Goalie Liam Hughes stopped all three Portland shooters to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 4-3 shootout win over the Winterhawks at the Moda Center on New Year’s Eve.
It was the Thunderbirds’ third win in three nights.
Hughes denied the Winterhawks’ Cody Glass, Skyler McKenzie and Ryan Hughes to secure the Western Hockey League win for the Thunderbirds (18-14-4-1).
Noah Phil, the T-Birds’ first shooter, waited out Portland goalie Cole Kehler and then snapped the puck over the glove. After Glass was turned away, the T-Birds’ Zack Andrusiak had a chance to win the game, but Kehler made a blocker save on his snap shot.
Hughes, Portland’s center and third shooter, skated toward the Seattle net, made a move to his right, and took a shot, but goalie Hughes made a pad save to win the game.
Hughes finished with 33 saves and improved his record to 6-4-0-1.
Portland (22-12-1-2) took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by McKenzie at 2:22 of the second period. Glass and Brendan De Jong had the assists.
The T-Birds took a 2-1 lead with two goals 37 seconds apart in the second period.
On the power play Donovan Neuls passed the puck to Reece Harsch and the defenseman entered the offensive zone. Harsch skated into the right circle and beat Portland goalie Cole Kehler over the blocker at 7:31 of the period. Jarret Tyszka had the second assist.
Nikita Malukhin scored a greasy goal at 8:08 of the second to give the T-Birds a 2-1 lead. Noah Philp skated from the left circle into the slot and took a shot. The puck rebounded off Kehler into the crease. Malukhin banged the puck past the goalie for his fourth goal of the season. Turner Ottenbreit had the second assist.
Portland tied the game 2-2 at 14:05 of the second on a goal from Reece Newkirk. John Ludvig had the only assist.
Seattle had a 22-19 advantage in shots after two periods.
The T-Birds took a 3-2 lead at 16:57 of the third period. Ottenbreit took a wrist shot from center ice that missed the Portland net and came off the end boards right to Matthew Wedman to the left of the crease. With a Winterhawks defenseman draped on his back, Wedman worked the puck past Kehler as he fell to the ice. Nolan Volcan had the second assist.
Portland pulled Kehler for an extra attacker with 1:55 to go in the game. Ryan Hughes tied the game at 19:02 off a scramble play in the right circle. Alex Overhardt and Glass had the assists.
Kehler finished the game with 27 saves on 30 shots and his record is now 18-8-1-2.
Next up: Kelowna
The T-Birds’ next game is 7:05 p.m. Friday, Jan. 5, before hosting the Spokane Chiefs at 7:05 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 6 at the accesso ShoWare Center.
Single-game tickets for the regular season are on sale on the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare Center box office. Season tickets may be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.
First period – No scoring. Penalties – Gricius, Por (slashing), 2:06. Overhardt, Por (major-fighting), 7:04. Ottenbreit, Sea (major-fighting), 7:04.
Second period – 1, Portland, McKenzie 27 (Glass, De Jong), 2:22. 2, Seattle, Harsch 8 (Neuls, Tyszka), 7:31 (pp). 3, Seattle, Malukhin 4 (Philp, Ottenbreit), 8:08. 4, Portland, Newkirk 2 (Ludvig), 14:05. Penalties – Andrusiak, Sea (cross checking), 1:51. Cicek, Spo (holding), 7:10. Wedman, Sea (hooking), 8:55. Philp, Sea (hooking), 16:18.
Third period – 5, Seattle, Wedman 6 (Ottenbreit, Volcan), 16:57. 6, Portland, Hughes 5 (Overhardt, Glass), 19:02. Penalties – Cicek, Por (roughing), 3:53. Hamaliuk, Sea (roughing), 2;03. Quigley, Por (tripping), 3:53. Volcan, Sea (embellishment), 3:53. Newkirk. Por (goaltender interference), 6:19. Hamaliuk, Sea (charging), 14:18.
Overtime – No scoring. Penalties – No penalties.
Shootout – Seattle 1 (Philp G, Andrusiak NG). Portland 0 (Glass NG, McKenzie NG, Hughes NG). Shots on goal – Seattle 12-10-5-3-1 31, Portland 10-9-13-4-0 36. Goalies – Seattle, Hughes 36 shots-33 saves (6-4-0-1); Portland, Kehler 30-27 (18-8-1-2). Power plays – Seattle 1-3; Portland 1-4. A – 10,568. Referees – Troy Paterson, Chris Crich. Linesmen – Jarrod Bowman, Erik Freeman.