Matthew Wedman, Sean Richards and Henrik Rybinski each had three points to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 5-2 Western Hockey League win over the Kamloops Blazers in front of 4,590 fans at accesso ShoWare Center on Sunday night.
The T-Birds move one point ahead of the Blazers for the second wild-card playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Wedman had two goals and an assist, Richards had a goal and two assists, and Rybinski had three assists.
Seattle goalie Roddy Ross made 24 saves and improved his record to 5-1-0-1.
Seattle (18-22-5-1) jumped out to a 2-0 lead with two goals in the first seven minutes of the game.
Noah Philp intercepted a Kamloops pass just inside the blue line and skated at the Kamloops goal but defensive pressure forced him to skate around the left circle. Philp got the wall, stopped and came back at the goal and beat Kamloops goalie Dylan Garand with a wrist shot at 2:17 for his 19th goal of the season.
Matthew Wedman found the back of the net at 7:26 on the power play to make it a 2-0 lead. Philp passed the puck to Henrik Rybinski, who entered the offensive zone on the right wing. Rybinski centered the puck Wedman crashing the net. Wedman redirected the puck past Garand for his 20th goal of the season.
Kamloops (19-25-2-1) cut the T-Birds lead to one goal at 10:24 of the first on a power-play goal by Zane Franklin. Orrin Centazzo and Jackson Caller had the assists.
Tyrel Bauer scored his first career goal to put the T-Birds up 3-1 at 2:53 of the second period. Richards go the puck to Bauer at the right point. Bauer took a wrist shot with traffic in front of Garand. Bauer’s shot deflected off a Kamloops defenseman and beat Garand on the glove side.
Wedman extended the lead to 4-1 at 8:07 of the second. Richards skated the puck up the left wing, cut into the high slot and put a backhand shot towards the net. Wedman tipped the puck past the outstretched right leg of Garand for his second goal of the night. Rybinski had the second assist.
The Blazers cut the lead to two goals at 18:13 of the second on a five-on-three power play goal by Connor Zary. Franklin and Orrin Centazzo had the assists.
Kamloops had three consecutive five-on-three power plays to end the second period and for the first 41 seconds of the third period. The T-Birds gave up the goal to Zary but killed off the second and third two-man advantages to gain momentum and bring the fans to their feet.
Both teams had 11 shots on goal in the second period.
Richards made it a 5-2 lead at 14:33 of the third period. Richards was skating hard down the slot and redirected a Rybinski pass past Garand just before he crashed into the net, knocking it off its moorings. The play went to video review and was determined to be a good goal. Wedman had the second assist.
Seattle outshot Kamloops 12-9 in the third period and 38-26 in the game.
Garand made 33 saves on 38 shots, and his record is 6-6-0-0.
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, Seattle, Philp 19, 2:17. 2, Seattle, Wedman 20 (Rybinski, Philp), 7:26 (pp). 3, Kamloops, Franklin 23 (Centazzo, Caller), 10:24 (pp). Penalties – Sopotyk, Kam (hooking), 2:17. Mohr, Kam (cross checking), 6:43. McNelly, Sea (roughing), 6:43. Onyebuchi, Kam (roughing), 6:43. Jeri-Leon, Sea (slashing), 9:42. Sopotyk, Kam (interference), 12:18. Zary, Kam (cross checking), 20:00.
Second period – 4, Seattle, Bauer 1 (Richards), 2:53. 5, Seattle, Wedman 21 (Richards, Rybinski), 8:07. 6, Kamloops, Zary 12 (Franklin, Centazzo), 18:13 (pp). Penalties – Kaluski, Sea (high-sticking), 5:11. McNelly, Sea (charging), 14:31. Walton, Kam (unsportsmanlike conduct), 14:31. Carpendale, Sea (hooking), 16:21. Loewen, Kam (unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:13. Kaluski, Sea (unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:13. Lee, Sea (cross checking), 17:38. Kubicek, Sea (checking from behind), 18:41. Richards, Sea (slashing), 19:38.
Third period – 7, Seattle, Richards 15 (Rybinski, Wedman), 14:33. Penalties – Sopotyk, Kam (tripping), 1:51. McNelly, Sea (major-fighting), 17:09. Onyebuchi, Kam (major-fighting), 17:09. Davidson, Sea (major-fighting, game misconduct), 17: Orchard, Kam (major-fighting, game misconduct), 17:18. Kaluski, Sea (roughing), 19:11. Caller, Kam (roughing), 19:11.
Shots on goal – Seattle 15-11-12 38, Kamloops 6-11-9 26. Goalies – Seattle, Ross 26 shots-24 saves (5-1-0-1); Kamloops, Garand 38-33 (6-6-0-0). Power plays – Seattle 1-5; Kamloops 2-6. A – 4,590. Referees – Chris Crich, Sean Raphael. Linesmen – Trevor Beaton, Brett Mackey.