Sunday, October 28, 2012

Winning Weekend

It may have ended on a slight down note, with the overtime loss to Kamloops, but that was a great weekend of hockey by the Thunderbirds. Earning 5 of 6 points is nothing to sneeze at, unless you're allergic to winning. More importantly the T-birds are making their home ice at the ShoWare Center a tough place for opposing teams. After dropping their home opener to Portland back in September Seattle has now gone 3-0-1-0 at the Sho, earning 7 of 8 points in the process. With a schedule that has more home games on the back half, that's good news.

Through their first 13 games the T-birds have played opponents who have a combined record twenty games over .500 at 59-39-3-3. To be above the break even mark themselves facing that opposition is another positive. Seattle has already played five games against the two teams with the best winning percentages in the WHL, Kamloops and Portland, and earned three points in the process.

You can quibble about getting a two goal lead on the Blazers Sunday only to give it right back, but Kamloops came into the game averaging five goals a game. They had the top three scorers in the league and the #1 power play. They can score goals in bunches. The 'Birds played them even for 60 minutes. I'm not going to look into nooks and crannies to find fault with their effort. They played a solid hockey game against the league's top team at the end of a busy weekend and deserved the point they earned. Quite honestly, except for about a 5-7 minute span the first time the two teams met back in early October, the T-birds have played the Blazers even up.

Shea Theodore's unassisted goal in the second period was more then an end to end rush. He picked up the puck just inside his own blue line, skated behind and around his own goal and then all the way down the left wing before scoring. He must have covered 260-plus feet on the goal.
Brandon Glover, with 16 third period saves, was a big reason why Seattle gets that point. He also survived an early barrage at the start of the game when the Blazers had eight shots about four minutes in. Just doesn't feel right putting a loss on his record after a performance like that.

Seattle now heads out on the road for seven games beginning Tuesday in Spokane. The T-birds aren't back home until November 16th when they host Jacob Doty and the Medicine Hat Tigers.

In memory of Bruce McDonald, 1971-2012

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