The Kent-based Seattle Thunderbirds ended a shortened 2020-2021 season with a 3-0 shutout of the Spokane Chiefs Sunday, May 9 at accesso ShoWare Center.
This was the last game of Keltie Jeri-Leon’s Western Hockey League career. Jeri-Leon, the only 20-year old on the T-Birds roster, played 250 games in the WHL with the T-Birds, Tri-City Americans, Kamloops Blazers and Lethbridge Hurricanes and had 58 goals and 52 assists for 110 points in his career. He played 120 games with the T-Birds and had 43 goals and 35 assists for 78 points.
The T-Birds played a special Thank You video for Jeri-Leon during the first media timeout of the first period.
Goalie Jackson Berry and Scott Ratzlaff combined to make 21 saves to shut out the Chiefs.
Seattle finished the abbreviated season (due to COVID-19) in third place in the U.S. Division with a 10-12-0-1 record. The league, which did not allow fans at games, decided against any playoff games and hopes to return to a normal schedule in the fall for the 2021-2022 season.
Seattle took a 1-0 lead 33 seconds into the second period on a power-play goal by Jeri-Leon. Jared Davidson moved the puck from the right wall to Kevin Korchinski at center ice. Korchinski found Jeri-Leon in the left circle. Jeri-Leon beat Spokane goalie Mason Beaupoit over the right shoulder for his 17th goal of the season.
Mekai Sanders scored his first goal of the season at 10:53 of the second on a delayed penalty call to put the T-Birds up 2-0. Spencer Penner passed the puck to Henrik Rybinski coming off the bench as an extra attacker. Rybinski faked a shot and slid the puck to Sanders to the left of the goal. Sanders swept the puck through Beaupoit for the goal.
Sam Oremba scored a power-play goal at 15:53 of the second to give the T-Birds a 3-0 lead after two periods. Jeremy Hanzel took a shot that was blocked followed by Oremba getting a shot off that Beaupoit stopped. The puck went into the left corner where Jeri-Leon got it. Jeri-Leon drove hard to the net but the puck was poked away. Oremba got the loose puck in the low left circle and put it over Beaupoit for his second goal of the season.