T-Birds top Winterhawks in season opener | WHL

The line of Ryan Gropp, Mathew Barzal and Keegan Kolesar combined for six points Friday night at the Moda Center in Portland to help lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 4-1 win over the Portland Winterhawks.

  • BY Wire Service
  • Saturday, September 20, 2014 1:34pm
  • News

For the Reporter

The line of Ryan Gropp, Mathew Barzal and Keegan Kolesar combined for six points Friday night at the Moda Center in Portland to help lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 4-1 win over the Portland Winterhawks.

Gropp had two goals, Barzal had two assists and Kolesar had a goal and an assist in the game, which was the season opening game for both teams.

The T-Birds home opener is Saturday against the Everett Silvertips at ShoWare Center at 7:05 p.m.

Seattle outshot Portland 10-9 in a scoreless first period.

Portland took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by Tyson Predinchuk at 4:28 of the second period. Predinchuk put back a rebound off Seattle goalie Taran Kozun for the first goal of the game. Layne Viveiros and Keoni Texeira had the assists.

Seattle tied the game 1-1 with a Keegan Kolesar power-play goal at 14:39 of the second. Adam Henry took a shot with Kolesar in front of Portland goalie Adin Hill. Kolesar tipped the shot past Hill for the tying goal. Mathew Barzal had the second assist.

Seattle outshot 13-12 in the second period and led 23-21 in shots after two periods.

Nolan Volcan and Alexander True teamed up to give the T-Birds a 2-1 lead early in the third period. Volcan chased the puck down in the Portland zone along the right boards. Volcan crossed the puck to True coming down the slot. True controlled the puck and then put it over Hill’s left shoulder for the goal. Jerret Smith had the second assist.

True’s goal was his first goal as a T-Bird and Volcan’s assist was his first point as a T-Bird.

The T-Birds struck again a minute and a half after their second goal to take a 3-1 lead. Barzal sent the puck from the left corner to Kolesar behind the net. Kolesar centered the puck to Ryan Gropp in slot. Gropp beat Hill with a wrist shot for a power-play goal at 4:03 of the third.

Gropp converted on a two-on-one with Sam Mckechnie at 19:59 of the third to get the T-Birds final goal. Mckechnie broke up ice with Gropp on his left after stealing the puck from Portland in the neutral zone. Mckechnie crossed the puck to Gropp all alone in front of Hill. Gropp waited out Hill as the goalie slid across the crease. Gropp went right and put the puck into an empty net.

Seattle outshot Portland 14-4 in the third period and 37-25 in the game.

Kozun stopped 24 of 25 shots to get the win.

Hill made 33 saves on 37 shots in the loss.


Game tickets for the season are available online at the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare Center box office. The ShoWare Center Box Office is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday game days at 10 a.m. and Sunday game days at noon.

Season tickets can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.


First period – No scoring. Penalties – Hauf, Sea (unsportsmanlike conduct), :46. Schoenborn, Por (unsportsmanlike conduct), :46. Barzal, Sea (tripping), 7:20. De Jong, Por (hooking), 10:25. Texeira, Por (hooking), 15:21. Smith, Por (double-minor roughing), 16:42. Kolesar, Sea (), 16:42.

Second period – 1, Portland, Predinchuk 1 (Texeira, Viveiros), 4:28 (pp). 2, Seattle, Kolesar 1 (Henry, Barzal), 14:39 (pp). Penalties – Eansor, Sea (hooking), 4:21. Mckechnie, Sea (tripping), 7:14. Holowko, Sea (major-fighting), 10:31. Texeira, Por (major-fighting), 10:31. Wolf, Sea (major-fighting), 10:31. McEvoy, Por (roughing, major-fighting), 10:31. Elder, Sea (major-fighting, game misconduct), 10:31. Flaman, Por (major-fighting, game misconduct), 10:31. Eansor, Sea (kneeing), 12:18. Bench, Por (too many men-served by Weinger), 14:26. Texeira, Por (tripping), 17:16.

Third period – 3, Seattle, True 1 (Volcan, Smith), 2:34. 4, Seattle, Gropp 1 (Kolesar, Barzal), 4:03 (pp). 5, Seattle, Gropp 2 (Mckechnie), 19:59. Penalties – McEvoy, Por (slashing), 3:46. Price, Por (boarding), 8:49. Gropp, Sea (holding), 17:19.

Shots on goal – Seattle 10-13-14 37, Portland 9-12-4 25. Goalies – Seattle, Kozun 25 shots-24 saves (1-0-0-); Portland, Hill 37-33 (0-1-0-0). Power plays – Seattle 2-7; Portland 1-5. A – 8,318. Referees – Jeff Ingram, Nathan Wieler. Linesmen – Jarrod Bowman, Trevor Shively.

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