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T-Birds tumble to Cougars, 6-4 | WHL

The Thunderbirds
The Thunderbirds' Roberts Lipsbergs looks to pass the puck in front of Cougars defenseman Sam Ruopp.
— image credit: Rachel Ciampi/Reporter

For the Reporter

The playoff-bound Seattle Thunderbirds blew a 3-0 lead and fell 6-4 to the Prince George Cougars in Western Hockey League play Sunday night.

Seattle is now 37-18-2-3 after going 2-1-0-0 over a three-game weekend. Prince George's record stands at 25-29-3-5, two points out of the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Danny Mumaugh was in net for Seattle to start, but left the game after stopping 19 of 23. Mumaugh took the loss, making his record 14-10-2-3. Taran Kozun relieved him and stopped three of five shots over 32 minutes.

Adam Beukeboom made the start for Prince George but was pulled in favor of Ty Edmonds after Beukeboom gave up three goals on Seattle's first nine shots. Edmonds stopped 39 of 40 shots and got the win. His record now stands at 17-16-2-4.

Seattle took the lead at 5:12 in the first period on a Jaimen Yakubowski goal. After Sam McKechnie's shot from the faceoff dot bounced off of Beukeboom's chest, Yakubowski slapped it out of the air with his stick and into the net. The goal was reviewed before it was officially determined that Yakubowski did not play it with a high stick, giving Seattle a 1-0 lead. McKechnie and Russell Maxwell assisted on the goal.

Playing with the lead, Alexander Delnov widened the gap to two goals on the next shift. Delnov worked the puck through Beukeboom's pads after a few jabs, getting his 24th goal of the season at 6:04. Ryan Gropp and Branden Troock had the assists.

The offensive onslaught continued with Seattle's third goal at 6:48. Calvin Spencer took a slap shot from high in the zone just before a line change, only to see the shot trickle through Beukeboom's pads. Adam Henry had the only assist on the goal that ended Beukeboom's night as Ty Edmonds replaced him in goal.

But Prince George responded with two goals in the period and four more in the second to take a 6-3 lead.

Yakubowski cut the deficit to two goals at 7:45 in the third period. McKechnie was able to find Yakubowski in the neutral zone, where the winger skated forward for a breakaway chance he backhanded over Edmonds' shoulder for his second goal of the night. McKechnie and Adam Henry had the assists on the goal that made it 6-4.

Seattle pulled their goalie with 3:15 left in the game. The home team took a penalty after a chase for the puck ended in a big hit, making it 5-on-5 with Kozun off the ice. Klarc Wilson narrowly missed an empty-net goal for the visitors, pushing the puck off the post. The T-Birds responded with what was almost a breakaway until the puck took an unfortunate bounce over Barzal's stick.

Seattle took another penalty with 49 seconds left in the game, once again stopping an empty-net opportunity. The game concluded with Prince George on a 5-on-3 power play.

Shots in the final frame were 18-3 in Seattle's favor. Faceoffs also favored the T-Birds 12-10.

Next on the docket for Seattle is a trip to Everett to take on the Silvertips at 7:35 p.m. Friday. The T-Birds host the Kamloops Blazers at 6:05 p.m. Saturday.

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 Sundaygame days at noon.

SCORING SUMMARY

First period - 1, Seattle, Yakubowski 8 (McKechnie, Maxwell), 5:12. 2, Seattle, Delnov 24 (Gropp, Troock), 6:04. 3, Seattle, Spencer 3 (Henry),6:48. 4, Prince George, Bourke 25 (Fiddler, Ruopp), 8:53. 5, Prince George, Fiddler 39 (Harkins), 19:34. Penalties - Maxwell, Seattle (interference),11:00. Grewal, Prince George (tripping), 14:58.

Second period - 6, Prince George, Pochiro 25 (unassisted), 4:56. 7, Prince George, Harkins 9 (Wilson, Tomchuk), 5:48. 8, Prince George, Wilson 24 (Bourke, Pochiro), 7:45 (pp). 9, Prince George, Pochiro 26 (Bourke), 14:07.Penalties - Wardley, Seattle (elbowing), 1:56. Delnov, Seattle (tripping),6:20. Olson, Prince George (closing hand on the puck), 8:36. Ruopp, Prince George (elbowing), 11:43. Wilson, Prince George (tripping), 14:29. Bourke, Prince George (elbowing), 18:43.

Third period - 10, Seattle, Yakubowski 9 (McKechnie, Henry), 7:45.Penalties - Theodore, Seattle (checking from behind), 17:46. Bear, Seattle (holding), 19:11. Henry, Seattle (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:11. Henry, Seattle (10-minute misconduct), 19:11.

Shots on goal - Seattle 15-16-18 49, Prince George 18-7-3 28. Goalies -Seattle, Mumaugh 23 shots-19 saves (14-10-2-3), Kozun 5-3 (16-21-2-1); Prince George, Beukeboom 9-6 (5-5-0-0), Edmonds 40-39 (17-16-2-4).Power plays - Seattle 0-5; Prince George 1-4. A - 5,014. Referees - Ian Croft, Mark Pearce. Linesmen - Ryan Gibbons, Bevan Mills.

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