After two victories, including stopping a career high 62 of 63 shots against the Everett Silvertips, Kent-based Seattle Thunderbirds goalie Scott Ratzlaff received Western Hockey League Goaltender of the Week honors.
Ratzlaff, selected in the fifth round of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres, went 2-0-0-0 for the week ending Jan. 28, posting a 2.00 goals-against average and .960 save percentage.
Ratzlaff, 18, turned in what the Canadian Hockey League website called “the performance of a lifetime” as the T-Birds ended Everett’s eight-game winning streak with a 3-1 win Jan. 28 at the accesso ShoWare Center. In addition to stopping 62 shots, he denied all six power plays and even added an assist on an empty-net goal.
“You just have to treat every game the same,” Ratzlaff said. “You try not to look at the shots, whether they’re in your favor or against you. It’s just about giving your team a chance to win.”
Everett had 63 shots on goal to just 22 for Seattle. Everett had 16 shots in the first period, 24 in the second and 23 in the third.
The Silvertips scored their only goal with less than two minutes left in the game, in what many considered a controversial goal. Ratzlaff appeared to cover a puck in the crease with his left pad only to have a Silvertips player push his pad toward the goal line with his stick, according to the T-Birds website.
“I don’t think that goal should have been allowed,” said Seattle coach Matt O’Dette. “It made for a stressful final few minutes of the game, but we found a way to get it done.”
Ratzlaff, who is 6 feet 1 inches and weighs 175 pounds, turned aside 34 of 37 shots in a 6-3 win Jan. 26 on the road against the Wenatchee Wild. Nineteen of the shots were in the third period. He only allowed one even-strength goal.
Ratzlaff, of Irma, Alberta, enters this week with a 12-14-1-0 record with a 3.31 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage in his fourth full WHL season.
Seattle enters this week in 10th place in the Western Conference. The top eight teams advance to the playoffs.
Cami Kepke, of the Canadian Hockey League, contributed to this article.