Seattle Thunderbirds Weekend Recap: PLAYOFFS!

Matt Paige Profile PicWith a 4-1 win over Victoria on Tuesday, your Seattle Thunderbirds clinched a spot in the 2015 WHL Playoffs! They’ve wrapped up the final regular spot in the Western Conference’s US Division, avoiding the necessity to fight for a wildcard spot.  The T-Birds drop one to Portland, but a playoff seeding is assured.

 

Portland Strikes again
Another rough night for the TBirds against the Portland Winterhawks, with the Birds falling 7-1. Goalie Taran Kozun started at the net for the Tbirds, but wound up being pulled after 33 minutes and 4 goals given up to the Winterhawks. Logan Flodell stepped in from there and went 10-13, wrapping up a bad night for the Bird’s Goalie Tandem.

Cory Millette was the one bright spot for the TBirds, scoring a goal unassisted 3 minutes into the 3rd period.

T-Birds extinguish the Blazers

Things turned around for the TBirds on Saturday night, when they hosted the Kamloops Blazers at the ShoWare Center. The Birds found the fight in themselves and held back several rough charges by the Blazers. Cory Millette came through with his 21st goal of the season early in the 2nd period, but it was quickly matched by the Blazers’ Matt Needham. The 2nd period would end with the Shots on Goal favoring the Blazers, 22-9.

Goalie Taran Kozun covered the net for the TBirds admirably, blocking 39 of 40 shots and defusing an intense barrage from the Blazers. With only 5 minutes left in the game, Jared Hauf’s shot through traffic brought the game into the TBird’s favor once again. Finally, the Blazers pulled their goalie with 1:30 left, and left it wide open for a shot by Nick Holowko to ice the victory, 3-1.

SSU Player of the Week
Taran Kozun – 39 saves on 40 shots against Kamloops. For putting the prior night’s events out of his head and showing up ready to play, he really impressed with his resilience.

Looking Ahead
With the 3rd playoff spot in the US Division clinched, the task at hand now is to get healthy and prepared for the playoffs. There are six games remaining in the regular season and most of them come against big rivals they will face in the playoffs.

Next weekend they face the Silvertips twice in a home and home series, with their home game falling on Friday. The Silvertips are still fighting the Winterhawks for the first spot in the division, so this weekend they will bring their best and thoroughly test the TBirds. Here’s hoping they rise to the occasion.

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Matt Paige is the Baseball Managing Editor and a regular contributor on SSU TV and for Seahawks Football. He also writes the column "The Call-Up" and is a rabid fan of all teams Seattle (Except the Huskies. Go Ducks!).