The Seattle Thunderbirds rallied from three goals down to start the third period but came up short to the Portland Winterhawks in a 6-3 WHL loss at the accesso ShoWare Center on Saturday night.
The T-Birds (23-30-4-3, 53 points) and are in the second wild-card playoff spot in the Western Conference and seven points behind the Kelowna Rockets (27-27-3-3) for the first wild-card spot. The T-Birds and Rockets meet on March 6 in Kelowna in their fourth and final game of the season.
The T-Birds’ magic number to clinch a tie for a playoff spot is seven points. The T-Birds are 11 points ahead of the Prince George Cougars (17-34-4-4) with nine games remaining, meaning they can obtain at the most 60 points.
Portland went in front 1-0 on a Seth Jarvis goal at 13:17 of the first period.
The Winterhawks took a 2-0 lead on a goal from Shaun Gervais at 18:10 of the first.
Seattle cut the Winterhawks lead to one goal at 3:32 of the second period. Ryan Gottfried created a turnover in the defensive zone and started a two-on-one break with Keltie Jeri-Leon, who skated into the offensive zone on the left wing and took a wrist shot from the left circle. Jeri-Leon’s shot came off Portland goalie Joel Hofer’s left pad right to Gottfried coming down the slot. Gottfried fired the rebound past Hofer for his third goal of the season.
In the second Jarvis scored a second goal at 8:13 and Lane Gilliss scored on the power play at 18:48 to put Portland up 4-1 after two periods.
Conner Bruggen-Cate started the comeback at 12:08 of the third period. Brendan Williamson found Bruggen-Cate in the slot with a pass. Bruggen-Cate took the pass on his forehand, spun to left and lifted a backhand shot past Hofer for his 14th goal of the season.
Owen Williams scored at 15:51 of the third to cut the Winterhawks’ lead to one. Mount passed the puck to Williams in the left circle. Williams beat Hofer over the glove with a wrist shot for his second goal of the season. Henrik Rybinski had the second assists.
Robbie Fromm-Delorme scored at 16:44 of the third for Portland.
Seattle pulled goalie Blake Lyda with 1:18 left in the third for an extra attacker. Jarvis was able to score with 36 seconds left in the game to get Portland’s sixth goal.
Seattle play Everett at 7:05 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at Angel of the Winds Arena. They host the Silvertips at 5:05 p.m. Sunday, March 8.
Single-game tickets are on sale on the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare box office.
Fans who purchase the 24-flex ticket package will be able to select any available premium seat for any game, in any ticket combination, during the 2019-20 season.
First period – 1, Portland, Jarvis 38 (Dureau, ), 13:17. 2, Portland, Gervais 8 (Mannek, Gilliss), 18:10. Penalties – Dureau, Por (tripping), 4:07. Rybinski, Sea (hooking), 6:24.
Second period – 3, Seattle, Gottfried 3 (Jeri-Leon), 3:32. 4, Portland, Jarvis 39 (O’Brien), 8:13. 5, Portland, Gilliss 12 (Knak, Hanas), 18:48 (pp). Penalties – Hanus, Por (boarding), 1:04. Cicek, Por (interference, major-fighting), 5:27. Williams, Sea (unsportsmanlike conduct), 5:27. McNelly, Sea (roughing), 5:33. McNelly, Sea (roughing), 16:55.
Third period – 6, Seattle, Bruggen-Cate 14 (Williamson), 12:08. 7, Seattle, Williams 2 (Mount, Rybinski), 15:51. 8, Portland, Fromm-Delorme 9 (Gricius), 16:44. 9, Portland, Jarvis 40 (Dureau), 19:24 (en). Penalties – Rempe, Sea (tripping), 9:46.
Shots on goal – Seattle 9-8-7 24, Portland 11-13-7 31. Goalies – Seattle, Lyda 30 shots-25 saves (3-11-0-0); Portland, Hofer 24-21 (31-7-3-2). Power plays – Seattle 0-2; Portland 1-3. Referees – Fraser Lawrence, Kyle Kowalski. Linesmen – Brett Mackey, Michael McGowan.