Goalie Matt Berlin made 30 saves to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 3-1 Western Hockey League win over the Edmonton Oil Kings at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, on Thursday night.
The T-Birds – 4-1-0-0 on their six-stop trip through the Central Division – have won four straught games. The finish the road swing with a 6:30 p.m. Saturday test at the Medicine Hat Tigers.
Berlin had 12 saves in the first period and nine saves in the second and third periods, improving his record to 5-3-0-0.
Seattle (9-5-0-1) took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by Austin Strand at 11:26 of the second period. Donovan Neuls won a faceoff battle in the left circle back to Strand at the left point. Strand crossed the puck to Reece Harsch, who then sent it right back to Strand, who one-timed the pass from the left circle and beat Edmonton goalie Boston Bilous high on the glove side.
Strand has nine goals this season, eight of which have come on the power play. Strand has a six-game point streak with five goals and three assists in the last six games.
Neuls has a five-game point streak with three goals and four assists in the last five games.
The Oil Kings held a 22-11 lead in shots after two periods by outshooting the T-Birds 10-6 in the second period.
Edmonton (5-9-2-0) tied the game 1-1 at 6:47 of the third period on a goal from Jantzen Leslie.
The T-Birds broke the 1-1 deadlock at 15:14 of the third period by forcing a turnover in front of the Oil Kings net. Zack Andrusiak got the loose puck and was all alone in front of Bilous. Andrusiak beat the goalie over the glove with a quick wrist shot for his seventh goal of the season.
Edmonton pulled Bilous with under a minute left in the game. Blake Bargar worked the puck to center ice before passing to Nolan Volcan who was able to hit the empty net and secure the fourth consecutive win for the T-Birds. Volcan has a three-game goal streak.
Edmonton outshot Seattle 9-8 in the third period and 31-19 in the game.
Bilous had 16 saves on 18 shots and his record is now 0-4-1-0.
Prior to the game against the Oil Kings, general manager Russ Farwell announced goalie Eric Ward signed a WHL standard player agreement with the T-Birds. Ward, of Edmonton, is playing with the CAC Edmonton Canadians Midget AAA team. In seven games with the Canadians he has a 2.88 goals against average and a .930 save percentage. Ward took part in the T-Birds rookie and main training camps prior to begin the 2017-18 season. …
Defenseman Tyrel Bauer made his T-Birds’ debut against the Oil Kings. Bauer, of Cochrane, Alberta, was the T-Birds’ second round pick, 41st overall, in the 2017 Bantam Draft. Bauer signed a contract with the team on June 14.
The T-Birds’ next home is 7:35 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10 against the Tri-City Americans at the accesso ShoWare Center.
Single-game tickets are on sale online on the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare box office.
Season tickets may be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.
First period – No scoring. Penalties – Leslie, Edm (interference), 9:34. Andrusiak, Sea (tripping), 13:10. Briscoe, Sea (hooking), 17:57. Mohr, Edm (slashing), 19:29.
Second period – 1, Seattle, Strand 9 (Harsch, Neuls), 11:26 (pp). Penalties – Wedman, Sea (high-sticking), 7:24. Fix-Wolansky, Edm (hooking), 11:16. Hamaliuk, Sea (tripping), 12:02. McNelly, Sea (boarding), 16:51.
Third period – 2, Edmonton, Leslie (Fix-Wolansky, Koch), 5:54. 3, Seattle, Andrusiak 7, 15:14. 4, Seattle, Volcan 5 (Bargar), 19:38 (en). Penalties – Carpendale, Sea (roughing), 2:53. McDonald, Edm (slashing), 2:53.
Shots on goal – Seattle 5-6-8 19, Edmonton 12-10-9 31. Goalies – Seattle, Berlin 31 shots-30 saves (5-3-0-0); Edmonton, Bilous 18-16 (0-4-1-0). Power plays – Seattle 1-4; Edmonton 0-6. A – 5,572. Referees – Cody Rude, Chris Crich. Linesmen – Scott Fulmer, Ethan Cronkhite.