Kozun stays solid as T-Birds turn back 'Tips | WHL

For the Reporter

Taran Kozun made 24 saves, leading the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 2-1 Western Hockey League win over the Everett Silvertips at Comcast Arena on Friday night.

Down a goal, Everett pulled goalie Daniel Cotton with 1:25 left in the third period to try and tie the game. Everett held the puck in the Seattle zone and had several scoring chances but Kozun and the defense were able to keep the puck out of the net.

Kozun has won all seven games he has played for the T-Birds since coming over from the Kamloops Blazers at the trade deadline. His overall record is 12-19-2-1.

Mathew Barzal and Ryan Gropp each had a goal and an assist in the win.

The T-Birds are tied with the Victoria Royals for third place in the Western Conference playoff standings.

The T-Birds have won 10 of their last 11 games. The T-Birds travel to Portland to face the Winterhawks at 7 o'clock tonight. They host the Silvertips at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday at the ShoWare Center.

Seattle (32-15-2-3) jumped in front 1-1 at 13:34 of the first period. Ryan Gropp and Mathew Barzal cycled the puck in the left corner of the Everett zone. Defenseman Evan Wardley pinched from the left point to stop an Everett clearing attempt. Wardley sent the puck back low to Gropp behind the Everett net. Gropp found Barzal at the bottom of the left circle. Barzal beat Cotton on the short side from a sharp angle for his eighth goal of the season.

Everett (25-19-7-1) tied the game 1-1 on a power-play goal by Josh Winquist with 53 seconds left in the first period. Winquist beat Kozun from the right circle through traffic for the tying goal. Matt Pufahl and Ivan Nikolishin had the assists.

The Silvertips outshot the T-Birds 13-9 in the first period.

The T-Birds took a 2-1 lead on a power-play goal at 7:21of the second period. Barzal had the puck at the top of the left circle. He passed the puck low to Justin Hickman who quickly centered the puck through the slot to Gropp to the right of the goal. Gropp controlled a bouncing puck and then backhanded it over a sliding Cotton for the go-ahead goal.

Seattle outshot Everett 8-4 in the second period. Both teams had 17 shots on goal after two periods.

Everett outshot Seattle 8-7 in the third period and 25-24 in the game.

Cotton stopped 22 of 24 shots and his record is now 7-3-4-0.


First period - 1, Seattle, Barzal 8 (Gropp, Wardley), 13:34. 2, Everett, Winquist 32 (Pufahl, Nikolishin), 19:07 (pp). Penalties - Khaira, Evt (major-fighting), 3:24. Yakubowski, Sea (major-fighting), 3:24. Lipsbergs, Sea (charging), 8:58. Theodore, Sea (hooking), 18:58.

Second period - 3, Seattle, Gropp 13 (Hickman, Barzal), 7:21 (pp). Penalties - Fonteyne, Evt (slashing), 6:23. Spencer, Sea (hooking), 12:55.

Third period - No scoring. Penalties - DeRoose, Evt (roughing), 3:13. Hickman, Sea (tripping), 7:35. Delnov, Sea (kneeing), 13:51. Nikolishin, Evt (interference), 14:28.

Shots on goal - Seattle 9-8-7 24, Everett 13-4-8 25. Goalies - Seattle, Kozun 25 shots-24 saves (12-19-2-1); Everett, Cotton 24-23 (7-3-4-0). Power plays - Seattle 1-3; Everett 1-5. A - 6,266. Referees - Steve Papp, Derek Zalaski. Linesmen - Bevan Mills, Adam Brastad.

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