The Thunderbirds’ Lucas Ciona pushes the puck past Raiders goalie Boston Bilous for his first career WHL goal Tuesday night. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds

The Thunderbirds’ Lucas Ciona pushes the puck past Raiders goalie Boston Bilous for his first career WHL goal Tuesday night. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds

Ciona scores first career goal as Thunderbirds sink Raiders 3-1

  • Wednesday, October 23, 2019 11:32am
  • Sports

Lucas Ciona scored his first career WHL goal to help lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 3-1 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders at the accesso ShoWare Center on Tuesday night.

The Thunderbirds snapped a four-game winless streak.

Seattle goalie Roddy Ross had 24 saves, including five stellar stops during a two-minute sequence in the middle of the first period.

Simon Kubicek scored a five-on-three power-play goal at 8:41 of the first period to give the T-Birds a 1-0 lead. Andrej Kukuca had the puck at the right point and skated into the right circle and passed to Matthew Wedman on the goal line to the right of the net. Wedman sent the puck to Kubicek in the high slot, and he beat Prince Albert goalie Boston Bilous with a slap shot into the top left corner of the net.

Ciona scored his first career goal to give the T-Birds a 2-0 lead at 3:48 of the second period. Ryan Gottfried passed the puck up the right wing to Kai Uchacz, who entered the offensive zone with speed. Uchacz stickhandled through a Raider defenseman and then spun and backhanded the puck to Ciona coming down the slot. Ciona reached and chipped the puck at Bilous, with the goalie making the initial save, but Ciona banged in the rebound at the left post.

Prince Albert’s Brayden Watts scored a power play goal at 13:17 of the third period to cut the T-Birds’ lead to 3-1.

Wedman was behind the Prince Albert net with 1:41 left in the game when he was checked from behind, giving the T-Birds a power play. The Raiders pulled Bilous for an extra attacker to try and tie the game. Brendan Williamson intercepted a Raiders pass in the neutral zone and chipped the puck down the right wing where Kukuca skated to it. Kukuca used his body to hold off a defenseman as he skated the puck into the empty net for his fourth goal of the season.

Up next

The T-Birds are on the road for the next five games, beginning at Red Deer, Alberta, on Friday for a 6 p.m. game against the Rebels. They return home to play Kamloops at 7:35 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8.

Single-game tickets are on sale online 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 2019-20 season.

SCORING SUMMARY

First period – 1, Seattle, Kubicek 2 (Wedman, Kukuca), 8:31. Penalties – Williams, Sea (interference), 1:30. Guhle, PA (interference), 7:40. Nachbaur, PA (roughing), 8:04. Rybinski, Sea (interference), 12:48. Brooks, PA (delay of game), 16:29.

Second period – 2, Seattle, Ciona 1 (Uchacz, Gottfried), 3:48. Penalties – Masella, PA (high sticking), :14. Hayes, PA (delay of game), 1:40. Uchacz, Sea (roughing), 8:27. Clark, PA (roughing), 8:27.

Third period – 3, Prince Albert, Watts 5 (Wiesblatt, Guhle), 13:47 (pp). 4, Seattle, Kukuca 4 (Williamson), 19:51 (pp/en). Penalties – Guhle, PA (delay of game), :28. Bauer, Sea (roughing), 12:56. Hayes, PA (checking from behind, roughing), 18:19. Rybinski, Sea (roughing), 18:19.

Shots on goal – Seattle 10-16-8 34, Prince Albert 9-8-8 25. Goalies – Seattle, Ross 25 shots-24 saves (3-3-2-1); Prince Albert, Bilous 33-31 (6-1-3-0). Power plays – Seattle 2-7; Prince Albert 1-3. Referees – Jeff Ingram, Trevor Nolan. Linesmen – Mark Heier, Eric McLaughlan.

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