The Seattle Thunderbirds defeated the Red Deer Rebels 4-2 in Western Hockey League play at the Enmax Centrium in Red Deer, Alberta, on Wednesday night.
The T-Birds – on a six-game road trip through the Central Division – have won three consecutive games and are 3-1-0-0 on the swing. Two games remain on the road trip – the Edmonton Oil Kings at 6 p.m. Thursday and the Medicine Hat Tigers at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Donovan Neuls scored a shorthanded goal with 3:28 left in the game to break a 2-2 tie. Sami Moilanen added an empty-net goal with 14 seconds left to seal the win.
Seattle goalie Liam Hughes improved his record to 4-2-0-0, making 34 saves on 36 shots.
Seattle (8-5-0-1) took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by Austin Strand at 6:04 of the first period. Neuls passed the puck to Jarret Tyszka at center ice. Tyszka moved the puck to Strand in the left circle. Strand took a slap shot with Nolan Volcan screening Red Deer goalie Ethan Anders. Strand’s shot beat Anders low for his eighth goal of the season.
Strand now has a five-game point streak with five goals and three assists in the last five games. Neuls has a four-game point streak with two goals and three assists in the last four games. Tyszka has a three-game point streak with four assists in the last three games.
Red Deer (8-7-1-0) tied the game 1-1 at 18:34 of the first on a goal by Alexander Alexeyev.
The Rebels went in front 2-1 at 14:30 of the second period when Brandon Hagel tipped a Jacob Herauf shot past Hughes. Dawson Barteaux had the second assist.
The T-Birds tied the game 2-2 at 10:33 of the third period. Blake Bargar had the puck along the left boards. Bargar centered the puck to Volcan in the slot. Volcan snapped the puck over Anders blocker for his fourth goal of the season. Volcan has a three-game point streak.
Dillon Hamaliuk was called for boarding late in the third period putting the T-Birds down a man. Neuls stole the puck in Seattle zone and streaked down the right wing on a breakaway. Neuls skated into the right circle, cut through the low crease and put the puck low past Anders blocker.
The T-Birds killed off the remainder of Hamaliuk’s penalty and then the Rebels pulled Anders with 1:12 left in the game. Moilanen forced a turnover in the left circle in the Seattle zone. He skated the puck to the red line and then lofted the puck on his backhand towards the Red Deer net. The puck bounced in the crease and slid into the net with 14 seconds left in the game.
Red Deer outshot Seattle 15-7 in the third period and the T-Birds finished with a 40-36 advantage in shots.
Anders finished with 36 saves on 39 shots and his record is now 4-5-0-0.
The T-Birds’ next home is 7:35 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, against the Tri-City Americans at the accesso ShoWare Center.
Single-game tickets for the season are on sale online on the T-Birds website and at the accesso ShoWare Center box office.
Season tickets may be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.
First period – 1, Seattle, Strand 8 (Tyszka, Neuls), 6:04 (pp). 2, Red Deer, Alexeyev 1 (Schuldhaus, Douglas), 18:34. Penalties – Schuldhaus, RD, (holding), 5:43.
Second period – 3, Red Deer, Hagel 6 (Herauf, Barteaux), 14:30. Penalties – Sakowich, RD (interference), :26. Sakowich, RD (cross checking), 4:23. Hagel, RD (slashing), 7:27. Pawlenchuk, RD (interference), 11:58. Bargar, Sea (holding), 14:44. Philp, Sea (boarding), 18:17.
Third period – 4, Seattle, Volcan 4 (Bargar), 10:33. 5, Seattle, Neuls 4, 16:32 (sh). 6, Seattle, Moilanen 11 19:46 (en). Penalties – Ottenbreit, Sea (tripping), 1:10. McNelly, Sea (unsportsmanlike conduct), 8:02. Cutler, RD (unsportsmanlike conduct), 8:02. Ottenbreit, Sea (hooking), 11:44. Hamaliuk, Sea (boarding), 16:11.
Shots on goal – Seattle 20-12-8 40, Red Deer 10-11-15 36. Goalies – Seattle, Hughes 36 shots-34 saves (4-2-0-0); Red Deer, Anders 39-36 (4-5-0-0). Power plays – Seattle 1-5; Red Deer 0-4. A – 3,577. Referees – Tyler Jensen, Kevin Webinger. Linesmen – Aidan Henderson, Cody Huseby.