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Blazers burn T-Birds at sold-out ShoWare | WHL

The Thunderbirds
The Thunderbirds' New Year' Eve matchup against Kamloops packed the ShoWare Center with 6,149 fans.
— image credit: Courtesy photo/Kyle Scholzen, Thunderbirds

A sellout crowd of 6,149 greeted the Thunderbirds in the last game of 2013, which saw the Kamloops Blazers beat Seattle 7-1.

Seattle's record is now 22-11-2-3, while Kamloops sits at 10-25-2-2.

The T-Birds had Justin Myles in net, who made 10 saves on 12 shots in the first period before being replaced by Danny Mumaugh, who stopped 20 of 25. Myles took the loss, making his record 11-6-0-0. Taran Kozun got the nod for the Blazers, and is now 5-17-2-1 on the season after making 33 saves.

Unfortunately, bad luck bit Seattle and gave the Blazers a lead. Theodore's stick snapped as the defenseman tried to bring the puck up the ice during a power play, leaving Kamloops' Mitch Lipon alone with the puck just inches from the goal. The shorthanded goal at 9:11 gave Kamloops a 1-0 lead.

Even strength hockey only lasted a few moments before the Blazers took their second penalty. Almost the entirety of the power play was spent in the offensive zone, with Kamloops only able to clear twice. Even with the consistent attack, no tying goal came for Seattle.

Once again, even strength hockey was fleeting, this time due to a Seattle penalty. On the ice for the first time, the Blazers' power play was disrupted repeatedly before their only extended possession with 20 seconds left. Unable to score, Kamloops took its third penalty when Evan Wardley was held on a breakaway as the defenseman left the box, giving Seattle its third power play in the first period. The penalty kill won the battle once again, and the score remained 1-0 Kamloops.

With just 38 seconds left in the first, the Blazers struck again to widen the gap, making the score 2-0. Collin Shirley scored the goal and Jesse Shynkaruk and Joe Kornelsen had assists.

Shots in the first period were tied 12-12, though faceoffs were 11-4 in Seattle's favor. Still, the T-Birds entered the first intermission down 2-0.

Mumaugh took over in goal for the second period and was set to be tested 46 seconds in by a Blazers power play. Seattle's skaters held Kamloops without a shot during the advantage, however, and had the only offensive pressure during the two minutes.

Another penalty went against the T-Birds at 3:47. Kamloops had two shots fought off by Mumaugh in the opening seconds but was penalized again. Seattle was given a major penalty and a game misconduct, resulting in 48 seconds of 5-on-3 hockey and 4:12 more of 5-on-4. The T-Birds killed off both penalties in their entirety, however.

Back at even strength at the period's halfway point, the Blazers scored their third goal of the game at 11:04. Shirley found Cole Ully in the slot, who beat Mumaugh to make the score 3-0. Nathan Looysen had the secondary assist.

The Blazers attack struck again, making the score 4-0. After Mumaugh lost his stick in the crease, the puck was thrown back in front and bounced off the loose stick at 18:04. The goal went to Ryan Rehill for his first of the year, with Edson Harlacher earning the only assist.

Kamloops struck for the third time in the period a minute later on a 3-on-2 rush. Mumaugh was able to fight off two shots, only to have the final rebound bounce out to Tyson Ness, who was trailing the play. Carson Bolduc and Aspen Sterzer were given the assists.

With the second period in the books, Seattle found itself outshot 17-6 and losing 10 of 15 faceoffs en route to a 5-0 deficit.

A heated scrum developed near the boards after the final whistle of the second period, resulting in penalties to both teams. With eight penalties assessed, the T-Birds ended up with a power play to start the third period. Seattle still couldn't break through and remained without a goal as the game returned to 5-on-5.

The T-Birds did control the pace early in the third, recording four shots on goal to Kamloops' none in the first five minutes and sending just as many shots wide. Seattle had its sixth power play as a result of their pressure and got their first goal of the game during their man advantage. Branden Troock faked a shot, only to deke past the defender and score his 19th of the year. Justin Hickman had the primary assist after rifling a cross-ice pass and Shea Theodore had the secondary assist at 5:48.

Kamloops turned the tide back in their favor and scored their sixth of the night just a minute later at 6:11. Ully had the goal for his second of the night. Connor Clouston had the assist.

A second shorthanded goal was scored by the Blazers at 12:02. Kornelsen scored on a breakaway to make the score 7-1. There were no assists.

In the final frame, Seattle won 11 of 18 faceoffs and outshot Kamloops 15-8.

On the road again

Seattle embarks on a five-game road trip, starting at 6 p.m. Friday at Red Deer. The T-Birds visit Edmonton to play the Oil Kings at 6 p.m. Saturday and invade Calgary to play the Hitmen at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets

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.

Season tickets can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.

SCORING SUMMARY

First period - 1, Kamloops, Lipon 2 (unassisted), 9:11 (sh). 2, Kamloops, Shirley 4 (Shynkaruk, Kornelsen), 19:21. Penalties - Kornelsen, Kamloops (hooking), 7:34. Rehill, Kamloops (hooking), 9:58. Wardley, Seattle (boarding), 13:53. Connolly, Kamloops (holding), 16:05.

Second period - 3, Kamloops, Ully 16 (Shirley, Looysen), 11:04. 4, Kamloops, Rehill 1 (Harlacher), 18:04. 5, Kamloops, Ness 9 (Bolduc, Sterzer), 19:07. Penalties - Troock, Seattle (elbowing), :46. Henry, Seattle (holding), 3:47. Wardley, Seattle (major-checking to the head), 5:00. Wardley, Seattle (game misconduct), 5:00. Kornelsen, Kamloops (slashing), 14:42. Grist, Kamloops (roughing), 20:00. Grist, Kamloops (unsportsmanlike conduct), 20:00. Looysen, Kamloops (roughing), 20:00. Looysen, Kamloops (unsportsmanlike conduct), 20:00. Hickman, Seattle (roughing), 20:00. Douglas, Seattle (roughing), 20:00. Douglas, Seattle (unsportsmanlike conduct), 20:00. Swenson, Seattle (10 minute misconduct), 20:00.

Third period - 6, Seattle, Troock 19 (Hickman, Theodore), 5:48 (pp). 7, Kamloops, Ully 17 (Clouston), 6:11. 8, Kamloops, Kornelsen 3 (unassisted), 12:02 (sh). Penalties - Lipon, Kamloops (slashing), 5:08. Grist, Kamloops (slashing), 11:23. Bench served by Delnov, Seattle (objects thrown on ice), 19:12.

Shots on goal - Seattle 12-6-15 34, Kamloops 12-17-8 37. Goalies - Seattle, Myles 12 shots-10 saves (11-6-0-0), Mumaugh 25 shots-20 saves; Kamloops, Kozun 34-33 (5-17-2-1). Power plays - Seattle 1-7; Kamloops 0-5. A - 6,149. Referees - Brett Iverson, Mark Pearce. Linesmen - Kevin Boris, Zach Brooks.

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