Alex Morozoff scored two goals in his debut to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 5-4 Western Hockey League victory over the Everett Silvertips at the accesso ShoWare Center on Tuesday night in the final preseason game for both teams.
The T-Birds, who finished the preseason 5-0-1-0, open the regular season against the Kamloops Blazers at 6:05 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21 at ShoWare.
Morozoff was acquired from the Red Deer Rebels on Monday for a fifth-round pick in the 2021 Bantam Draft.
Defenseman Hunter Donohoe also made his T-Birds debut in the game. Donohoe was acquired from the Rebels on Aug. 26.
Everett took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Jalen Price with six seconds left in the first period.
T-Birds struck four times in the second period to take a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Morozoff scored at 10:40 the second to tie the game 1-1. Zach Ashton hit Lucas Ciona with an up-ice pass on the left wing. Ciona feathered the puck to Morozoff as he crossed the blue line for a partial breakaway. Morozoff beat Everett goalie Braden Holt over the glove.
Seattle took a 2-1 lead on a delayed penalty power play at 16:35 of the second. Andrej Kukuca had the puck at the right point. Kukuca crossed the puck to Keltie Jeri-Leon at center ice. Jeri-Leon moved the puck to Owen Williams who skated into the left circle. Williams beat Holt with a wrist shot over the blocker with traffic in front of the goalie.
Morozoff struck for a second time in the game at 19:24 of the second. Cade McNelly won the puck off the left boards in the neutral zone. Kukuca swept the puck to Morozoff who gained the offensive zone. Morozoff skated into the left circle and beat Holt over the glove.
Kukuca put the T-Birds in front 4-1 with 18 seconds left in the second period. Conner Bruggen-Cate took a shot that Kukuca tipped past Holt. Tyrel Bauer had the second assist.
Everett cut the T-Birds lead to two goals at 1:30 of the third period on a power-play goal by Gage Goncalves.
Seattle went back in front by three goals at 5:09 of the third. Jeri-Leon passed the puck to Brendan Williamson on the right wing. Williamson entered the offensive zone and beat Holt with a wrist shot over the blocker from the right circle.
Dawson Butt scored an unassisted goal at 15:16 and Goncalves scored a six-on-four power-play goal at 18:10 to cut the T-Birds lead to one goal.
Everett pulled their goalie for a second time and Seattle goalie Blake Lyda made several good saves to secure the win. Lyda finished with 25 saves on 29 shots.
Single-game tickets for the regular season are on sale online and at the ShoWare Center box office. Season tickets can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.
First period – 1, Everett, Price 1 (Goncalves), 19:54. Penalties – Butt, Evt (slashing), 14:28.
Second period – 2, Seattle, Morozoff 1 (Ciona, Ashton), 10:40. 3, Seattle, Williams 1 (Jeri-Leon, Kukuca), 14:04 (pp). 4, Seattle, Morozoff 2 (Kukuca, McNelly), 19:24. 5, Seattle, Kukuca 2 (Bruggen-Cate, Bauer), 19:42. Penalties – Ashton, Sea (cross checking), 16:35.
Third period – 6, Everett, Goncalves 2 (Seeley, Patterson), 1:30 (pp). 7, Seattle, Williamson 3 (Jeri-Leon), 5:09. 8, Everett, Butt 1, 15:16. 9, Everett, Goncalves 2 (Butt, Wright), 18:10. Penalties – Bruggen-Cate, Sea (hooking), :38. Roulette, Sea (hooking), 1:30. Butt, Evt (roughing), 5:59. McNelly, Sea (roughing), 5:59. Williamson, Sea (high-sticking), 16:42.
Shots on goal – Seattle 7-14-5 26, Everett 6-12-11 29. Goalies – Seattle, Lyda 29 shots-25 saves (3-0-0-0); Everett, Karki 13-13, Holt 13-8 (1-1-1-0). Power plays – Seattle 0-1; Everett 2-4. Referees – Troy Paterson, Trevor Nolan. Linesmen – Mark Heier, Cameron Wetmore.