For the Reporter
Zack Andrusiak capped a Seattle comeback from a three-goal deficit, scoring a power-play goal 34 seconds into overtime for a 5-4 Thunderbirds win over the Vancouver Giants at the accesso ShoWare Center on Tuesday night.
The win ended a four-game losing streak for Seattle (29-24-7-2), which sits in the second wild-card playoff spot, five points behind the Tri-City Americans, who have the first wild-card spot in the WHL’s Western Conference.
Vancouver sent the puck out of play from its end to give the T-Birds a power play 18 seconds into overtime. Donovan Neuls, who had the puck at center ice inside the blue line, passed it to Andrusiak in the right circle. Andrusiak sent the puck low to Nolan Volcan, who passed it back to Andrusiak in the right circle. Andrusiak one-timed Volcan’s pass, beating Vancouver goalie David Tendeck over the left shoulder.
Vancouver (32-21-6-3) took a 4-1 lead with three goals in 4:14 early in the second period. Tyler Benson scored a shorthanded goal at 2:41, followed by Ty Ronning on the power play at 6:01. James Malm scored at 6:55 to give the Giants a three-goal lead.
Nikita Malukhin cut the Giants lead to two goals at 13:57 of the second.
Andrusiak trimmed the Giants lead to 4-3 at 6:11 of the third period. Neuls took a wrist shot with Andrusiak in front of Tendeck. Andrusiak tipped the puck over the goalie the goal. Noah Philp had the second assist.
The T-Birds pulled goalie Liam Hughes with 1:15 left in the third period for an extra attacker and completed the comeback. Austin Strand took a wrist shot from the left point with Neuls and Volcan in front of Tendeck. Neuls took a swipe at the rebound and then Volcan lifted the puck over the goalie with 1:07 left in the game.
The T-Birds outshot the Giants 14-5 in the third period and 40-28 in the game.
Seattle goalie Liam Hughes had 24 saves on 28 shots and his record is 11-10-4-1. Tendeck had 35 saves on 40 shots and his record is 23-13-3-2.
Seattle took a 1-0 lead at 2:22 of the first period on Andrusiak’s first goal of the night.
Vancouver tied the game 1-1 at 16:24 of the first on a goal from Tyler Popowich.
The T-Birds return to the ice for a 7 p.m. game Friday at Portland against the Winterhawks. They travel up to Everett to face the Silvertips at 7:05 p.m. Saturday before returning home Sunday for a 5:05 p.m. game against the Winterhawks.
Order tickets on the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare box office.
First period – 1, Seattle, Andrusiak 25 (Ottenbreit, Philp), 2:22. 2, Vancouver, Popowich 7 (Barfoot, Watts), 16:24. Penalties – Kannok Leipert, Van (hooking), 19:07.
Second period – 3, Vancouver, Benson 22 (Holt), 2:41 (sh). 4, Vancouver, Ronning 54 (Barberis, Benson), 6:01 (pp). 5, Vancouver, Malm 18 (Torzsok), 6:55. 6, Seattle, Malukhin 5 (Wedman, Neuls), 13:57. Penalties – Barberis, Van (delay of game), 1:17. Terretta, Sea (hooking), 4:31. Malm, Van (high-sticking), 9:39.
Third period – 7, Seattle, Andrusiak 26 (Neuls, Philp), 6:11. 8, Seattle, Volcan 27 (Neuls, Strand), 18:53. Penalties – No penalties.
Overtime – 9, Seattle, Andrusiak 27 (Volcan, Neuls), :34 (pp). Penalties – Barberis, Van (delay of game), :18.
Shots on goal – Seattle 6-19-14-1 40, Vancouver 9-14-5-0 28. Goalies – Seattle, Hughes 28 shots-24 saves (11-10-4-1); Vancouver, Tendeck 40-35 (23-13-3-2). Power plays – Seattle 1-4; Vancouver 1-1. A – 4,450. Referees – Trevor Nolan, Mark Pearce. Linesmen – Adam Brastad, Mark Heier.