The Thunderbirds’ Henrik Rybinski skates through the Giants during WHL play Tuesday night. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds

The Thunderbirds’ Henrik Rybinski skates through the Giants during WHL play Tuesday night. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds

Thunderbirds zero in on WHL playoff berth

Seattle goes for clincher when it travels to Kennewick to play the Americans on Wednesday

  • Wednesday, March 13, 2019 9:45am
  • Sports

The Vancouver Giants defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds 5-1 in a Western Hockey League game at the accesso ShoWare Center on Tuesday night.

Seattle (28-29-6-2) has a five-point lead on the Kamloops Blazers (26-32-5-2) for the second wild-card playoff spot in the Western Conference. Their magic number to secure the spot is one – a T-Birds’ win or a Blazers’ loss.

The T-Birds travel to Kennewick to play the Tri-City Americans on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. The Blazers host the Victoria Royals on Wednesday.

Vancouver took a 1-0 lead at 14:45 of the first period on Justin Sourdif’s goal. Davis Koch and Aidan Barfoot had the assists.

The Giants made it 3-0 in the second period on a power-play goal by Lucas Svejkovsky at 2:29 and a goal from Alex Kannok Leipert at 7:12.

Seattle cut the Giants lead to two goals at 16:33 of the second. Matthew Wedman won a faceoff in the left circle of the offensive zone where Henrik Rybinski picked it up. Rybinski took a stride a put a wrist shot on goal that beat Vancouver goalie David Tendeck under the right arm.

Svejkovsky scored at 16:56 of the second to make it a 4-1 Giants lead.

Dylan Plouffe scored the Giants fifth goal 43 seconds into the third period on the power play.

Seattle outshot Vancouver 39-24 in the game.

SCORING SUMMARY

First period – 1, Vancouver, Sourdif 24 (Koch, Barfoot), 14:45. Penalties – Draffin, Van (hooking), 6:08. Nielsen, Van (high-sticking), 9:17.

Second period – 2, Vancouver, Svejkovsky 8 (Byram, Hines), 2:29 (pp). 3, Vancouver, Kannok Leipert 4 (Watts, Koch), 7:12. 4, Seattle, Rybinski 8 (Wedman), 15:33. 5, Vancouver, Svejkovsky 9 (Valenti), 16:56. Penalties – Wedman, Sea (high-sticking), 1:08. Bulych, Van (boarding), 11:15. Wood, Sea (holding), 19:06.

Third period – 6, Vancouver, Plouffe 7 (Watts, Koch), :43 (pp). Penalties – Kubicek, Sea (roughing), 11:55. Richards, Sea (roughing), 11:55. McNelly, Sea (roughing), 11:55. Patrician, Van (roughing), 11:55. Plouffe, Van (holding), 13:19. Wood, Sea (major-fighting), 14:09. Hines, Van (major-fighting), 14:09. Richards, Sea (unsportsmanlike conduct), 14:09. Byram, Van (unsportsmanlike conduct), 14:09. Bulych, Van (cross checking), 15:09.

Shots on goal – Seattle 15-15-9 39, Vancouver 8-7-9 24. Goalies – Seattle, Ross 17 shots-12 saves (14-5-1-2), Schwebius 7-7; Vancouver, Tendeck 39-38 (24-10-1-1). Power plays – Seattle 0-3; Vancouver 2-2. A – 5,202. Referees – Jeff Ingram, Brett Roeland. Linesmen – Mark Heier, Brett Mackey.

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