Austin Strand scored with 42 seconds left in the third period to give the Seattle Thunderbirds a 4-3 Western Hockey League win over the Calgary Hitmen at the Saddledome on Saturday night.
It was Seattle’s second game of a six-stop trip through the Central Division. The T-Birds, 1-1-0-0 on the road trip so far, play the Lethbridge Hurricanes at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Enmax Centre in Alberta. After the Hurricanes, the T-Birds play the Red Deer Rebels, Edmonton Oil Kings and Medicine Hat Tigers.
After Strand left the penalty box, he corralled a loose puck and headed up ice on a two-on-two break with Dillon Hamaliuk. Strand passed the puck from the neutral zone to Hamaliuk on the left wing and then drove the net. Hamaliuk crossed the puck to Strand and he redirected it high past Calgary goalie Matthew Armitage.
It was Strand’s seventh goal of the season, but the first not scored on the power play.
The T-Birds scored three goals in the second period. The Hitmen scored three goals in the third period before Strand’s game winner.
Seattle goalie Liam Hughes had 25 saves on 28 shots and his record is now 3-2-0-0.
Calgary outshot Seattle 7-5 in a scoreless first period.
Seattle (6-5-0-1) took a 1-0 lead at 6:25 of the second period. Nolan Volcan took a shot from the slot that rebounded off Armitage to Blake Bargar in the right circle. Bargar put the rebound back, just under the cross bar, as Armitage slid to his left to try and make the saves. Aaron Hyman had the second assist on Bargar’s second goal of the season.
The T-Birds made it a 2-0 lead at 13:03 of the second on the power play. Zack Andrusiak passed the puck to Reece Harsch at center ice inside the blue line. Harsch took a slap shot with Hamaliuk screening Armitage. Harsch’s shot beat Armitage on the glove side for his third goal of the season. Matthew Wedman had the second assist.
The T-Birds struck for a second time on the power play in the second period with under two minutes left. Strand passed the puck from the left circle to Jarret Tyszka at center ice. Tyszka sent the puck to Donovan Neuls in the right circle and Neuls one-time the pass. Neuls’ shot beat Armitage high on the glove side.
Seattle outshot Calgary 16-5 in the second period and led 21-14 in shots after two periods.
Calgary (4-10-1-0) broke Hughes shutout bit at 7:13 of the third period when Jake Bean scored. Cael Zimmerman had the only assist
The Hitmen cut the T-Birds lead to one goal at 13:08 of the third on a goal from Vladislav Yeryomenko. Jakob Stukel and Jake Kryski had the assists.
Mark Kastelic tied the game 3-3 for the Hitmen at 14:14 of the third when he tipped a Yeryomenko past Hughes. Bean had the second assist.
After Strand’s goal the Hitmen pulled Armitage for an extra attacker but were unable to get a shot on goal.
The Hitmen outshot the T-Birds 14-10 in the third period. The T-Birds finished with a 31-28 advantage in shots.
Armitage had 25 saves on 28 shots and his record is now 0-3-0-0.
The T-Birds’ next home after the Central Division road trip is Friday, Nov. 10, against the Tri-City Americans at accesso ShoWare Center at 7:35 p.m.
Single-game tickets are on sale online on the T-Birds website and at the accesso ShoWare Center box office.
Season tickets may be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.
First period – No scoring. Penalties – Toder, Cgy (slashing), 9:05. Hamaliuk, Sea (interference), 9:59. Wedman, Sea (slashing), 18:38.
Second period – 1, Seattle, Bargar 2 (Volcan, Hyman), 6:25. 2, Seattle, Harsch 3 (Andrusiak, Wedman), 13:03 (pp). 3, Seattle, Neuls 2 (Tyszka, Strand) 18:33 (pp). Penalties – Ottenbreit, Sea (cross checking), :28. Gurney Cgy (interference), 11:16. Stukel, Cgy (slashing), 13:41. Huber, Cgy (interference), 16:56. Ottenbreit, Sea (holding), 19:11.
Third period – 4, Calgary, Bean 1 (Zimmerman), 7:13. 5, Calgary, Yeryomenko 3 (Stukel, Kryski), 13:08. 6, Calgary, Kastelic 3 (Yeryomenko), 14:14 (pp). 7, Seattle, Strand 7 (Hamaliuk), 19:18. Penalties – Wedman, Sea (hooking), 13:20. Strand, Sea (hooking), 17:04.
Shots on goal – Seattle 5-16-10 31, Calgary 7-7-14 28. Goalies – Seattle, Berlin 28 shots-25 saves (2-2-0-0); Calgary, Armitage 31-27 (0-3-0-0). Power plays – Seattle 2-4; Calgary 1-6. A – 5,705. Referees – Brett Roeland, Reagan Vetter. Linesmen – Aidan Henderson, Jason Nedinis.