KENT, January 21, 2014 - The Seattle Thunderbirds beat the Moose Jaw Warriors 3-2 in a shootout Tuesday night at ShoWare Center. The win put Seattle's record at 29-14-2-3 and just four points out of first in the U.S. Division. Moose Jaw fell to 13-26-3-5.
Shea Theodore scored the only goal of the shootout, giving Seattle the win after Taran Kozun stopped the last Moose Jaw shooter in the third round.
There was no scoring in the overtime period despite Seattle racking up six shots to Moose Jaw's one. Seattle did lose four of six faceoffs in the extra period, but were still able to control the puck and pepper Justin Paulic with shots.
Kozun made his fourth straight start for the T-Birds and stopped 29 of 31 shots in regulation and all three shooters in the shootout to get the win, his fourth as a T-Bird after winning only five in 28 games with Kamloops. Kozun was glad for the opportunity to "come in [to Seattle] and give the team a chance to win each and every night" after changing teams at the trade deadline.
Paulic was in net for Moose Jaw, getting the loss after stopping 35 shots to make his record 8-19-3-5.
The T-Birds took almost no time at all taking the lead. Scott Eansor scored the opening goal 33 seconds into the game when a Jaimen Yakubowski rebound made its way just past the faceoff dots in the slot. Eansor got the rebound and whipped the puck past Paulic for his third goal of the season. Jared Hauf had the second assist.
Seattle didn't let up after taking the early lead and drew a penalty after two more minutes of extended pressure. A faceoff win set the T-Birds' first power play up for all sorts of chances, with Moose Jaw unable to clear the puck at all and unable to cover it up for the first 1:15 of the advantage.
The brief respite for the Warriors wasn't enough to stop the Seattle attack, and the home team added to their lead at 3:46. Ethan Bear deked his way to the side boards and ripped a slap shot past Paulic, giving Seattle a 2-0 lead less than five minutes into the period. Shea Theodore had the only assist on the power-play goal.
Once again, the T-Birds refused to let up and kept controlling the puck. Moose Jaw was unable to enter the offensive zone until the four minute mark and didn't record a shot until 7:10, 30 seconds into their first power play. The Warriors ended up with four shots during their advantage, but Kozun stopped them all and Seattle went back on the power play a few seconds later.
Four-on-four hockey reared its head at 13:33 after a post-whistle dust up. Neither team had a sterling chance during the open ice period, though Seattle did record two shots before another penalty just after the game returned to even strength made it 5-on-4 in Moose Jaw's favor. For the second time on the night, the Seattle penalty kill did its job to keep their 2-0 lead.
A goal with 23 seconds left helped get the Warriors back in the game. Brayden Point looped a wraparound shot over a sprawled Kozun to make the score 2-1.
In the first period, shots favored the T-Birds 13-9 and faceoffs were tied 8-8.
Continued pressure from the T-Birds proved the norm in the period's early going. Even so, Paulic turned aside every shot that made its way through the mess of bodies often found in front of the net.
A checking from behind penalty sparked a skirmish that ended with 62 PIMs between the two teams and a power play for Moose Jaw. The Seattle penalty kill did its job without consequence. It was one of two power plays in the period for the Warriors, who did not record a shot on goal during either.
The T-Birds' two power plays saw much more action, with the second only beginning after well over a minute of delaying the call. Moose Jaw had a golden shorthanded chance thanks to a miscommunication at the blue line, but Kozun stopped the shot and held the puck between his pads to ensure Seattle retained their lead. The chance was one of the Warriors' six shots in the period.
In the last minute of the second period, Moose Jaw once again had its best push offensively, narrowly missing tying the game multiple times.
The second saw no scoring as the game devolved into a mess of penalties. There were 13 penalties called in the period, including four misconducts. Seattle led the way in shots, recording nine to Moose Jaw's six. However, the T-Birds only won four of 13 faceoffs in the period while maintaining their 2-1 lead.
The Warriors had the first shot of the third, but also took the first penalty, putting Seattle's power play on the ice for the sixth time. Numerous chances left the T-Birds close to extending their lead, but Paulic stood his ground to keep the game where it was. Seattle stayed in the zone for 1:40 during the power play and had three shots on goal.
A dangerous chance was stopped by Kozun halfway through the period when a cross-crease pass found its way onto a Warrior's stick. The bouncing puck slowed the shot just enough for Kozun to slide across and turn it away to protect the one-goal lead.
