Matthew Wedman had a hat trick to power the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 6-4 Western Hockey League win over the Victoria Royals at the accesso ShoWare Center on Saturday night.
The Thunderbirds (16-21-4-1) have won five of their last seven games following a whirlwind of trades.
It was Fred Meyer Teddy Bear Toss Night presented by WARM 106.9 FM.
After the T-Birds’ Noah Philp opened the game with the first goal, 6,211 fans threw 6,021 teddy bears and other stuffed animals onto the ice. The WARM 106.9 FM Teddy Bear Patrol collected the bears and stuffed animals for first responders, who give them to children in times of crisis.
Philp’s goal came at 15:07 of the first period. Henrik Rybinksi forechecked the puck behind the Royals net. The puck popped out to the high slot to Philp, coming into the zone. Philp beat Victoria goalie Brock Gould over the blocker for his 17th goal of the season. Brecon Wood had the second assist on the goal.
Goalie Cole Schwebius earned his first win on home ice, making 18 saves on 22 shots to improve his record to 3-5-1-0.
Sean Richards and Nolan Volcan each had a goal and an assist and Rybinski had two assists.
Richards made it a 2-0 at 17:28 of first period. Richards got to a loose puck in the neutral zone and skated up the left wing on a two-on-one break with Philp. Richards skated into the left circle and beat Gould with a wrist shot over the left shoulder.
Victoria (22-19-1-0) cut the T-Birds’ lead at 18:48 of the second on D-Jay Jerome’s power-play goal. Tarun Fizer and Brandon Cutler had the assists. The Royals tied the game 2-2 47 seconds into the third period on a power-play goal from Kaid Oliver. Igor Martynov and Scott Walford had the assists.
Martynov scored at 2:29 of the third off assists from Mitchell Prowse and Cutler to put the Royals in front 3-2.
Wedman responded 43 seconds later to tie the game 3-3. Volcan sent the puck behind the Victoria net where Keltie Jeri-Leon got to it, passing the puck to Wedman in the left circle. Wedman spun with the puck and beat Gould low on the stick side for the tying goal.
Victoria took the lead 4-3 at 7:25 of the third on a goal from Prowse. Kody McDonald and Ralph Jarratt had the assists.
Wedman tied the game a second time at 10:52 of the third. Wedman took a pass in the left circle from Andrej Kukuca and took a shot. Gould sprawled to make the save and play continued. After 1:01 of play, the video goal judge buzzed the horn to let the officials know he was reviewing the play. After consultation with the referees, the judge determined Gould kicked the puck out the net just after it crossed the line. Jarret Tyszka had the second assist.
Volcan put the T-Birds back in front, 5-4, at 12:02 of the third with a shorthanded goal. Volcan came down the left wing, cut to the high slot with Wedman charging the net and took a wrist shot. Volcan beat Gould over the glove for his 17th goal of the season. Tyrel Bauer and Owen Williams had the assists.
Victoria pulled Gould for an extra attacker with 1:37 left in the third period. Wedman quickly took advantage of the empty net and iced the game for the T-Birds six seconds after Gould was pulled. Rybinski and Richards had the assists.
Both teams had nine shots on goal in the third period, and the T-Birds finished the game with a 35-22 advantage in shots.
Gould made 29 saves on 34 shots, and his record is 5-6-0-0.
The T-Birds host the Spokane Chiefs at 7:05 p.m. on a 2-for-Tuesday game, featuring 2-for-1 specials on tickets and beer and $2 hot dogs, popcorn and soda.
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, Seattle, Philp 17 (Rybinski, Wood), 15:07. 2, Seattle, Richards 14, 17:28. Penalties – Murray, Vic (double minor-slew footing), 4:02. Walford, Vic (cross checking), 7:35. Mount, Sea (hooking), 12:16.
Second period – 3, Victoria, Jerome 17 (Fizer, Cutler), 18:48 (pp). Penalties – Sidaway, Vic (charging), 2:54. Jarratt, Vic (roughing), 2:54. Richards, Sea (roughing), 2:54. Tyszka, Sea (roughing), 16:45. Kubicek, Sea (roughing), 17:57. Oliver, Vic (roughing), 17:57. Ashton, Sea (slashing), 19:04.
Third period – 4, Victoria, Oliver 19 (Martynov, Walford), :47 (pp). 5, Victoria, Martynov 5 (Prowse, Oliver), 2:29 (pp). 6, Seattle, Wedman 15 (Jeri-Leon, Volcan), 3:12. 7, Victoria, Prowse 2 (McDonald, Jarratt), 7:25. 8, Seattle, Wedman 16 (Kukuca, Tyszka), 10:52. 9, Seattle, Volcan 17 (Bauer, Williams), 12:02 (sh). 10, Seattle, Wedman 17 (Rybinski, Richards), 18:29 (en). Penalties – Wood, Sea (unsportsmanlike conduct), 6:52. Walford, Vic (unsportsmanlike conduct), 6:52. Cutler, Vic (roughing), 9:41. Lee, Sea (cross checking), 11:40. Bauer, Sea (boarding), 16:14. Oliver, Vic (slashing), 16:20. Volcan, Sea (roughing), 16:20. Richards, Sea (roughing, 10-minute misconduct), 19:14. Kaluski, Sea (10-minute misconduct), 20:00.
Shots on goal – Seattle 14-12-9 35, Victoria 2-11-9 22. Goalies – Seattle, Schwebius 22 shots-18 saves (3-5-1-0); Victoria, Gould 34-29 (5-6-0-0). Power plays – Seattle 0-6; Victoria 1-6. A – 6,211. Referees – Ian Jendro, Steve Papp. Linesmen – Ron Dietterle, Spencer Lockert.