Andrej Kukuca had two goals Friday afternoon to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 3-1 Western Hockey League victory over the Kootenay Ice at the Red Lion Hotels’ Preseason Tournament at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.
Kukuca put the T-Birds (3-2) in front 1-0 just 1:15 into the first period. Noah Philp and Tyler Carpendale had the assist on Kukuca’s third goal of the preseason.
Seattle extended the lead to 2-0 at 16:51 of the first on Philp’s first goal of the preseason. Zack Andrusiak had the only assist on the goal.
The T-Birds outshot the Ice 12-6 in the first period.
Kootenay cut the lead to one goal at 15:27 of the second period on a goal from Gunnar Wegleitner. Jaeger White and Jonathan Smart had the assists.
Both teams had eight shots on goal in the second period and Seattle led 20-14 in shots after two periods.
Kukuca scored on the power play at 16:02 of the third period to give the T-Birds an insurance goal. Simon Kubicek and Graeme Bryks had the assists.
Kukuca has a five-game point streak with four goals and four assists in the last five preseason games.
Seattle outshot Kootenay 28-25 in the game.
Seattle goalie Cole Schwebius had 24 saves on 25 shots and his preseason record is 1-1-0-0.
Kootenay goalie Jesse Makaj had 25 saves on 28 shots and his preseason record is 0-1-0-0.
The T-Birds wrap up preseason play with back-to-back games against the Everett Silvertips – on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. at the accesso ShoWare Center, and Saturday at 7 p.m. on the road.
The T-Birds open the regular season against the Portland Winterhawks at 6:05 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22 at the ShoWare Center.
Single-game tickets are on sale online on the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare box office.
Season tickets may be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.
First period – 1, Seattle, Kukuca 3 (Philp, Carpendale), 1:15. 2, Seattle, Philp 1 (Andrusiak), 16:51. Penalties – Schaufler, Ktn (slashing), 8:35. Bateman, Sea (holding opponents stick), 13:06. Bauer, Sea (slashing), 15:48. McClennon, Ktn (slashing), 15:48.
Second period – 3, Kootenay, Wegleitner 1 (White, Smart), 15:27 (pp). Penalties – Lee, Sea (cross checking), 5:17. Ginnell, Ktn (slashing), 9:43. Carpendale, Sea (charging, misconduct-mouthguard), 14:08. Rempe, Sea (slashing), 17:58.
Third period – 4, Seattle, Kukuca 4 (Kubicek, Bryks), 16:02 (pp). Penalties – Lee, Sea (high-sticking), :13. McMaster, Ktn (closing hand on puck), 6:06. Kodak, Ktn (delay of game), 12:34. Makaj, Ktn (goalie throwing the puck), 15:32. Savey, Sea (roughing), 16:28.
Shots on goal – Seattle 12-8-8 28, Kootenay 6-8-11 25. Goalies – Seattle, Schwebius 25 shots-24 saves (1-1-0-0); Kootenay, Makaj 28-25 (0-1-0-0). Power plays – Seattle 1-6; Kootenay 1-6. Referees – Nick Panter, Ward Pateman. Linesmen – Steve Beck, Mateen Hessami.