Moose Jaw had a 5-on-3 chance for 30 seconds at the 11:44 mark. An immediate faceoff win and a blocked shot by Eansor contributed to this opportunity falling by the wayside. Seattle drew a penalty during the ensuing 5-on-4 to open the ice up for 46 seconds before the home team had their seventh power play of the game, matching Moose Jaw's total. Theodore rocketed two passes across the offensive zone during the 4-on-4 even strength time that almost ended in goals, only for Paulic to keep them out.
Another great pass, this time by Roberts Lipsbergs, set up Alexander Delnov in front of the net on a rush with four minutes left, but Delnov was unable to control the puck well enough to get a strong shot. Moose Jaw came back down quickly, firing a shot off the outside of the crossbar.
The Warriors attempted to pull their goalie with 2:30 left but couldn't control the puck long enough to get him off the ice. Paulic had to scrambled back at one point after making it halfway to the bench and only made it all the way to the bench when a Seattle penalty made it 6-on-4 off a faceoff in the Seattle zone.
Several wild scrambles around the net ensued, with the Warriors getting the tying goal with just seven seconds left. Point scored the goal, his second of the night. It was the only power-play goal of the night for Moose Jaw, who had eight chances. Coach Steve Konowalchuk noted that the penalties were deserved and that the team "wanted to play with emotion... but have to keep it in line."
Shots were 15-9 Moose Jaw in the third and faceoffs were 9-7 Seattle before the game went to overtime.
Next on the docket for Seattle is a game on the road against the Tri-City Americans this Friday at 7:05 pm. The T-Birds then have back-to-back home games this weekend, playing at ShoWare Center Saturday against the Everett Silvertips at 7:05 pm and Sunday against the Kelowna Rockets at 5:05 pm.
T-Birds single game tickets for the 2013-14 season are available online at the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare Center box office. The ShoWare Center Box Office is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday game days at 10 a.m. and Sunday game days at noon.
T-Birds season tickets are currently on sale. Season tickets can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.
First period - 1, Seattle, Eansor 3 (Yakubowski, Hauf), :33. 2, Seattle, Bear 4 (Theodore), 3:46 (pp). 3, Moose Jaw, Point 21 (Gore, Cooke), 19:37. Penalties - Gore, Moose Jaw (hooking), 2:21. Kolesar, Seattle (high-sticking), 6:50. Eberle, Moose Jaw (closing hand on the puck), 8:57. Johnson, Moose Jaw (roughing), 13:33. Yakubowski, Seattle (roughing), 13:33. Kolesar, Seattle (slashing), 15:51.
Second period - No scoring. Penalties - Johnson, Moose Jaw (tripping), 3:57. Kolesar, Seattle (checking from behind), 6:48. Wardley, Seattle (major-fighting), 6:48. Wolf, Seattle (major-fighting), 6:48. Wolf, Seattle (game misconduct), 6:48. Hauf, Seattle (10 minute misconduct), 6:48. Cooke, Moose Jaw (major-fighting), 6:48. Brown, Moose Jaw (10 minute misconduct), 6:48. Jensen, Moose Jaw (major-fighting), 6:48. Jensen, Moose Jaw (game misconduct), 6:48. Johnson, Moose Jaw (high-sticking), 9:24. Eansor, Seattle (slashing), 11:49. Forsberg, Moose Jaw (hooking), 17:34.
Third period - 4, Moose Jaw, Point 22 (Forsberg, Sleptsov), 19:52 (pp). Penalties - Fioretti, Moose Jaw (tripping), 2:26. Wardley, Seattle (interference), 7:39. Elliot, Seattle (checking from behind), 10:31. Hickman, Seattle (tripping), 11:44. Valentine, Moose Jaw (high-sticking), 12:54. Wardley, Seattle (kneeing), 18:42. Cooke, Moose Jaw (10 minute misconduct), 20:00.
Overtime - No scoring. Penalties - No penalties.
Shootout - Seattle 1 (Barzal NG, Theodore G, Lipsbergs NG). Moose Jaw 0 (Point NG, White NG, Fioretti NG).
Shots on goal - Seattle 13-9-9-6 38, Moose Jaw 9-6-15-1 31. Goalies - Seattle, Kozun 31 shots-29 saves (9-19-2-1); Moose Jaw, Paulic 37-35 (8-19-3-5). Power plays - Seattle 1-7; Moose Jaw 1-8. A - 4,594. Referees - Justin Ingram, Dexter Rasmussen. Linesmen - Nick Bilko, Ron Dietterle