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T-Birds tame Cougars in wild one, snap losing skid | WHL

For the Reporter

Seattle's Ryan Gropp had a hat trick and 13 Thunderbirds registered a point Tuesday night in a wild 9-7 victory over the Prince George Cougars at the CN Centre in Prince George, British Columbia.

The Thunderbirds (23-14-2-3) snapped a five-game losing streak. The teams meet again at 7 p.m. today on CN Centre ice. The Cougars are 16-22-2-3.

The Cougars had leads of 1-0 and 2-1 to start the game. Then the T-Birds stormed back and took leads of 5-2 and 7-3. But the Cougars made it interesting cutting the Seattle lead to one goal, 8-7, midway through the third period before empty-net goal won it for Seattle.

Logan Flodell made his first career start in goal for the T-Birds Tuesday night. He made 21 saves on 28 shots in the win. He was called up from the Regina Pat Canadians with goalie Justin Myles suffering from an illness.

The teams combined for seven goals in a back and forth third period.

The T-Birds took a 7-3 lead 1:07 into the third period with a four-on-three power-play goal. Gropp passed the puck from the left circle to Theodore at the left point. Shea Theodore crossed the puck to Adam Henry who ripped a slap shot on goal. Henry's shot beat Ty Edmonds over the left shoulder.

Zach Pochiro scored at 1:46 of the third to get the Cougars fourth goal.

Todd Fiddler scored just over two minutes after Pochiro's goal to make it a 7-5 T-Birds lead.

The T-Birds took the three-goal lead back at 6:16 of the third on Scott Eansor's second goal of the season. Jerret Smith took a slap shot from the right circle that Eansor tipped over Edmonds left shoulder. Seth Swenson had the second assist on the goal.

Pochiro scored a power-play goal at 9:57 of the third to cut the T-Birds' lead back to two goals. He took a wrist shot from the top of the right circle with traffic in front of Flodell to get the goal. Fiddler had the only assist on the goal.

Fiddler scored at 12:53 to cut the T-Birds lead to one goal. Pochiro chased down the puck to the right of the T-Birds goal and centered it to Fiddler in the slot. Fiddler found the back of the net for the hat trick goal. Pochiro and Joseph Carvalho had the assists.

Gropp netted an empty-net goal at 19:04 of the third to seal the win for the T-Birds. Justin Hickman gained the red line and took a shot on goal that missed the net. The puck rebounded off the end boards and Gropp got to the puck and put it into the empty net. Sam McKechnie had the second assist on the goal.

The Cougars outshot the T-Birds 12-9 in the third period and 28-27 in the game.

Edmonds stopped 18 of 26 shots and his record is now 13-14-1-2.

SCORING SUMMARY

First period - 1, Prince George, Wilson 16 (Fiddler, Ruopp), 1:28. 2, Seattle, Gropp 8 (Theodore, Bear), 4:36 (pp). 3, Prince George, Fiddler 20 (McNulty, Bourke), 11:54 (pp). 4, Seattle, Delnov 17 (Henry, Kolesar), 16:38 (pp). 5, Seattle, Spencer 2 (Lipsbergs, Delnov), 19:17. Penalties - Tkatch, PG (holding), 2:54. Wardley, Sea (tripping), 10:12. Hickman, Sea (hooking), 11:04. Harkins, PG (hooking), 15:12.

Second period - 6, Seattle, Wardley 1, :22. 7, Seattle, Lipsbergs 23 (Delnov, Theodore), 1:12. 8, Prince George, Morrison 4 (Harkins, Bobos), 14:52. 9, Seattle, Gropp 9 (Wardley, Hauf), 16:34. Penalties - Spencer, Sea (roughing), 6:13. Grewal, PG (roughing), 6:13. Gropp, Sea (hooking), 9:14. Hickman, Sea (cross checking), 12:41.

Third period - 10, Seattle, Henry 6 (Theodore, Gropp), 1:07 (pp). 11, Prince George, Pochiro 15 (Fiddler), 1:46. 12, Prince George, Fiddler 21 (Wilson, Pochiro), 3:54. 13, Seattle, Eansor 2 (Smith), 6:16. 14, Prince George, Pochiro 16 (Bourke), 9 :57. 15, Prince George, Fiddler 22 (Pochiro, Carvalho),12:53. 16, Seattle, Gropp 10 (Hickman), 19:04 (en). Penalties - Hickman, Sea (slashing), :11. Bourke, PG (cross checking), :11. Grewal, PG (roughing), :48. Eansor, Sea (tripping), 8:48.

Shots on goal - Seattle 12-6-9 27, Prince George 6-10-12 28. Goalies - Seattle, Flodell 28 shots-21 saves (1-0-0-0); Prince George, Edmonds 26-18 (13-14-1-2). Power plays - Seattle 3-3; Prince George 2-5. A - 1,254. Referees - Adam Griffiths, Brett Iverson. Linesmen - Korey Martens, Richie Rogers.

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