T-Birds take down conference-leading Vancouver

  • BY Wire Service
  • Tuesday, February 10, 2009 9:43pm
  • Sports
Thunderbirds center Luke Lockhart goes down and momentarily loses his stick as a Vancouver player goes for the puck in a hard-fought battle Sunday on ShoWare Center ice.

Thunderbirds center Luke Lockhart goes down and momentarily loses his stick as a Vancouver player goes for the puck in a hard-fought battle Sunday on ShoWare Center ice.

Seattle Thunderbirds defenseman Thomas Hickey had two goals Sunday night to lead the Thunderbirds to a 4-3 win over the Western Conference leading Vancouver Giants in front of 5,059 at ShoWare Center.

The T-Birds improve to 25-27-1-3 with the win over the Giants, the team with the best record in the Western Conference.

Vancouver (46-5-0-3) took a 1-0 lead 52 seconds into the first period when Casey Pierro-Zabotel scored. Garry Nunn and Evander Kane had assists on the goal.

Seattle tied the game 1-1 at 6:41 of the first period on a goal by Chris Cloud. Devon LeBlanc carried the puck up the left side and into the Giants zone. He crossed the puck to Cloud coming down the slot. Cloud made a move left and beat Vancouver goalie Tyson Sexsmith with a shot low.

The T-Birds went ahead 2-1 at 7:16 of the first on a power-play goal by Thomas Hickey. Jim O’Brien sent the puck from the left wall to Hickey at high point. Hickey put a slap shot on goal that was blocked. The puck came back to the T-Birds captain and he shot the puck again with traffic in front of Sexsmith. The shot beat the Vancouver goalie over the glove. Greg Scott had the second assist on the goal.

The Giants tied the game 2-2 at 10:38 of the first on a goal by Mike Piluso. Adam Basford and Jonathon Blum had the assists.

Nick Ross put the Giants back in front 3-2 at 14:36 of the first. Craig Schira and Pierro-Zabotel assisted on the goal.

Vancouver outshot Seattle 15-8 in the first period.

The T-Birds tied the game 3-3 on a power-play goal by Scott at 10:06 of the second period. Rai won a face-off in the left circle to Cloud who put a shot on goal. The puck rebounded to Scott at the top of the right circle. Scott held the puck then put a quick snap shot on goal that beat Sexsmith over the glove.

Hickey put the T-Birds in front when he scored at 13:31 of the second on a delayed penalty call on Vancouver. Scott put a slap shot on goal that Sexsmith stopped. The puck lay in the crease and Hickey poked the puck in off a scramble in front of the goal. Rai had the second assist on the goal.

The T-Birds outshot the Giants 14-12 in the second period but the Giants held a 27-22 advantage in total shots going into the second intermission.

The T-Birds outshot the Giants 9-8 in the third period.

Seattle goalie Calvin Pickard stopped 32 of 35 shots to improve his record to 14-11-1-3.

Sexsmith made 27 saves on 31 shots and his record falls is now 31-5-0-3.

The T-Birds next game is Friday, February 13, against the Everett Silvertips at Comcast Arena in Everett. They take on the Portland Winter Hawks on Saturday, February 14, at 7:05 p.m. at ShoWare Center. Then face the Chilliwack Bruins at 5:05 p.m. on Sunday, February 15.

T-Birds season tickets are currently on sale. Season tickets can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.

SCORING SUMMARY

First period – 1, Vancouver, Pierro-Zabotel 28 (Nunn, Kane), :52. 2, Seattle, Cloud (LeBlanc ), 6:41. 3, Seattle, Hickey 13 (O’Brien, LeBlanc), 7:16 (pp). 4, Vancouver, Piluso 10 (Basford, Blum), 10:38. 5, Vancouver, Ross 9 (Schira, Pierro-Zabotel), 14:36. Penalties – Lockhart, Sea (interference), 5:01. Blum, Van (tripping), 6:06. Dillon, Sea (tripping), 13:36.

Second period – 6, Seattle, Scott 24 (Rai, Cloud), 10:06 (pp). 7, Seattle, Hickey 14 (Scott, Rai), 13:31. Penalties – Haber, Sea (high-sticking), 1:00. Bench, Van (too many men-served by Fisenko), 2:09. Rai, Sea (holding), 6:15. Cloud, Sea (tripping), 6:19. Piluso, Van (roughing), 9:23. Rodgers, Van (roughing), 9:23. Lund, Sea (roughing), 9:23. Ross, Van (high-sticking), 13:47. Cunningham, Van (roughing), 14:46. Boyer, Sea (roughing), 14:46. Wright, Van (kneeing), 16:43. Kane, Van (hooking), 17:48.

Third period – No scoring. Penalties – Bench, Van (too many men-served by Gallagher), 3:22. Cloud, Sea (hooking), 9:20. Gallagher, Van (goaltender interference), 13:25.

Shots on goal – Seattle 8-14-9 31. Vancouver 15-12-8 35. Goalies – Seattle, Pickard 35 shots-32 saves (14-11-1-3); Vancouver, Sexsmith 31- 27 (31-5-0-2). Power plays – Seattle 2-8; Vancouver 1-6. A – 5,059. Referee – Andy Thiessen, Derek Zalaski. Linesmen – Kevin Boris, Chris Dehaan.


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