Keltie Jeri-Leon has a team-high 15 goals this season for the Seattle Thunderbirds. Andrej Kukuca also has 15 goals. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds

Keltie Jeri-Leon has a team-high 15 goals this season for the Seattle Thunderbirds. Andrej Kukuca also has 15 goals. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds

T-Birds win two of three road games

Seattle knocks off Swift Current, Lethbridge

  • Monday, January 6, 2020 11:46am
  • Sports

The Seattle Thunderbirds won two of three Western Hockey League road games last weekend.

Keltie Jeri-Leon, Andrej Kukuca and Conner Roulette each had two points Sunday at the Innovation Credit Union I-plex to help lead the T-Birds to a 4-2 win over the Swift Current Broncos.

Seattle is back at home to play the Everett Silvertips at 6:05 p.m. Saturday at the accesso ShoWare Center in the annual Fred Meyer Teddy Bear Toss presented by WARM 106.9 FM. The T-Birds (15-20-2-1, 33 points) entered this week in eighth place in the Western Conference. The top eight of the 10 Western Conference teams advance to the playoffs in late March. Portland and Everett lead the conference standings.

Against Swift Current, Seattle goalie Roddy Ross had 27 saves to improve his record to 12-14-2-1.

Swift Current took a 1-0 lead at 7:06 of the first period on a power-play goal by Aiden Bulych. Seattle tied the game just over a minute later. Conner Bruggen-Cate took a pass from Matthew Rempe and skated into the left circle. Bruggen-Cate took a shot that missed the net and rimmed around the boards to Kukuca on the right wall. Kukuca took a shot from a sharp angle and beat Swift Current goalie Isaac Poulter.

It was Kukuca’s fourth goal in two games as he had a hat trick Saturday in Medicine Hat. Bruggen-Cate now has a six-game point streak with four goals and seven assists in the last six games. Rempe has a two-game assist streak.

The T-Birds took a 2-1 lead at 2:14 of the second period. Kukuca passed the puck to Ryan Gottfried in the left circle. Gottfried held the puck and then took a shot with Roulette in front of Poulter. Roulette tipped the puck past Poulter for his 12th goal of the season.

Jeri-Leon gave the T-Birds a two-goal lead at 3:15 of the third period. Owen Williams passed the puck up the left wing to Roulette who entered the zone. Roulette centered the puck for a trailing Jeri-Leon. Jeri-Leon beat Poulter with a wrist shot over the glove from the slot for his 14th goal of the season.

Jaxan Kaluski scored for Swift Current at 15:06 of the third to cut the T-Birds lead to 3-2.

Swift Current pulled Poulter with 1:32 left in the game for an extra attacker. Jeri-Leon sealed the win when he hit the empty net at 1:21 left in the game for his 15th goal of the season. Max Patterson and Payton Mount assisted on the goal.

Seattle was called for a delay of game penalty with 40 seconds left and had to win the game on the penalty kill. Poulter was pulled a second time but the T-Birds defense and Ross held the Broncos from getting a third goal.

On Saturday, the Medicine Hat Tigers defeated Seattle 8-5 at the Canalta Centre in Alberta. The T-Birds led 4-3 in the second period before Medicine Hat rallied to lead 8-4 in the third period.

On Jan. 3, the hard work of Henrik Rybinski set up the overtime game-winning goal by Payton Mount as the T-Birds beat Lethbridge 5-4 at the Enmax Centre in Alberta.

Rybinski battled two Lethbridge players for the puck along the right wall in the offensive zone. Rybinski was able to push the puck towards the slot and then chased after it. Rybinski got the puck, took a stride and then dropped it to Mount. Mount beat Lethbridge Hurricanes goalie Bryan Thomson at 1:50 of overtime on the glove side for the victory.

Seattle 4, Swift Current 2


First period – 1, Swift Current, A. Bulych 9 (Kaluski, K. Bulych), 7:06 (pp). 2, Seattle, Kukuca 15 (Bruggen-Cate, Rempe), 8:08. Penalties – Rempe, Sea (interference), 5:15. Nagy, SC (10-minute misconduct), 18:34. McNelly, Sea (interference), 19:16.

Second period – 3, Seattle, Roulette 12 (Gottfried, Kukuca), 2:14. Penalties – A. Bulych, SC (high-sticking), 4:38. Wood, SC (interference), 9:06. Gottfried, Sea (roughing), 13:24.

