Oh how things have changed. At the start of the season, people were wondering where the offense in Everett would come from. A trade for an import later and the Silvertips are averaging the most goals per game of the US Division teams. Back on September 22, the Tips traded for import and Montreal Canadiens draft pick Nikita Scherbak. In a little less than a month since he has been with the team, he has 7 goals and 13 points. However, the Thunderbirds offense is starting to show signs of life as well. While the potential was there to start the season, it’s been a little slow to get going. With 9 goals in their last 2 games, Seattle might finally be turning a corner. Will that make defense the difference maker tonight? Your game day notes:
Last night, Seattle got their first home win and F Justin Hickman scored his first two goals of the season. Once again the TBirds fell behind early but scored the next 3 and kept going from there. G Taran Kozun made 29 saves on 32 Spokane shots for the victory, which also snapped a 4-game losing streak for the TBirds. In addition to Hickman’s 2 goals, F Mathew Barzal, D Jerret Smith and F Scott Eansor scored for Seattle. D Ethan Bear made his return to the Seattle lineup after missing the last 2+ games.
Overall game #13 Road game #7
Seattle Thunderbirds (5-5-1-1) @ Everett Silvertips (7-1-2-1)
Radio: 1090AM The Fan (Seattle) FOX Sports 1380AM (Everett)
Power play: Seattle #12 10/51 19.6% Everett #8 12/56 21.4%
Penalty kill: Seattle #7 41/50 82.0% Everett #20 24/31 74.2%
Seattle PP: #10 5/26 19.2% PK: #1 18/19 94.7%
Everett PP: #4 6/21 28.6% PK: #16 10/13 76.9%
Everett leads 1-0-0-0 GF 0 GA 1
Home 0-1-0-0 GF 0 GA 1
Away 0-0-0-0 GF 0 GA 0
9/20 Everett 1 @ Seattle 0
10/25 Seattle @ Everett
11/22 Everett @ Seattle
11/28 Seattle @ Everett
12/30 Everett @ Seattle
1/17 Seattle @ Everett
2/14 Seattle @ Everett
2/21 Everett @ Seattle
3/13 Everett @ Seattle
3/14 Seattle @ Everett
9/20 vs Everett
Graham Millar scored the only goal of the game as Everett spoiled Seattle’s home opener, 1-0. Taran Kozun made 18 saves in the loss while the TBirds got off 26 shots but weren’t able to get any past G Carter Hart. Silvertips were 0/5 on the power play and Seattle was 0/3 with the man advantage.
Justin Hickman will be playing in his 262nd WHL game tonight. That will tie him for 20th all-time for games played in a Seattle Thunderbirds uniform. D Clayton Barthel and D Thomas Hickey also played in 262 WHL games for the TBirds.
Lather, rinse, repeat
Justin Hickman continued his scoring streak last night, getting 2 goals and 2 assists. That takes his points/assists streak to 3 games.
Mathew Barzal, Jerret Smith, F Nolan Volcan, Scott Eansor, D Jared Hauf all come into tonight with a 2-game point streak. Eansor’s is a goal scoring streak.
Seattle has killed off the last 17 opponent power plays on the road.
F Mathew Barzal 15
F Mathew Barzal 6
F Ryan Gropp 6
F Mathew Barzal 9
F Donovan Neuls +2
F Calvin Spencer 23
Around the division
Last night, all 5 teams in the division were in action. Portland got another win on their East Division road trip, beating the Prince Albert Raiders 5-2. Tri-City was in Everett and lost 3-1.
Tonight, all 22 teams in the WHL are playing. Portland finishes their trip with a game against a couple familiar faces in Saskatoon. Spokane went back home and will face one of their geographical rivals, the Kootenay Ice. Tri-City is also back home tonight and will be entertaining the Kamloops Blazers at the Toyota Center.
After tonight, Seattle is off for 4 days. Portland heads back to Oregon and will host the Kelowna Rockets on Thursday. Everett heads to Kamloops for a mid-week game on Wednesday and Spokane hosts Edmonton on Wednesday.
The TBirds get to sleep in their own beds for the next few nights as they are off for the next 4 days. Then the defending Memorial Cup Champion Edmonton Oil Kings come to town for the very rare Thursday game. That game will start a brief 3-game homestand before Seattle heads out on their 6-game East Division trip.