Stankowski stands tall, leads T-Birds to Game 3 win | WHL playoffs

Goalie makes 34 saves in 2-1 win over Kelowna

Carl Stankowski made 34 saves to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 2-1 victory over the Kelowna Rockets in Game 3 of their Western Conference championship series at Prospera Place in Kelowna, British Columbia on Tuesday night.

The T-Birds lead the best-of-seven series 2-1. Game 4 of the Western Conference Championship is 7:05 p.m. Wednesday

Stankowski had nine saves in the first period, 15 saves in the second period and 10 saves in the third period. Stankowski is now 10-1 in the playoffs.

Keegan Kolesar scored with 20 seconds left in the third period to break a 1-1 tie. Off a faceoff in the left circle of the Kelowna Mathew Barzal won the puck back to Turner Ottenbreit at the left point. Ottenbreit’s shot didn’t get through and came to Kolesar in the slot. Kolesar spun with the puck and beat Kelowna goalie Michael Herringer low.

The T-Birds took a 1-0 lead at 11:33 of the second period. Ryan Gropp got a loose puck in the neutral zone and skated up ice on a two-on-one break with Kolesar. Gropp crossed the puck to Kolesar in the left circle and he beat Herringer with a wrist shot high.

The Rockets had four power plays in the third period and were able to capitalize on a two-man advantage to tie the game 1-1 at 13:53. Nick Merkley took a shot from the high slot that hit the glass behind the Seattle net. The puck rebounded back toward the net, bounced off the crossbar and into the air. Calvin Thurkauf batted the puck into the net for the goal. Stankowski and the penalty killers on the ice immediately appealed to the referees that the puck was batted in with a high stick. The goal went to a lengthy video review before the referees ruled it was a goal.

The T-Birds were 0-1 for on the power play in the game while the Rockets were 1-7 with the man advantage.

Herringer finished the game with 12 saves and his playoff record is now 9-5.


Western Conference Championship

Game 1 – At Seattle 5, Kelowna 4

Game 2 – Kelowna 4, Seattle, 3, OT

Game 3 – Seattle 2, Kelowna 1

Game 4 – Seattle at Kelowna, Wednesday, April 26, 7:05 p.m

Game 5 – Kelowna at Seattle, Friday, April 28, 7:35 p.m

Game 6 – Seattle at Kelowna, Sunday, April 30, 5:05 p.m*

Game 7 – Kelowna at Seattle, Tuesday, May 2, 7:05 p.m*

* if necessary


Single-game tickets for Game 5 are on sale online on the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare Center box office. The box office is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For Game 5, fans can purchase 10 tickets at $22 each for $220 and get an additional two free tickets plus $10 worth of Chuck-A-Pucks.

The group ticket special is available online and by contacting the T-Birds at 253-239-PUCK (7825). The special is not available on game day. They are advance purchase only.


First period – No scoring. Penalties – Gardiner, Kel (hooking), 3:46. Eansor, Sea (tripping), 12:28.

Second period – 1, Seattle, Kolesar 8 (Gropp), 11:33. Penalties – Bear, Sea (hooking), 2:48. Barzal, Sea (high-sticking), 18:36

Third period – 2, Kelowna, Thurkauf 7 (Merkley, Dube), 13:53. 3, Kolesar 9 (Ottenbreit, Barzal), 19:40. Penalties – Strand, Sea (delay of game), 1:42. Strand, Sea (tripping), 8:03. Tyszka, Sea (delay of game), 11:59. Ottenbreit, Sea (hooking), 12:12.

Shots on goal – Seattle 4-6-4 14, Kelowna 9-15-11 35. Goalies – Seattle, Stankowski 35 shots-34 saves (10-1); Kelowna, Herringer 14-12 (9-5). Power plays – Seattle 1-7; Kelowna 0-1. A – 5,085. Referees – Brett Iverson, Fraser Lawrence. Linesmen – Nick Bilko, Dustin Minty.