Volcan hat trick powers Thunderbirds over Cougars

Seattle captain hits 200 points in 6-5 win over Prince George

Nolan Volcan had a hat trick and an assist to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 6-5 Western Hockey League win over the Prince George Cougars at the accesso ShoWare Center on Tuesday night.

Zack Andrusiak had two goals and three assists and Jarret Tyszka had a goal and an assist for the T-Birds.

Prince George (11-17-1-2) took a 1-0 lead at 2:25 of the first period on a goal from Matej Toman. Vladislav Mikhalchuk and Tyson Upper had the assists.

Seattle (11-14-3-0) tied the game 1-1 at 5:59 of the first on a Zack Andrusiak breakaway goal. Volcan played the puck off the left boards in the Seattle zone to Simon Kubicek inside the blue line. Kubicek hit Andrusiak with a pass as he streaked up the center of the ice. Andrusiak came in on Prince George goalie Taylor Gauthier and beat the goalie with a backhand shot over the blocker. It was Andrusiak’s 20th goal of the season.

Volcan’s second assist was his 200th point as a T-Bird. He has 83 goals and 120 assists for 203 points in 291 career games.

The Cougars took a 2-1 lead on Jackson Leppard’s power-play goal at 10:43 of the first. Toman and Ilijah Colina had the assists.

Vladislav Mikhalchuk made it a 3-1 Cougars lead when he scored at 16:34 of the first off assists from Leppard and Austin Crossley.

Andrusiak set up the T-Birds’ second goal which came at 17:39 of the second. Matthew Wedman carried the puck up the right wing into the Cougars zone. Wedman dropped the puck in the right circle to Andrusiak who skated to the goal line. Andrusiak centered the puck to Volcan cutting through the low slot. Volcan chipped the puck past Gauthier for his eighth goal of the season.

Jarret Tyszka and Volcan scored 1:10 apart just 1:57 into the second period to put the T-Birds up 4-3.

Andrej Kukuca and Dillon Hamaliuk got chances in tight against Gauthier, forcing the goalie down before the puck popped out to Tyszka in the left circle. Tyszka whipped the puck into the net 47 seconds into the period as Gauthier struggled to get up on his feet.

Cade McNelly took a slap shot from the left point with Volcan in front of the goalie. Volcan banged in the rebound at 1:57 of the second for his second goal of the night. Andrusiak had the second assist. The assist was McNelly’s first career point in the WHL.

Andrusiak extended the lead to two goals at 9:50 of the second on the power play. Philp passed the puck to Tyszka at center ice. Tyszka found Andrusiak in the left circle. Andrusiak skated at Gauthier and beat the goalie under the left arm with a snap shot.

Isaiah DiLaura replaced Gauthier after the T-Birds’ fifth goal. Gauthier made 21 saves on 26 shots.

Mikhalchuk cut the T-Birds’ lead to one goal at 13:01 of the second with his second goal of the game. Cole Moberg and Ryan Schoettler had the assists.

Volcan converted the hat trick at 9:25 of the third period. Andrusiak took a shot from the left circle. Wedman got a stick on the rebound before Volcan chipped the puck over DiLaura at the left post.

Josh Maser scored with two minutes left in the game with the teams skating four-on-four and DiLaura on the bench for an extra attacker to cut the T-Birds lead back to one goal. Moberg and Schoettler had the assists.

The Cougars pulled DiLaura a second time but the T-Birds defense stood tall blocking several shots before the final horn.

Seattle outshot Prince George 15-10 the third period and 43-29 in the game.

Seattle goalie Liam Hughes had 24 saves on 29 shots, and his record is 10-12-3-0.

DiLaura stopped 16 of 17 shots but was credited with the loss, making his record 4-5-0-1.

Up next

The T-Birds play the Spokane Chiefs at 7:35 p.m. Friday at the ShoWare Center. They hit the road for two games – 7:05 p.m. Saturday at the Everett Silvertips and 5:05 p.m. Sunday at Spokane.

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

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, Prince George, Toman 4 (Mikhalchuk, Upper), 2:25. 2, Seattle, Andrusiak 20 (Kubicek, Volcan), 5:59. 3, Prince George, Leppard 6 (Toman, Colina) 10:43 (pp). 4, Prince George, Mikhalchuk 10 (Leppard, Crossley), 16:34. 5, Seattle, Volcan 8 (Andrusiak, Wedman), 17:39. Penalties – Bench, PG (too many men-served by Leppard), 3:19. Toman, PG (cross checking), 6:12. McNelly, Sea (unsportsmanlike conduct, roughing) 8:54.

Second period – 6, Seattle, Tyszka 1 (Kukuca, Hamaliuk), :47. 7, Seattle, Volcan 9 (McNelly, Andrusiak), 1:57. 8, Seattle, Andrusiak 21 (Tyszka, Philp), 9:50 (pp). 9, Prince George, Mikhalchuk 11 (Moberg, Schoettler), 13:01. Penalties – Kohner, PG (slashing), 8:10. Hamaliuk, Sea (slashing), 18:16.

Third period – 10, Seattle, Volcan 10 (Wedman, Andrusiak), 9:25 (pp). 11, Prince George, Maser 10 (Moberg, Schoettler), 18:00. Penalties – McNelly, Sea (major-fighting), 6:46. Perepeluk, PG (major-fighting), 6:46. Lakusta, PG (hooking), 7:38. Mikhalchuk, PG (tripping), 17:38. Kaluski, Sea (unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:38.

Shots on goal – Seattle 16-12-15 43, Prince George 13-6-10 29. Goalies – Seattle, Hughes 29 shots-24 saves (10-12-2-0); Prince George, Gauthier 26-21 (7-12-1-1), DiLaura 17-16. Power plays – Seattle 2-4; Prince George 1-3. A – 4,145. Referees – Ryan Benbow, Kevin Bennett. Linesmen – Nick Albinati, Brett Mackey.