12.

After Game Four on Wednesday, Seattle will host Game Five on Friday.


Reid Schaefer's five game goal scoring streak came to an end, but he did pick up an assist and now has points in six straight playoff games.

Thomas Milic earned the win in goal with a 35 save performance. It was his fourteenth win of the 2023 playoffs and the second straight year he has posted at least fourteen playoff wins.

With his goal Jared Davidson now has 51 career playoff points as a Thunderbird, four back of Ethan Bear for second all-time in franchise history. Mat Barzal leads with 65 points.

Seattle improved to 7-1 on home ice in the 2023 postseason.

• Discuss this story on the Western Hockey League message board...

Western Hockey League Stories from May 17, 2023

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

Other Recent Seattle Thunderbirds Stories

Sports Statistics from the Stats Crew
OurSports Central