T-Birds stretch streak to 6 games, deny Blazers | WHL

One streak came to an end and one streak continued Saturday night in Kamloops, British Columbia.

Roberts Lipsbergs, Kevin Wolf and Justin Hickman all scored to give the Seattle Thunderbirds a 3-2 victory over the Kamloops Blazers at the Interior Savings Centre. The T-Birds have now won six games in a row and look to make it seven on Tuesday when the Moose Jaw Warriors come to the ShoWare Center.

Seattle goalie Taran Kozun, acquired at the Jan. 10 trade deadline from the Blazers, started his T-Birds tenure with two straight shutouts. The Blazers scored at 17:42 of the second to end his shutout streak. Kozun went 161:58 without allowing a goal. Kozun made 30 saves on 32 shots and has won all three games he has played for the T-Birds. His overall win loss record is 8-19-2-1.

The T-Birds are now in fourth place in the Western Conference with a 28-14-2-3 record. They are one point behind the third-place Victoria Royals and there points ahead of the fifth-place Spokane Chiefs.

Seattle took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal from Roberts Lipsbergs at 10:19 of the first period. Shea Theodore took a slap shot from center ice inside the blue line. Kamloops goalie Bolton Pouliot stopped the shot but Alexander Delnov banged at the rebound before Lipsbergs slipped the puck under Pouliot for his 27th goal of the season.

The T-Birds extended the lead to 2-0 at 15:30 of the first. Mitch Elliot stole the puck from a Kamloops defenseman along the right boards. He skated towards Pouliot and then dropped the puck for Kevin Wolf coming down the slot. Wolf snapped the puck past Pouliot for his first goal of the season.

Seattle outshot Kamloops 13-7 in the first period.

Kamloops (10-31-2-3) got on the board at 17:42 of the second period on a power-play goal from Joey Kornelson. Kornelson banged in a loose puck at the right post. Chase Souto and Tyson Ness had the assists.

The T-Birds led in shots 21-13 after two periods by outshooting the Blazers 8-6 in the second period.

Justin Hickman got the T-Birds two-goal lead back at 14:25 of the third period. Ryan Gropp skated out from behind the Kamloops net into the right circle. He took a shot that hit Pouliot and went right to Hickman to the left of the goal. Hickman put the rebound under Pouliot for the goal.

Sam McKechnie was called for high-sticking penalty with 1:51 left in the game. Kamloops pulled Pouliot to give them a 6-on-4 man advantage. Kamloops cashed in when Kornelson put back a rebound with 53 seconds left in the game. Josh Connolly and Ully had the assists.

The Blazers pulled Pouliot for a second time but the T-Birds were able to clear the puck several times to preserve the win.

The Blazers outshot the T-Birds 19-9 in the third period and 32-30 in the game.

Pouliot stopped 27 of 30 shots and his record is now 5-11-0-2.

The T-Birds face the Moose Jaw Warriors on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. at the ShoWare Center. They travel to Kennewick to take on the Tri-City Americans at 7:05 p.m. on Friday. They play back-to-back home games next Saturday against the Everett Silvertips at 7:05 p.m. and the Kelowna Rockets next Sunday, at 5:05 p.m.


T-Birds single game tickets are 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.


First period - 1, Seattle, Lipsbergs 27 (Delnov, Theodore), 10:19 (pp). 2, Seattle, Wolf 1 (Elliot), 15:30. Penalties - Elliot, Sea (major-fighting), 4:19. Grist, Kam (major-fighting), 4:19. Wolf, Sea (major-fighting), 5:54. Douglas, Kam (major-fighting), 5:54. Souto, Kam (slashing), 8:59. Hauf, Sea (major-fighting), 11:13. Rehill, Kam (major-fighting), 11:13. Maxwell, Sea (high-sticking), 13:26. Hauf, Sea (interference), 16:40. Ness, Kam (hooking), 17:44. Souto, Kam (10-minute misconduct), 17:44.

Second period - 3, Kamloops, Kornelson 7 (Souto, Ness), 17:42 (pp). Penalties - Hauf, Sea (major-fighting), :17. Kornelson, Kam (major-fighting), :17. Yakubowski, Sea (high-sticking), 4:08. Rehill, Kam (cross checking), 4:08. Yakubowski, Sea (roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:14. Bellerive, Kam (roughing), 17:14.

Third period - 4, Seattle, Hickman 13 (Gropp), 14:25. 5, Kamloops, Kornelson 8 (Connolly, Ully), 19:07 (pp). Penalties - McKechnie, Sea (high-sticking), 18:09.

Shots on goal - Seattle 13-8-9 30, Kamloops 7-6-19 32. Goalies - Seattle, Kozun 32 shots-30 saves (8-19-2-1); Kamloops, Pouliot 30-27 (5-11-0-2). Power plays - Seattle 1-2; Kamloops 2-4. A - 4,408. Referees - Brett Montsion. Linesmen - Devon Sephton, Kirk Van Helvoirt.

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