Henrik Rybinski made his first goal as a Seattle Thunderbird a memorable one Wednesday night at Prospera Place in Kelowna, B.C.
Rybinski scored at 2:38 of overtime to give the T-Birds a 3-2 Western Hockey League win over the Kelowna Rockets.
Noah Philp tied up a faceoff in the right corner of the T-Birds zone. Owen Williams picked up the puck and weaved up ice. Williams crossed the blue line on the right wing and dropped the puck for Rybinski, who carried it down the right wing and then stickhandled through a Kelowna defenseman in the right circle. He came in alone on Kelowna goalie Roman Basran, beating the goalie with a backhand shot over his right shoulder.
Rybinski has a goal and 12 assists in 12 games with the T-Birds since being acquired from the Medicine Hat Tigers on Jan. 4.
Roddy Ross had a solid game in net stopping 26 of 28 shots to improve his record to 6-1-0-1.
The T-Birds have registered a point in nine of their last 10 games and finish January with an 8-3-1-1 record.
Seattle improved to 19-22-5-1 and are two points ahead of the Kamloops Blazers for the second wild-card playoff spot in the Western Conference. They are nine points behind the Spokane Chiefs and Tri-City Americans, who are tied for third place in the U.S .Division.
Kelowna (20-24-4-1) took a 1-0 lead at 8:09 of the first period on a goal from Mark Liwiski. Alex Swetlikoff had the only assist.
Seattle tied the game 1-1 with 54 seconds left in the first. Sean Richards passed the puck to Matthew Wedman who skated up the left wing. Wedman crossed the blue and cut to the high slot. Wedman put a wrist shot on goal through traffic and beat Basran on the glove side.
The T-Birds outshot the Rockets 12-8 in the first period.
Kelowna took a 2-1 lead at 15:02 of the second period on an unassisted shorthanded goal from Kyle Crosbie.
Tyrel Bauer tied the game 2-2 with 45 seconds left in the second period. Philp won a faceoff in the left corner of the Rockets zone to Andrej Kukuca on the right wing. Kukuca poked puck back to Bauer at the left point. Bauer took a slap shot with traffic in front of Basran and beat the goalie on the glove side.
Both teams had 11 shots in the second period and Seattle led 23-18 in shots after two periods.
The T-Birds killed off 1:33 of a five-on-three Rockets power play with six minutes left in the third period.
Seattle outshot Kelowna 12-8 in overtime, 3-1 in overtime and 38-28 in the game.
Basran had 35 saves and his record is now 14-14-2-0.
Seattle plays the Everett Silvertips in a home-and-home series on Friday and Saturday. The teams are at the ShoWare Center on Friday at 7:35 p.m. and then head to the Angel of the Winds Arena on Saturday for a 7:05 p.m. faceoff.
Fans who purchase the 24-flex ticket package will be able to select any available premium seat for any game, in any ticket combination, during the 2018-19 season.
First period – 1, Kelowna, Liwiski 5 (Swetlikoff), 8:03. 2, Seattle, Wedman 22 (Richards), 19:06. Penalties – Wedman, Sea (cross checking), 4:18. Mattson, Kel (kneeing), 9:29. Basran, Kel (high-sticking served by Wong), 15:28.
Second period – 3, Kelowna, Crosbie 6, 15:02 (sh). 4, Seattle, Bauer 2 (Kukuca, Philp), 19:15. Penalties – McNelly, Sea (major-fighting), 12:35. Higson, Kel (major-fighting), 12:35. Topping, Kel (tripping), 14:27. Carpendale, Sea (roughing), 19:36. Lee, Sea (roughing), 19:36. Foote, Kel (roughing), 19:36. Korczak, Kel (roughing), 19:36.
Third period – No scoring. Penalties – Williams, Sea (hooking), 13:34. Richards, Sea (roughing), 14:01.
Overtime – 5, Seattle, Rybinski 2 (Williams), 2:38. Penalties – No penalties.
Shots on goal – Seattle 12-11-12-3 38, Kelowna 8-11-8-1 28. Goalies – Seattle, Ross 28 shots-26 saves (6-1-0-1); Kelowna, Basran 38-35 (14-14-2-0). Power plays – Seattle 0-3; Kelowna 0-3. A – 4,690. Referees – Ryan O’Keefe, Mark Pearce. Linesmen – Dustin Minty, Cody Wanner.