Things started out well for the Birds, with an early goal 1:52 into the first period. Ethan Bear was able to ricochet the puck off a defenseman and into the goal.
However, the Blazers struck back with 2 goals scored in the 2nd period. With only 1 second left on the board in the 2nd period though, Thunderbird Donovan Neuls scored his 6th goal of the season with a nice backhanded slap-shot.
The third period was a more conservative affair, with both teams just trying to prevent the other team from scoring the winning goal. Kamloops out-shot the T Birds 8-5 in the period but were unable to score.
After this scoreless third period, the game went to a shootout, which Kamloops won 2-0, taking the Blazers to 22-29-3-3 and 3rd in the BC Division. Seattle Thunderbirds’ goalie Logan Flodell had an efficient night, stopping 29 of 31 shots. His solid night earned him SSU’s Player of the Game. However the opposing goalie, Connor Ingram was chosen as First Star.
The Thunderbirds are now 28-20-3-4, which has them in 3rd place in the US Division. They’re now 12 points behind the Everett Silvertips and only 5 points behind the Portland Winterhawks with a little over a month left in the season.
They now move on to Everett for a Saturday night game against the Silvertips. They lost to the Silvertips last time, but are eager to gain revenge in what is one of the best rivalries in the WHL today.
Everett has been on a roll as of late, and Friday night dispatched the Vancouver Giants 6-0. A score most Seattle Thunderbird fans will recognize as the same score by which the Silvertips beat Seattle last time. It should also be noted that the last time these two teams met, Seattle had to make the trek from Kelowna to Everett, which may have cost them a bit.
This time coming from Kamloops, will it have the same impact? The Thunderbirds hope not, “We’re just going to have to regroup,” Coach Konowalchuk said. Saturday night should be a great match-up, with a chance for both teams to settle the score and gain some ground heading towards the playoffs.