Third period – 4, Seattle, Jeri-Leon 14 (Roulette, Williams), 3:15. 5, Swift Current, Kaluski 9 (Ostir), 15:06. 6, Seattle, Jeri-Leon 15 (Patterson, Mount), 18:39 (en). Penalties – Patterson, Sea (hooking), 5:23. Alkhimov, SC (tripping), 6:59. Rybinski, Sea (delay of game), 19:20.

Shots on goal – Seattle 12-11-14 37, Swift Current 18-9-4 29. Goalies – Seattle, Ross 29 shots-27 saves (12-14-2-1); Swift Current, Poulter 36-33 (8-17-1-1). Power plays – Seattle 0-3; Swift Current 1-5. Referees – Jordan Lightbown, Bob Millette. Linesmen – Sean Dufour, Greg Sarauer.

Medicine Hat 8, Seattle 5


First period – 1, Medicine Hat, Kemp 17 (Chyzowski), 1:07. 2, Medicine Hat, McCarry 6 (Kemp), 14:40. 3, Seattle, Kukuca 12, 15:32. 4, Seattle, Kukuca 13 (Bruggen-Cate, Rempe), 15:55. 5, Medicine Hat, Hamblin 22 (Baker), 16:02. 6, Seattle, Roulette 11 (Rybinski, Jeri-Leon), 18:03. Penalties – Clayton, MH (hooking), 18:33.

Second period – 7, Seattle, Rybinski 10 (Jeri-Leon, Roulette), 2:21. 8, Medicine Hat, Plouffe 7 (Hopwo, Brinkman), 6:54. 9, Medicine Hat, Kemp 18 (Chyzowski, Baker), 12:42. Penalties – Williams, Sea (tripping), 5:27. Gavlas, MH (unsportsmanlike conduct), 12:06. Bauer, Sea (unsportsmanlike conduct), 12:06. Lockner, MH (roughing), 18:28.

Third period – 10, Medicine Hat, Hamblin 23 (Gavlas), :12 (sh). 11, Medicine Hat, Plouffe 8 (Clayton, Hopwo), 11:30. 12, Medicine Hat, Sillinger 13 (Kemp), 13:57. 13, Seattle, Kukuca 14 (Bruggen-Cate), 14:59. Penalties – No penalties.

Shots on goal – Seattle 15-9-6 30, Medicine Hat 9-22-17 48. Goalies – Seattle, Lyda 48 shots-40 saves (3-6-0-0); Medicine Hat, Bjorklund 30-25 (12-3-0-0). Power plays – Seattle 0-2; Medicine Hat 1-1. Referees – Jeff Ingram, Troy Murray. Linesmen – Darren Holeha, Mason Stewart.

Seattle 5, Lethbridge 4


First period – 1, Lethbridge, Wheatcroft 4 (Wilson, Hall), 3:16. 2, Seattle, Rybinski 9 (Kukuca, Jeri-Leon), 7:39 (pp). 3, Lethbridge, Stringer 5 (Wilson, Wheatcroft), 12:30 (pp). 4, Seattle, Bruggen-Cate 8, 19:45. Penalties – McNelly, Sea (checking to the head), :21. Barlage, Let (interference), 7:00. Ashton, Sea (kneeing), 10:57. Wilson, Let (tripping), 14:05.

Second period – 5, Seattle, Jeri-Leon 13 (Rybinski), 3:14. 6, Lethbridge, Hall 10 (Wheatcroft, Barlage), 11:13. 7, Lethbridge, Barlage 14 (Cotton, Hall), 13:15 (pp). Penalties – Thurston, Let (hooking), 4:40. McNelly, Sea (roughing), 8:23. Davidson, Sea (holding), 11:57. Bauer, Sea (boarding), 12:28.

Third period – 8, Seattle, Patterson 5 (Ciona, Bruggen-Cate), 12:50. Penalties – Wheatcroft, Let (slashing), 4:15. Jeri-Leon, Sea (hooking), 4:30.

Overtime – 9, Seattle, Mount 9 (Rybinski), 1:50. Penalties – No penalties.

Shots on goal – Seattle 9-7-12-2 30, Lethbridge 10-11-8-0 29. Goalies – Seattle, Ross 29 shots-25 saves (11-14-2-1); Lethbridge, Thomson 30-25 (10-4-1-0). Power plays – Seattle 1-4; Lethbridge 2-6. Referees – Chris Crich, Bryce Sebastian. Linesmen – Aidan Henderson, Matt Schoenroth.

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