Jaxan Kaluski had a hat trick to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 4-1 victory over the the Canadian Hockey League’s top-ranked team, the Prince Albert Raiders, at the Art Hauser Centreon in Saskatchewan on Wednesday night.
This was the fourth game of a six-game road trip through the East Division. The T-Birds – 2-2-0-0 on the road trip – finish the swing at the Moose Jaw Warriors on Friday and at the Swift Current Broncos on Saturday.
Seattle goalie Roddy Ross was excellent in the game with 33 saves on 34 shots, earning his second win in as many starts.
Prince Albert pulled its goalie, Ian Scott, for an extra attacker with 2:38 left in the game down two goals. Ross made several good saves to keep the Raiders at bay, including a diving save to cover a puck with 1:30 left in the game.
Midway through the first period, Seattle killed off 1:33 of a Raiders’ five-on-three power play. Kaluski, Nolan Volcan and Sean Richards each blocked shots as the T-Birds gained momentum from the successful penalty kill.
Kaluski put the T-Birds in front 1-0 1:23 into the second period. Simon Kubicek moved the puck up ice to Andrej Kukuca. Kukuca fed the puck to Kaluski, who fired a hard wrist shot over Scott’s glove for his third goal of the year.
Prince Albert tied the game 1-1 at 2:08 of the second on a goal from Jeremy Masella.
Kaluski got the T-Birds the lead back at 7:54 of the second. Jake Lee took a pass from Sean Richards and entered the offensive zone on the left wing. Lee stopped and took a slap shot. Lee’s shot missed the net and rebounded off the end boards to Kaluski to the right of the net. Kaluski backhanded the puck past Scott as the goalie lunged to make the save.
Kaluski got the hat trick at 17:06 of the second just as the T-Birds killed off a Raiders power play. Noah Philp forced the puck out of the Seattle zone to create a two-on-one with Kaluski. Philp carried the puck into offensive wide on the left wing. Philp fed Kaluski in the low slot with a backhand pass. As Scott slid over to make the save, Kaluski caught the goalie going the wrong way and chipped the puck over the blocker.
Seattle outshot Prince Albert 21-11 in the second period and led 29-24 in shots after two periods.
Matthew Wedman sealed the win when he hit an empty net with 16 seconds left in the game. The Raiders were pressuring forcing the T-Birds to ice the puck several times. After a bit of a scramble Wedman got a loose puck at center ice in the defensive zone and sent it the length of the ice.
Seattle finished the game with a 34-33 advantage in shots.
Scott finished the game with 30 saves on 33 shots.
The T-Birds’ next home game is 6:05 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, against the Victoria Royals at the accesso ShoWare Center. Single-game tickets are on sale online on the T-Birds website and at the accesso ShoWare Center 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 – No scoring. Penalties – Williams, Sea (interference), 12:48. Wedman, Sea (slashing), 13:15.
Second period – 1, Seattle, Kaluski 3 (Kukuca, Kubicek), 1:23. 2, Prince Albert, Masella 2 (Hannoun), 2:08. 3, Seattle, Kaluski 4 (Lee, Richards), 7:54. 4, Seattle, Kaluski 5 (Philp), 17:06. Penalties – Sapego, PA (cross checking), 5:37. Martin, PA (interference), 9:29. Wedman, Sea (boarding), 12:42. Leason, PA (unsportsmanlike conduct), 12:42. Volcan, Sea (tripping), 15:05.
Third period – 5, Seattle, Wedman 14, 19:44 (en). Penalties – Martin, PA (double minor-slew footing), 9:37. Masella, PA (roughing, 10-minute misconduct), 6:02. Leason, PA (tripping), 6:02. Carpendale, Sea (roughing, 10-minute misconduct), 6:02.
Shots on goal – Seattle 7-21-6 34, Prince Albert 13-11-9 33. Goalies – Seattle, Ross 33 shots-30 saves (2-0-0-0); Prince Albert, Scott 33-30 (24-4-0-1). Power plays – Seattle 0-5; Prince Albert 0-3. A – 2,502. Referees – Cody Rude, Jason Bourdon. Linesmen – Jordan Carriere, Troy Semenchuk.