Sports

T-Birds toss Winterhawks, end 15-game losing streak

The Thunderbirds
The Thunderbirds' Branden Troock reaches for the puck in the Portland zone.
— image credit: Rachel Ciampi, Reporter

Before a season high 6,009 fans at the ShoWare Center on Teddy Bear Toss night Saturday, Seattle defeated the Portland Winterhawks 4-3 to end a 15-game losing streak.

Connor Honey and Roberts Lipsbergs each had a goal and an assist. Seth Swenson had two assists.

Portland (37-6-1-1) took a 1-0 lead at 6:44 of the first period when Brendan Leipsic scored. Nic Petan had the only assist for the Winterhawks on the goal.

Seattle (17-26-2-1) tied the game 1-1 at 12:40 of the first period when Roberts Lipsbergs scored in front of the net to start the Teddy Bear Toss. Jared Hauf moved the puck into the corner for Connor Honey. Honey passed the puck out front to Lipsbergs who slammed it home into the open net for his 18th goal of the season.

The game was delayed 10 minutes while the teddy bears and other stuffed animals were cleared off the ice. The bears were collected by the WARM 106.9 Teddy Bear Patrol and will be given to police and fire departments who will distribute them to children in times of emergency and crisis.

Honey then put the T-Birds ahead 2-1 at 17:33 of the first. Lipsbergs, Alexander Delnov, and Honey moved the puck well to break out of the T-Birds end to start an odd-man rush into the Portland zone. The puck moved to Delnov near the left circle who then centered the puck into Honey's path. The puck went in off his skate and was reviewed, but the goal stood as Honey was deemed to not have made a kicking motion towards the puck.

Shots were 15-8 Seattle in the first period.

Portland tied the game at 2-2 just 1:33 into the second period. Ty Rattie scored on a two-on-none break with Leipsic after a T-Birds turnover in the neutral zone.

The Thunderbirds responded and took a 3-2 lead at 4:59 of the second. Seth Swenson was the lone forward in on the forecheck and forced a turnover near the lower right circle. The puck bounced to Branden Troock who snapped a shot past Winterhawks goalie Brendan Burke. The goal was Troock's fifth on the year.

Shots in the second period were 12-8 Seattle, with the T-Birds taking a 22-14 advantage into the second intermission.

The T-Birds took a two-goal lead at 9:40 of the third period. Swenson outraced a Portland defenseman to the puck in the right corner. He curled up the right boards and centered the puck to Adam Kambeitz in front of Burke all alone. Kambeitz brought the puck to his forehand and lifted it over Burke's right shoulder.

The Winterhawks came fast and furious after the second Seattle goal. They got to within one when Petan scored at 13:55 of the third. Leipsic had the only assist on the goal.

The T-Birds blocked several shots and Brandon Glover stood tall to deny the Winterhawks in the last six minute of the game.

Both teams had 12 shots on goal in the third period and the T-Birds finished with a 39-28 advantage in shots.

Glover stopped 25 of 28 shots and his record is now 16-19-2-1.

Burke made 35 saves on 39 shots and his record is now 14-4-1-0.

The T-Birds play the Lethbridge Hurricanes at 5:05 p.m. today at the ShoWare Center.

For tickets, go online at the T-Birds website and visit 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.

T-Birds season tickets are on sale. They can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.

SCORING SUMMARY

First period - 1, Portland, Leipsic 30 (Petan), 6:44. 2, Seattle, Lipsbergs 18 (Honey, Hauf), 12:40. 3, Seattle, Honey 11 (Delnov, Lipsbergs), 17:33. Penalties - Baker, Por (interference), 3:16. Swenson, Sea (roughing), 7:58. Wardley, Sea (unsportsmanlike conduct), 9:24. Peters, Por (unsportsmanlike conduct), 9:24.

Second period - 4, Portland, Rattie 20 (Petan, Leipsic), 1:32. 5, Seattle, Troock 5 (Swenson), 4:59. Penalties - Johnson, Sea (holding), 18:53.

Third period - 6, Seattle, Kambeitz 10 (Swenson), 9:40. 7, Portland, Petan 31 (Leipsic), 13:55. Penalties - Swenson, Sea (unsportsmanlike conduct), 4:16. De Champlain, Por (unsportsmanlike conduct), 4:16. Peters, Por (10-minute misconduct), 20:00.

Shots on goal - Seattle 15-12-12 39, Portland 8-8-12 28. Goalies - Seattle, Glover 28 shots-25 saves (16-19-2-1); Portland, Burke 39-28 (14-4-1-0). Power plays - Seattle 0-1; Portland 0-2. A - 6,009. Referees - Steve Papp, Pat Smith. Linesmen - Zach Brooks, Chris Sweeting.

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