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Silvertips trip T-Birds in overtime, 4-3 | WHL

The Thunderbirds’ Sam McKechnie fires the puck with the Silvertips’ Jujhar Khaira on his back during WHL action Saturday night at the ShoWare Center. - Courtesy photo/Kyle Scholzen, Thunderbirds
The Thunderbirds’ Sam McKechnie fires the puck with the Silvertips’ Jujhar Khaira on his back during WHL action Saturday night at the ShoWare Center.
— image credit: Courtesy photo/Kyle Scholzen, Thunderbirds

Meeting the Everett Silvertips for the second time in as many nights, the Seattle Thunderbirds fell 4-3 in overtime Saturday night at the ShoWare Center.

The loss puts Seattle's record at 22-10-2-3, one point behind Everett, who now stands at 23-11-4-0.

The T-Birds will be back in action Tuesday, New Year's Eve, playing at 7:05 p.m. at the ShoWare Center against the Kamloops Blazers. Seattle also will play Friday in Red Deer against the Rebels.

On Saturday, Danny Mumaugh started for Seattle for the 21st time, losing to run his record to 11-5-2-3. Daniel Cotton started for Everett. It was Cotton's 12th start of the season and second against the T-Birds, and his record now stands at 7-2-3-0.

Energy in the early going paid of in hits from Seattle and a scoring chance for Everett. The Silvertips just missed an early goal when the puck was wedged between Mumaugh's foot and the post before careening back behind the goal. This was the first and only shot in the game's first three minutes.

Both teams had 11 forwards for the game, including Seattle's use of rookie defenseman Austin Douglas as a winger, and the shortened benches were punished physically on each side. Skaters were repeatedly sent into the boards and to the ice with big checks from both teams throughout.

A chance came for Seattle on a partial breakaway for Roberts Lipsbergs at the five minute mark. Everett's defenseman was able to get back to pressure the puck, and Cotton knocked away Lipsbergs' shot from the slot.

A penalty resulted at 9:32 to give the T-Birds the first power play of the game. Each team had a chance in the penalty's first 30 seconds. Seattle got the puck back after Everett's shot ended up in the netting, scoring to take the lead. Lipsbergs had the goal at 10:09, banging home his own rebound after a touch pass from Justin Hickman left the Latvian open at the net. Hickman and Shea Theodore had the assists.

The Silvertips came back with a vengeance, almost scoring with multiple shots at the puck in the crease. Mumaugh held strong despite losing his stick and kept the T-Birds up 1-0. Mumaugh made 15 saves in the period, including a point-blank shot after a bad bounce in the zone resulted in a dangerous turnover.

An open period ended with Seattle up 1-0 after being outshot 15-12. The T-Birds won 10 of 15 faceoffs in the first.

Much like before, offense started slow in the second period. There were only three shots on goal in the first three minutes as Seattle recorded two to Everett's one. The T-Birds had their longest possession of the game around the three minute mark. Unfortunately, that possession ended with a Silvertips breakaway. Mumaugh stonewalled the Everett skater, holding the lead for the home team.

The T-Birds response was swift and gave them another power play against the least penalized team in the WHL at 3:26. After just missing a goal during the advantage, Adam Henry drew a penalty to make the game 5-on-3 for a minute and a half.

The home team scored hastily to take a 2-0 lead. 30 seconds into the 5-on-3, Seattle's Ryan Gropp tapped home a dribbling puck for the power-play goal at 4:30. Lipsbergs and Theodore had the assists, giving Theodore a team-leading 43 points on the season.

Unable to score on the second power play, the T-Birds kept control of the puck as the game went back to even strength hockey. Chances piled up for the home team, including an extended attack after two Silvertips lost their sticks, but the score remained 2-0 in Seattle's favor.

The Silvertips almost had a goal of their very own at 11:30. A cross-crease pass made its way to an Everett skater's stick only to hop away at the last second. The visitors kept control and kept attacking from there before the puck left the zone a minute later.

A goal did come for the Silvertips at 13:06 on the power play to make the score 2-1. Jujhar Khaira had the goal for the visitors. Tyler Sandhu and Ivan Nikolishin each had assists.

