Thunderbirds center Donovan Neuls fights for the puck during WHL play against Spokane on Saturday night at the accesso ShoWare Center. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse/T-Birds

Thunderbirds center Donovan Neuls fights for the puck during WHL play against Spokane on Saturday night at the accesso ShoWare Center. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse/T-Birds

Thunderbirds stretch winning streak to five games

Hughes backstops win, Neuls has two goals and an assist in victory over Spokane | VIDEO

  • Sunday, January 7, 2018 11:46am
  • Sports

Goalie Liam Hughes had 39 saves to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to their fifth straight win, 4-1 over the Spokane Chiefs at the accesso ShoWare Center on Saturday night.

Hughes had 15 saves in the first period, 14 saves in the second period and 10 saves in the third period to improve to 8-4-1-0 on the Western Hockey League season.

The T-Birds have tallied points in their last eight games.

Seattle (20-14-4-1) took a 1-0 lead at 18:11 of the first period. Zack Andrusiak took a shot that Spokane goalie Dawson Weatherill stopped. The puck was in the crease and Donovan Neuls found the back of the net after a scramble in front of the Spokane goalie. Reece Harsch had the second assist.

Spokane outshot Seattle 15-11 in the first period.

The T-Birds went in front 2-0 at 6:36 of the second period. Off a faceoff just outside the Spokane zone Neuls poked the puck forward into the left circle. Jarret Tyszka pinched down and took a wrist shot. Weatherill got a piece of the puck but not all of it as Tyszka’s shot hit the back of the net.

Spokane (21-16-1-2) got on the board when Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored an unassisted four-on-four goal 12:44 of the second.

Neuls got the two-goal lead back at 16:05 of the second with a power-play goal. Austin Strand passed the puck from the left circle to Turner Ottenbreit at center ice. Ottenbreit crossed the puck to Neuls who one-timed the pass. Neuls shot beat Weatherill on the glove side.

The Chiefs led 30-23 in shots after two periods by outshooting the T-Birds 15-12 in the second period.

Matthew Wedman scored a power-play goal at 5:54 of the third period to make it a 4-1 T-Birds lead. Andrusiak took a shot from the right circle that rebounded off Weatherill to Wedman to the right of the goal. Wedman swept the puck past the goalie for his seventh goal of the season. Ottenbreit had the second assist.

Both teams had 10 shots on goal in the third period, and Spokane finished with a 40-33 advantage in shots.

Weatherill had 29 saves and his record is now 12-9-1-2.

Grounding the Rockets

Hughes had 26 saves and Neuls scored two goals to lead the Thunderbirds to a 6-4 win over the Kelowna Rockets on Friday night at Prospera Place in British Columbia.

Zack Andrusiak, Wedman and Tyszka each had two assists in the game.

Next up: Winterhawks

The T-Birds’ next game is 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9, against the Portland Winterhawks at the ShoWare Center.

Single-game tickets are on sale online and at the ShoWare box office.

Season tickets may be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.

SCORING SUMMARY

First period – 1, Seattle, Neuls 12 (Andrusiak, Harsch), 18:11. Penalties – Wedman, Sea (boarding), 5:17. Faith, Spo (roughing), 5:17. Tyszka, Sea (roughing), 5:17. Bargar, Sea (cross checking), 6:56. Harsch, Sea (tripping), 13:37. McGrew, Spo (interference), 13:56. Hamaliuk, Sea (hooking), 19:22.

Second period – 2, Seattle, Tyszka 6 (Neuls), 6:36. 3, Spokane, Anderson-Dolan 22, 12:44. 4, Seattle, Neuls 13 (Ottenbreit, Strand), 16:05 (pp). Penalties – Anderson-Dolan, Spo (goaltender interference), 1:34. Bargar, Sea (roughing), 10:48. McKay, Spo (roughing), 10:48. Bargar, Sea (major-fighting), 13:17. McKay, Spo (major-fighting), 13:17.

Third period – 5, Seattle, Wedman 7 (Andrusiak, Ottenbreit), 5:54 (pp). Penalties – Leduc, Spo (cross checking), 4:04. Tyszka, Sea (delay of game), 10:42.

Shots on goal – Seattle 11-12-10 33, Spokane 15-15-10 40. Goalies – Seattle, Hughes 40 shots-39 saves (8-4-1-0); Spokane, Weatherill 40-39 (12-9-1-2). Power plays – Seattle 0-6; Spokane 2-3. A – 5,180. Referees – Nick Panter, Jeff Ingram. Linesmen – Michael Bean, Ron Dietterle.

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