Seattle Thunderbirds drop fourth straight; Pickard sets career saves record

Seattle Thunderbirds goalie Calvin Pickard established a new Western Hockey League record for career saves, but the T-Birds lost 3-2 to the Vancouver Giants Sunday night in Vancouver, British Columba.

The T-Birds have lost four consecutive games and 10 of their last 11.

Pickard made 42 saves in the game to give him 6,959 career saves. Pickard passed former T-Bird Danny Lorenz, who had 6,958 career saves with the T-Birds from 1986 to 1990, to establish the new lea record. Pickard has appeared in 217 games with the T-Birds. He has averaged 32 saves a game for his career.

Pickard, who played 58:52 Sunday night, also set the T-Birds record for most career minutes played by a goaltender. Pickard has now played 12,639 minutes, which is five minutes more than Lorenz, who played 12,634 minutes with the T-Birds.

Pickard, by passing Lorenz, is now third in the WHL record book for most career minutes played by a goaltender. Kyle Moir played 12,774 minutes with the Swift Current Broncos from 2002 to 2007 and Kurtis Mucha played 13,708 minutes with the Portland Winterhawks and Kamloops Blazers from 2005 to 2010.

Vancouver (28-17-1-2) went in front 1-0 at 6:38 of the first period when Austin Vetterl scored. Jordan Martinook and Marek Tvrdon had the assists.

Wes Vannieuwenhuizen extended the Giants lead to 2-0 when he scored at 10:35 of the second period. Nathan Burns and Anthony Ast were credited with the assists.

The Giants led in shots, 30-9, after two periods.

Chance Lund got Seattle (17-26-1-1) on the board when he scored an unassisted goal at 4:11 of the third period. Lund came down the wing on a rush and put a shot on goal. Vancouver goalie Peyton Lee made the save but the puck was in the crease. There was a scramble in front of Lee and as Lund was coming around the net the puck squirted out to him. Lund banged the puck into an empty net to get his 11th goal of the season.

Marek Tvrdon put the Giants back in front by two goals when he scored a power-play goal at 10:47 of the third. Tyler Vanscourt had the only assist.

Lund got the T-Bird right back in the game when he scored a power-play goal at 17:12 of the third. Braeden Laroque won a puck battle in the slot, looked up at Lee, and then made a pass to Lund in the right circle. Lund one-timed Laroque's pass and beat Lee high for his second goal of the game.

Seattle pulled Pickard for an extra attacker with over a minute left in the game. They put a lot of pressure on the Giants as they pressed for the tying goal but were not able to get the puck by Lee.

Vancouver outshot Seattle 45-26 in the game.

Pickard finished with 42 saves on 45 shots and his record is now 17-21-1-1.

Lee stopped 24 of 26 shots and his record is now 2-0-0-0.

The T-Birds next game is Friday, Jan. 27, against the Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Place. The next home game is 7:05 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, against the Portland Winterhawks at the ShoWare Center.


First period - 1, Vancouver, Vetterl 6 (Martinook, Tvrdon), 6:38. Penalties - Machacek, Sea (tripping), 1:22. Honey, Sea (hooking), 19:13.

Second period - 2, Vancouver, Vannieuwenhuizen 3 (Burns, Ast), 10:35. Penalties - Machacek, Sea (delay of game), 13:41.

Third period - 3, Seattle, Lund 11, 4:41. 4, Vancouver, Tvrdon 18 (Vanscourt), 10:47 (pp). 5, Seattle, Lund 12 (Laroque), 17:12 (pp). Penalties - Lockhart, Sea (hooking), 9:24. Hauf, Sea (interference), 11:14. Alos, Sea (tripping), 12:47. Vetterl, Van (goaltender interference), 15:57.

Shots on goal - Seattle 0-9-17 26. Vancouver 14-16-15 45. Goalies - Seattle, Pickard 45 shots-42 saves (17-21-1-1); Vancouver, Lee 26-24 (2-0-0-0). Power plays - Seattle 1-1; Vancouver 1-6. A - 5,543. Referee - Ryan Benbow, Derek Zalaski. Linesmen - Chris Carlson, Nathan Van Oosten.

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