Henrik Rybinski and Matthew Wedman each had two goals to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 6-4 Western Hockey League win over the Red Deer Rebels in front of 4,575 fans at the accesso ShoWare Center on Friday night.
Noah Philp had a goal and an assist. Sean Richards and Jarret Tyszka each had two assists.
Seattle (22-27-5-1) lead the Kamloops Blazers by three points for the second wild-card playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Seattle took a 1-0 lead at 7:45 of the first period on Philp’s 21st goal of the season. Rybinski sent the puck from the neutral zone at the Red Deer net. Rebels goalie Byron Fancy played the puck into the right circle where Sean Richards got it. Richards dropped the puck for Philp who skated to the left post and jammed the puck past Red Deer goalie Byron Fancy.
Red Deer (29-20-4-1) tied the game 1-1 at 8:22 of the first on a goal by Zak Smith. Alex Morozoff had the only assist.
The T-Birds scored four goals in the second period to get a 5-1 lead over the Rebels after two periods.
Richards was tripped up on a two-on-one break with Wedman in the neutral zone. Richards got up and chased the puck to the top of the left circle. Richards crossed the puck to Wedman in the slot. Wedman put the puck over Fancy’s left pad at 4:34 with a slap shot as the goalie tried to slide over and make the save.
Seattle then scored three goals in 4:59 to make it 5-1.
Rybinski made it a two-goal lead at 10:13 on the power play. Tyszka crossed the puck to Philp at the right point. Philp skated to the top of the right circle and made a wrist pass with Rybinski in the slot. Philp’s pass went off Rybinski’s stick and past Fancy for his second goal of the game. Wedman had the second assist.
Andrej Kukuca scored unassisted at the 14-minute mark to make it a 4-1 lead. Kukuca intercepted a pass in the high slot and came in on Fancy. Kukuca beat Fancy over the blocker for his 20th goal of the season.
Rybinski scored his second of the game, at 15:14 of the, to make it 5-1. Tyszka put the puck in the left corner to Rybinski, who found Graeme Bryks in the low slot. Bryks took a shot that Fancy stopped but Rybinski followed the play and banged in the rebound for his fifth goal of the season.
Red Deer cut the T-Birds’ lead to two with goals by Alexander Alexeyev at 3:30 and Oleg Zaytsev at 4:03 of the third period.
Red Deer pulled Fancy with 2:57 left in the third for an extra attacker. It paid off as Reese Johnsons scored at 18:34 off an assist from Cameron Hausinger.
Fancy stayed on the bench for the extra attacker. Jaxan Kaluski cleared the puck up the right boards where Wedman chased the puck down. Wedman hit the empty net from the blue at 19:02 to secure the win. Tyrel Bauer had the second assist.
Seattle outshot Red Deer 44-31 in the game.
Seattle goalie Roddy Ross had 27 saves on 31 shots, and his record is now 9-4-0-1. Fancy made 38 saves on 43 shots, and his record is now 5-6-0-1.
The T-Birds host the Everett Silvertips at 6:05 p.m. Saturday at the ShoWare Center. They travel to Portland to play the Winterhawks on Sunday in a 4 p.m. game that is being televised on JOEtv Channel 22/110.
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 season.
First period – 1, Seattle, Philp 21 (Richards), 7:45. 2, Red Deer, Smith 10 (Morozoff), 8:22. Penalties – Richards, Sea (holding), 12:19. Zaytsev, RD (tripping), 14:50.
Second period – 3, Seattle, Wedman 29 (Richards), 4:34. 4, Seattle, Philp 22 (Tyszka, Wedman), 10:13 (pp). 5, Seattle, Kukuca 20, 14:00. 6, Seattle, Rybinski 5 (Bryks), 15:52. Penalties – Volcan, Sea (roughing), 7:27. McNelly, Sea (cross checking), 7:27. Hagel, RD (roughing), 7:27. Douglas, RD (roughing), 10:05. Ashton, Sea (roughing), 15:52. Zaytsev, RD (roughing), 15:52.
Third period – 7, Red Deer, Alexeyev 8 (Tarzwell), 1:25. 8, Red Deer, Zaytsev 11 (Hagel), 4:03. 9, Red Deer, Johnson 21 (Hausinger), 18:34. 10, Seattle, Wedman 30 (Kaluski, Bauer), 19:51. Penalties – Alexeyev, RD (kneeing), 1:25. Lee, Sea (roughing), 6:28. Hausinger, RD (roughing), 6:28. Morozoff, RD (hooking), 9:01. Tyszka, Sea (cross checking), 9:27. Bains, Sea (high-sticking), 19:50. McNelly, Sea (10-minute misconduct), 19:50.
Shots on goal – Seattle 12-19-13 44, Red Deer 9-9-12 31. Goalies – Seattle, Ross 31 shots-27 saves (9-4-0-1); Red Deer, Fancy 43-38 (5-6-0-1). Power plays – Seattle 1-5; Red Deer 0-3. A – 4,575. Referees – Ian Jendro, Sean Raphael. Linesmen – Mark Heier, Brett Mackey.