Thunderbirds defenseman Turner Ottenbreit slides to deflect the puck in front of goalie Liam Hughes during WHL play Tuesday night. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds

Thunderbirds defenseman Turner Ottenbreit slides to deflect the puck in front of goalie Liam Hughes during WHL play Tuesday night. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds

Hughes, Thunderbirds deny Americans in shootout

Goalie makes 48 saves in Seattle win against Tri-City

  • Wednesday, February 7, 2018 9:06am
  • Sports

For the Reporter

Goalie Liam Hughes made 48 saves in regulation and overtime and stopped four of five shooters in the shootout to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 3-2 Western Hockey League shootout win over the Tri-City Americans at the accesso ShoWare Center on Tuesday night.

Hughes made two key saves in overtime to improve his record to 10-6-2-1.

Hughes helped the T-Birds kill off an Americans power play to end overtime. The Americans had 1:42 of power play time and Hughes made several good saves to get the game to a shootout.

In the shootout, Noah Philp, the first T-Birds’ shooter, skated toward Tri-City’s Beck Warm, made two moves and beat the goalie over the glove with a backhand shot. Morgan Geekie, the Americans’ first shooter, skated down at Hughes, faked a wrist shot and then lost control of the puck and it slide wide right of the net.

Austin Strand, the T-Birds’ second shooter, was stopped while Jordan Topping, the Americans’ second shooter, missed the net on his attempt.

Warm then stopped Donovan Neuls’ backhand attempt. Parker AuCoin scored on his attempt to send the shootout to sudden death.

Warm stopped Zack Andrusiak’s shot, and Michael Rasmussen, the fourth Tri-City shooter, saw his shot go through Hughes’ legs and off the right post.

Nolan Volcan, the fifth Seattle shooter, skated at Warm, made a move and beat the goalie with a backhand shot high. Juuso Valimaki, the fifth Tri-City shooter, skated at Hughes and in the low slot stuck faked putting his stick between his legs, brought the puck back to his backhand, and Hughes made a glove save to secure the win.

Tri-City (27-17-7-1) took a 1-0 lead at 10:57 of the first period on a goal by Nolan Yaremko. Juuso Valimaki and Isaac Johnson had the assists.

Seattle (27-18-5-2) tied game 1-1 at 17:37 of the first. Jaxan Kaluski centered the puck from the right circle. Blake Bargar took a shot that Warm stopped. Neuls cleaned up the rebound and put the puck past Warm at the right post for his 19th goal of the year.

The T-Birds went in front 2-1 at the 14-minute mark of the second period with a shorthanded goal. Volcan won a battle for the puck along the left boards in the Seattle zone. Volcan skated through the neutral zone and came into the Americans’ zone on the right wing. Volcan skated through the right circle and then cut into the low slot. Volcan waited out Warm and beat the goalie at the left post. Turner Ottenbreit and Matthew Wedman had the assists.

Tri-City tied the game 2-2 with 1:45 left in the third period when Geekie scored from the slot. Topping and AuCoin had the assists.

Warm had 40 saves on 42 shots and his record is 13-7-1-1.

Next up: the Giants

The T-Birds travel to Vancouver to take on the Giants at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The T-Birds are back home for 6:05 p.m. Saturday game against the Portland Winterhawks. They travel to Portland on Sunday for a 5:05 p.m. game.

Single-game tickets are currently on sale online and at the ShoWare box office.

SCORING SUMMARY

First period – 1, Tri-City, Yaremko 17 (Valimaki, Johnson), 10:57. 2, Seattle, Neuls 19 (Bargar, Kaluski), 17:37. Penalties – MacLean, Sea (hooking), 7:05. Volcan, Sea (high-sticking), 19:40.

Second period – 2, Seattle, Volcan 25 (Ottenbreit, Wedman), 14:00 (sh). Penalties – Andrusiak, Sea (hooking), 12:05. Mutala, Tri (tripping), 14:54.

Third period – 4, Tri-City, Geekie 20 (Topping, AuCoin), 18:15. Penalties – Strand, Sea (hooking), 3:24. Bishop, Tri (tripping), 10:21.

Overtime – No scoring. Penalties – Wedman, Sea (tripping), 3:18.

Shootout – Seattle 1 (Philp G, Strand NG, Neuls NG, Andrusiak NG, Volcan G). Tri-City 1 (Geekie NG, Topping NG, AuCoin G, Rasmussen NG, Valimaki NG).

Shots on goal – Seattle 10-11-19-2-1 51, Tri-City 18-14-17-2-0 42. Goalies – Seattle, Hughes 50 shots-48 saves (10-6-2-1); Tri-City, Warm 42-40 (13-7-1-1). Power plays – Seattle 0-2; Tri-City 0-5. A – 4,152. Referees – Mike Campbell, Troy Paterson. Linesmen – Trevor Beaton, Nathan Van Oosten.

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