Luke Bateman controls the puck for the Seattle Thunderbirds during their game Dec. 28 against the Portland Winterhawks at the accesso ShoWare Center. Portland won 4-1. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds

Luke Bateman controls the puck for the Seattle Thunderbirds during their game Dec. 28 against the Portland Winterhawks at the accesso ShoWare Center. Portland won 4-1. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds

T-Birds split final two WHL home games of 2019

Seattle beats Spokane; falls to Portland

  • Monday, December 30, 2019 10:47am
  • Sports

The Seattle Thunderbirds split their final two home games of 2019, beating the Spokane Chiefs, 9-5, and falling to the Portland Winterhawks, 4-1.

The Winterhawks defeated the Thunderbirds Saturday night in front of 5,076 fans at accesso ShoWare Center in Kent. That was one night after Seattle dropped visiting Spokane. The T-Birds play New Year’s Eve at Portland. Their next home game is Saturday, Jan. 11 against the Everett Silvertips.

Seattle went in front 1-0 against Portland on Saturday at 7:11 of the first period on a power-play goal by Conner Bruggen-Cate. Zach Ashton broke up a Portland three-on-one break in the slot. Henrik Rybinski got to the loose puck and led a T-Birds three-on-one break. Rybinski passed the puck to Max Patterson on the right wing as he entered the offensive zone. Patterson crossed the puck to Bruggen-Cate in the left circle. Bruggen-Cate put the puck over Portland goalie Isaiah DiLaura’s blocker for his fifth goal of the season.

Portland tied the game 1-1 on a goal by Jack O’Brien at 8:17 of the first.

The Winterhawks took a 2-1 lead at 13:03 of the second period on a goal from Tyson Kozak and then made it 3-1 at 12:56 of the third period on a goal from Mason Mannek. Seattle scored what they thought was a goal with about seven minutes left in the game. But the referee waved the goal off saying DiLaura was pushed into his net.

Seattle pulled goalie Roddy Ross for an extra attacker with over two minutes left in the game. The T-Birds were pressuring but Reece Newkirk was able to score a empty-net goal to seal the win for Portland.

Ross had 46 saves in the game and kept the team in the game in the first period when he had 22 saves.

Seattle 9, Spokane 5

Against Spokane on Dec. 27, Keltie Jeri-Leon had two goals and three assists and Rybinski had two goals and two assists. Andrej Kukuca added two goals and an assist and Bruggen-Cate had a goal and three assists. Conner Roulette had a goal and an assist and Owen Williams had two assists.

Seattle jumped out to a 1-0 lead 33 seconds into the game. Bruggen-Cate carried the puck behind the Spokane net left to right and battled through a check. Bruggen-Cate skated into the right circle and took a shot. Andrej Kukuca got a stick on the rebound before the puck squirted to Rybinski at the left post. Rybinski slammed the puck past Spokane goalie Campbell Arnold for his seventh goal of the season.

Rybinski struck for a second time at 1:17 of the first finishing off a pretty passing play. Roulette carried the puck up the right wing and into the offensive zone. Roulette centered the puck to Jeri-Leon who sent it right back. Roulette crossed the puck through the slot to Rybinski in the left circle. Rybinski snapped the puck past Arnold as the goalie lunged to get over.

After Rybinski’s second goal Arnold lay on the ice and was attended to by the Chiefs athletic trainer. Arnold left the game and was replaced by Brett Balas.

Seattle made it a 3-0 lead at 6:43 of the first on a goal from Kukuca. Matthew Rempe moved the puck up the left wing wall to Williams who was able to enter the offensive zone moving left to right. Williams stopped in the right circle and took a shot that hit Balas up high. The goalie thought he had the puck but it lay in the crease and Kukuca poked it in.

Conner Roulette scored at 8:34 of the first on the power play to give the T-Birds a 4-0 lead. Williams kept a Spokane clearing attempt in at the left point and fed the puck to Roulette at the right point. Roulette skated into the right circle and beat Balas on the glove side for his 10th goal of the season.

Jeri-Leon scored at 17:59 to make it a 5-0 Seattle lead. Rybinski skated the puck down the left boards and then backhanded the puck Jeri-Leon who skated into the high slot. Jeri-Leon beat Balas with a hard wrist shot on the blocker side. Ryan Gottfried had the second assist.

In the second period Spokane got goals from Luke Toporowski at 6:02 and Bear Hughes at 14:05 to cut the T-Birds lead to three goals.

Patterson answered back for the T-Birds, at 16:36 of the second, just after a power play ended to make it a 6-2 lead. Bruggen-Cate passed the puck to Jeri-Leon at the top of the right circle. Jeri-Leon took a shot that rebounded off Balas and lay next to the left post. Patterson banged in loose puck for his first goal as a T-Bird.