After breaking through the defense on the next shift, the T-Birds missed pushing their lead back to two goals by inches. Branden Troock chipped the puck past the defense and threw it in front of the net, just beyond the reach of the other attackers. The response from Everett was just as dangerous and ended with a power play for the visitors.

With a minute left in the period and 30 seconds left in the power play, Everett tied the game at two. Carson Stadnyk had the goal on the man advantage and Dawson Leedahl and Patrick Bajkov were credited with assists.

Another power play came to Everett soon after. The visitors couldn't score in what little remained of the second, leaving the score tied at two. Shots were 11-7 in and faceoffs were 10-8, both in the Silvertips' favor.

Final period replay

Seattle entered the third period on the penalty kill for 1:11. Multiple clearances left Everett with only one real shot at scoring during the man advantage, which was denied by Mumaugh. The penalty kill helped the T-Birds "get on their toes and start playing on their toes" for coach Steve Konowalchuk. A 2-on-1 break for the T-Birds came as Theodore left the box, but no shot resulted.

A rush gave Everett the lead at 5:16. Stadnyk was able to beat Mumaugh to make the score 3-2. Kohl Bauml and Leedahl had assists.

The T-Birds responded offensively with a two-minute possession but couldn't get the tying goal. Sam McKechnie couldn't find the net on a rebound chance, one of many shots before Cotton was finally able to cover.

Off the ensuing faceoff, Seattle tied the game at 3-3. Gropp controlled the puck and threw it in front, where Calvin Spencer and Troock both hacked away at it. Troock was able to take control and beat Cotton to score at 9:58 of the third. The goal was Troock's 18th of the season, which has seen the winger already set career highs in goals and assists.

With the exception of one shot that careened off Mumaugh's glove past the goal, all the chances of the next five minutes favored the home team. Seattle had several shifts spent entirely in the offensive zone and was a few favorable bounces away from taking the lead once again.

The Silvertips upped the pressure with under a minute remaining and Seattle took two icing calls in 20 seconds. Finally able to control the puck, the home team took the game to overtime when the third period expired.

Shots were 21-11 in the T-Birds' favor, who won six of 14 faceoffs in the third.

Overtime was overflowing with excitement on all ends of the ice. Jared Hauf blocked a shot off his knee from within the faceoff dots early on to start the action. Everett just managed to break up a T-Birds chance from inches in front of the goal, only to have Seattle return the favor on the ensuing attack.

Unfortunately, the winning goal made its way into the net for the Silvertips with 1:34 left in the extra period. A shot from Brayden Low rebounded around off Mumaugh's skate and the post before finally trickling in to end the game. Cole MacDonald had the only assist.

Shots in the overtime period were 4-2 Everett and faceoffs were tied at one a piece.

Tickets

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.

Season tickets can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.

SCORING SUMMARY

First period - 1, Seattle, Lipsbergs 22 (Hickman, Theodore), 10:09 (pp). Penalties - Zipp, Everett (holding), 9:32.

Second period - 2, Seattle, Gropp 6 (Lipsbergs, Theodore), 4:30 (pp). 3, Everett, Khaira 9 (Sandhu, Nikolishin), 13:06 (pp). 4, Everett, Stadnyk 13 (Leedahl, Bajkov), 18:58 (pp). Penalties - Adam, Everett (holding), 3:26. Leedahl, Everett (checking from behind), 5:02. Gropp, Seattle (hooking), 13:25. Elliot, Seattle (interference), 17:19. Theodore, Seattle (tripping), 19:10.

Third period - 5, Everett, Stadnyk 14 (Bauml, Leedahl), 5:16. 6, Seattle, Troock 18 (Spencer, Gropp), 9:58. Penalties - No penalties.

Overtime - 6, Everett, Low 2 (MacDonald), 3:26. Penalties - No penalties.

Shots on goal - Seattle 12-7-21-2 42, Everett 15-11-11-4 41. Goalies - Seattle, Mumaugh 41 shots-37 saves (11-5-2-3); Everett, Cotton 42-39 (7-2-3-0). Power plays - Seattle 2-3; Everett 2-3. A - 5,183. Referees - Reagan Vetter, Mike Campbell. Linesmen - Kevin Boris, Zach Brooks.

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