Congrats to T-bird captain Luke Lockhart, who played in his 300th WHL game last night (all with Seattle)in the T-birds 4-2 win over the Kelowna Rockets. With 45 games left in the regular season Lockhart is on pace to finish his Thunderbirds career second all-time in games played, behind only Glenn Goodall (399) and just ahead of Tyler Metcalfe (333). To mark the occassion last night Lockhart chipped in with an assist on Seattle's second goal.
Lockhart probably logs more minutes each game then any other Thunderbirds player. In addition to his regular shifts, he's also part of the T-birds power play and penalty kill. Late in close games he'll be on the ice, usually double shifting when the coaches shorten the bench. He battles every shift and takes a physical pounding. Yet, I rarely see him in the trainer's room before the game. Even if he does need treatment, he doesn't let it keep him out of the lineup.
It was a good win for Seattle last night against a very good Kelowna team that came into the game riding a 5-game winning streak. In fact, the Rockets had won 13 of their last 17 games. I didn't like how, for the second straight home game, the T-birds lost a multiple goal lead. Remember, they were up 3-0 on Everett before the Silvertips came back to tie that game last Tuesday.
It just seemed the T-birds lost their way a bit in the second period and the early part of the third. They stopped being aggressive and the forecheck wilted. In both cases, Seattle could have lost the lead if not for some stellar goaltending by Brandon Glover. The good news is they responded with a strong finish in both games and pulled out a win.
The news swirling around is that Tyler Alos may be shut down for the season due to his upper body injury. That would be unfortunate because Alos had such a strong start to this season. The T-birds have played a month now without both Alos and Branden Troock. Together they've missed a combined 37 games. That's a lot to miss from two players expected to be big contributors to your club this season.
If that's the case, who steps up to fill Alos' role? Well, it appears Connor Sanvido is ready to grab the bull by the horns. Sanvido's reputation coming into the WHL was as a point producer and it seems he's starting to fulfill those expectations.
Speaking of penalty killing, the Thunderbirds have been a perfect 10-for-10 on the PK this weekend. That will need to continue tonight against the Kamloops Blazers who are ranked 4th in the league on the power play at 24.4% but have scored the 2nd most power play goals with 33. Only Medicine Hat, with 36 has scored more.
In memory of Bruce McDonald, 1971-2012