Spokane’s Jack Finley scored at 18:09 of the second to get their third goal.

Kukuca got the four-goal lead back at 18:22 of the second. Bruggen-Cate sent the puck around the boards from the left wing to Kukuca at the right wing. Kukuca threw the puck on net and beat Balas through the legs. Ashton had the second assist.

Cordel Larson scored at 19:29 of the third to cut the T-Birds lead to three goals.

Bruggen-Cate scored at 8:38 of the third period to make it an 8-4 Seattle lead. Jeri-Leon put a backhand shot on net from the left circle with Bruggen-Cate charging the net. Bruggen-Cate got a piece of the puck and beat Balas high on the glove side. Rybinski had the second assist.

Spokane make it a three-goal T-Birds lead when Adam Beckman scored at 11:48 of the third.

Jeri-Leon scored an unassisted goal at 13:53 of the third to get Seattle’s ninth goal. Jeri-Leon came off the right boards and cut into the slot with the puck on his backhand. Jeri-Leon got the puck to his forehand and then snapped it past Balas on the glove side.


Portland 4, Seattle 1

First period – 1, Seattle, Bruggen-Cate 6 (Patterson, Rybinski), 7:11 (pp). 2, Portland, O’Brien 4 (Gervais), 8:17. Penalties – Hanas, Por (tripping), 2:76. Hanas, Por (roughing), 6:26. Patterson, Sea (high-sticking), 9:53.

Second period – 3, Portland, Kozak 6 (Cicek, Hanas), 13:03. Penalties – Bateman, Sea (cross checking), 9:59. Williams, Sea (slashing), 13:29. Gricius, Por (checking to the head), 14:04.

Third period – 4, Portland, Mannek 5, 12:56. 5, Portland, Newkirk 14 (Fromm-Delorme, Quigley), 18:20 (en). Penalties – Gottfried, Sea (interference), 3:59. Mannek, Por (slashing), 19:00.

Shots on goal – Seattle 3-8-12 23, Portland 23-12-15 50. Goalies – Seattle, Ross 49 shots-46 saves (10-13-2-1); Portland, DiLauria 23-22 (2-2-0-2). Power plays – Seattle 1-4; Portland 0-4. Referees – Mark Pearce, Steve Papp. Linesmen – Michael Bean, Nathan Van Oosten.


Seattle 9, Spokane 5

First period – 1, Seattle, Rybinski 7 (Kukuca, Bruggen-Cate), :33. 2, Seattle, Rybinski 8 (Roulette, Jeri-Leon), 1:17. 3, Seattle, Kukuca 10 (Rempe, Williams), 6:43. 4, Seattle, Roulette 10 (Williams), 8:43 (pp). 5, Seattle Jeri-Leon 10 (Rybinski, Gottfried), 17:59. Penalties – Jacobson, Spo (hooking), 7:45. McNelly, Sea (hooking), 14:15.

Second period – 6, Spokane, Toporowski 8 (Mattson, Sward), 6:02. 7, Spokane, Hughes 12 (M. King, Atchison), 14:15. 8, Seattle, Patterson 4 (Bruggen-Cate, Jeri-Leon), 16:36 (pp). 9, Spokane, Finley 7 (Beckman, Larson), 18:09. 10, Seattle, Kukuca 11 (Bruggen-Cate, Ashton), 18:22. 11, Spokane, Larson 9 (Finley, Sward), 19:29. Penalties – Rybinski, Sea (tripping), 8:48. Ciona, Sea (major-fighting), 11:33. Chudley, Spo (major-fighting), 11:33. Kral, Spo (tripping), 14:31. N. King, Spo (tripping), 19:46.

Third period – 12, Seattle, Bruggen-Cate 6 (Jeri-Leon), 8:38. 13, Spokane, Beckman 24 (Zummack), 11:48. 14, Seattle, Jeri-Leon 12, 13:53. Penalties – Bruggen-Cate, Sea (tripping), :50. Jacobson, Spo (roughing), 9:13. Ciona, Sea (holding), 9:13. Mattson, Spo (slashing), 9:32. Russell, Spo (interference), 15:37. Russell, Spo (holding), 19:03.

Shots on goal – Seattle 17-10-14 41, Spokane 11-12-13 36. Goalies – Seattle, Lyda 36 shots-31 saves (3-5-0-0); Spokane, Arnold 4-2, Balas 37-30 (0-1-0-0). Power plays – Seattle 1-6; Spokane 0-3. Referees – Adam Griffiths, Trevor Nolan. Linesmen – Justin Nicol, Cameron Wetmore.

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