Down two goals with more than two minutes to play in regulation, the Seattle Thunderbirds pulled goalie Liam Hughes for an extra attacker against the Portland Winterhawks on Saturday night.
Zack Andrusiak scored his third goal of the game with 45 seconds left, then with Hughes staying on the bench, the T-Birds pressed but were unable to get the equalizer, falling to the Winterhawks 4-3 in a Western Hockey League game at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Dillon Hamaliuk backhanded the puck to Andrusiak who put it past Portland goalie Shane Farkas for his third goal.
Andrusiak’s hat trick is the second one for a Thunderbird this season. Noah Philp had four goals at Kelowna on Oct. 10.
Portland (14-8-0-2) took a 1-0 lead on a shorthanded goal by Reece Newkirk at 7:23 of the first period. Cody Glass had the only assist.
Seattle (8-12-3-0) quickly answered back on a power-play goal by Andrusiak at 7:43. Jake Lee moved the puck up to Samuel Huo in the neutral zone. Huo crossed the puck to Andrusiak who entered the offensive zone and split the defense. Andrusiak beat Farkas over the glove with a hard wrist shot for his 13th goal of the season. Andrusiak extended his goal streak to six games with the goal.
The Winterhawks went in front 2-1 on Jaydon Dureau’s goal at 18:58 of the second. Newkirk and Seth Jarvis had the assists.
Glass scored on the power play 28 seconds into the second period to make it a 3-1 Winterhawks lead.
Andrusiak cut the Portland lead back to one at 5:05 of the second. Wedman got the puck to Andrusiak to the right of the Portland net. Andrusiak cut through the low slot, waited out Farkas and then roofed the puck over the goalie for his second goal of the game.
Portland took the two-goal lead back at 18:43 of the second on a goal from Mason Mannek.
Hughes had 41 saves on 45 shots, and Farkas had 15 saves on 18 shots.
The T-Birds next game is at 7:35 p.m. Friday against the Kootenay Ice at the accesso ShoWare Center.
Single-game tickets are on sale online on the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare box office.
Fans who purchase the 24-flex ticket package will be able to select any available premium seat for any game, in any ticket combination, during the 2018-19 season.
First period – 1, Portland, Newkirk 13 (Glass) 7:23 (sh) 2, Seattle, Andrusiak 12 (Huo, Lee), 7:43 (pp). 3, Portland, Dureau 3 (Newkirk, Jarvis), 18:58. Penalties – Perna, Por (high-sticking), 3:14. Volcan, Sea (high-sticking), 4:05. Hanus, Por (tripping), 6:38. Hamaliuk, Sea (roughing), 19:13. Carpendale, Sea (roughing), 19:13. Freadrich, Por (roughing), 19:13. Gricius, Por (roughing), 19:13. Harsch, Sea (holding), 19:53.
Second period – 4, Seattle, Glass 9 (Blichfeld, De Jong), :28 (pp). 5, Seattle, Andrusiak 14 (Wedman), 5:05. 6, Portland, Mannek 7 (De Jong, Gricius), 18:43. Penalties – Bench, Sea (too many men-served by Davidson), 1:51. Ludvig, Por (interference), 12:07. Kukuca, Sea (hooking), 13:16.
Third period – 7, Seattle, Andrusiak 15 (Wedman, Volcan), 19:15. Penalties – Harsch, Sea (interference), 1:49.
Shots on goal – Seattle 6-6-6 18, Portland 22-10-13 45. Goalies – Seattle, Hughes 45 shots-41 saves (8-10-2-0); Portland, Farkas 18-15 (13-6-0-2). Power plays – Seattle 1-3; Portland 1-4. A – 5,357. Referees – Duncan Brow, Brett Iverson. Linesmen – Ron Dietterle, Brett Mackey.