T-Birds rally past Chiefs, zero in on playoff berth
March 7, 2013 · 10:56 AM
The Seattle Thunderbirds completed a comeback from a two-goal deficit Wednesday night by scoring three goals in the third period to beat the Spokane Chiefs 4-2 at Veterans Memorial Arena.
The T-Birds are now 23-36-7-1 and in seventh place in the Western Conference Playoff Standings. They have 54 points and are two points ahead of the eighth-place Everett Silvertips.
The T-Birds are eight points ahead of the ninth-place Prince George Cougars (19-38-2-6, 46 points) but the Cougars have two games in hand.
The T-Birds' magic number to clinch a playoff spot is six points. Any combination of T-Bird wins or Prince George losses, where they do not get points, totaling six points and the T-Birds will be in the playoffs.
The T-Birds have two big games this weekend as they face both the Cougars and the Silvertips. They play the Cougars at 7:35 p.m. Friday at the ShoWare Center. They then take on the Silvertips at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at the ShoWare.
After taking a 3-2 lead, Seattle goalie Brandon Glover stood on his head to keep the T-Birds in front. Midway through the third period the Chiefs thought they had scored and started celebrating but the celebration was premature as Glover made a goal line stop with the paddle of his stick. He slapped the puck off the goal line.
During a scramble in front of Glover the referees ruled the T-Birds covered the puck in the crease and awarded the Chiefs a penalty shot. Brenden Kichton took the shot at 16:20 of the third. Kichton came down on Glover and tried to beat the goalie with a wrist shot but Glover flashed the glove and knocked the puck away.
With less than three minutes to play Glover stopped Mike Aviani on a Chiefs two-on-none break. Glover denied Aviani by getting his left pad down at the post.
The Chiefs pulled goalie Eric Williams with over a minute and a half left in the game. Glover made several more saves against six Chiefs skaters to keep the T-Birds in the game. Glover ended up stopping 27 of 29 shots and his record is now 22-27-5-1.
Spokane (39-25-2-0) went in front 1-0 at 7:08 of the first period when Aviani scored. Mitch Holmberg and Alessio Bertaggia had the assists.
Seattle outshot Spokane 7-6 in the first period.
The Chiefs took a 2-0 lead at 7:20 of the second period on a goal from Carter Proft. Tyler King had the only assist on the goal.
Seattle (23-37-7-1) got on the board at 8:37 of the second on a power-play goal from Roberts Lipsbergs. Alexander Delnov sent the puck behind the Spokane net where Luke Lockhart got to it. Lockhart pushed the puck to Lipsbergs who brought it out from behind the net up the right boards. Lipsbergs curled into the slot and snapped a shot over the glove of Williams with Lockhart in front of the net. It was Lipsbergs team leading 24th goal of the season.
Spokane outshot Seattle 16-6 in the second period and led 22-13 in total shots after two periods.
The T-Birds tied the game 2-2 at 6:36 of the third period with a power-play goal. Lockhart stopped the puck from going out of the offensive zone just inside the blue line at center ice. He fed the puck to his left to Shea Theodore. Theodore skated into the left circle and snapped the puck past Williams for his 17th goal of the season.
The T-Birds kept the pressure on and went ahead 3-2 with a shorthanded goal by Connor Sanvido at 8:01 of the third. Seth Swenson stole the puck in the neutral zone to set up a two-on-one with Sanvido. Swenson came into the right circle and crossed the puck to Sanvido in the left circle. Sanvido one-timed the puck and beat Williams over the glove for the go-ahead goal.
Riley Sheen secured the win with an empty-net goal at 19:42 of the third. Justin Hickman and Adam Kambeitz had the assists.
The T-Birds outshot the Chiefs 17-7 in the third period and 30-29 in the game.
Williams made 26 saves on 29 shots and his record is now 29-19-2-0.
T-Birds tickets are available 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.
First period - 1, Spokane, Aviani 29 (Holmberg, Bertaggia), 7:08. Penalties - Wray, Sea (hooking), 2:52. Wedman, Spo (double minor-high sticking) 8:41. King, Spo (holding), 13:02. Theodore, Sea (holding), 15:07. Johnson, Sea (holding), 19:10.
Second period - 2, Spokane, Proft 9 (King), 7:20. 3, Seattle, Lipsbergs 24 (Lockhart, Delnov), 8:37 (pp). Penalties - King, Spo (holding), 7:43.Gow, Spo (tripping), 16:39econd.
Third period - 4, Seattle, Theodore 17 (Lockhart), 6:36 (pp). 5, Seattle, Sanvido 14 (Swenson), 8:01 (sh). 6, Seattle, Sheen 13 (Hickman, Kambeitz), 19:42 (en). Missed Penalty Shot - Kichton, Spo, 16:20. Penalties - Cardiff, Spo (tripping), 3:16. Proft, Spo (high-sticking), Foulk, Sea (hooking), 7:13.
Shots on goal - Seattle 7-6-17 30, Spokane 6-16-7 29. Goalies - Seattle, Glover 29 shots-27 saves (22-27-5-1); Spokane, Williams 29-26 (29-19-2-0). Power plays - Seattle 2-7; Spokane 0-4. A -4,114. Referees - Ryan Benbow, Curtis Marouelli. Linesmen - Jeremi Del Campo, Jason Michelbrook.