For the second time this season the Seattle Thunderbirds left the Toyota Center in Kennewick with a well earned road victory, knocking off the Tri-City Americans Friday night, 3-1. This was one of the those games where everyone who took a shift was on the same page with their compete level and work ethic.
I don't think that was more evident then with seldom used Daniel Wray earning his first WHL point with an assist on Roberts Lipsbergs game winning goal. Wray drove hard to the net with the puck, got his shot blocked but Lipsbergs was able to jump on the rebound and shoot it in to the open net.
Luke Lockhart helped preserve the win, but not just with his empty net goal in the waning seconds, but by winning three key defensive zone face-offs after Tri-City pulled their goalie for the final 2:04 of the game. Seattle's three 20 year olds really set the example for the other players in this game as Adam Kambeitz also won some key face-offs in the third period and was a solid penalty killer. Meanwhile, protecting the T-birds 2-1 lead, goaltender Brandon Glover stopped 14 third period shots. He also had a key save on a Tri-City breakaway.
With Jesse Forsberg out of the lineup with an upper boddy injury suffered the night before in Kelowna, two young Seattle defenseman really stepped up and had solid games. Taylor Green, who had been centering the T-birds fourth line, moved back to defense and was very efficient while Griffin Foulk had a solid game back on the blue line as well.
Looking back on the game, Conner Sanvido deserved a star for his effort. He assisted on Seattle's first two goals and made at least one key play in killing off all four of the Americans power plays with either a block or interception of a Tri-City pass.
Wih the win Seattle is now on pace for 57.6 points. Everett which lost last night at home to Edmonton is on pace for a 55 point season and Prince George is on pace for 50.2 pts after falling at home Friday to Kamloops. The T-birds magic number to clinch a playoff spot is now 10. Any combination of Seattle points earned or PG points not earned over the final two weeks equalling ten will give Seattle their first playoff berth since 2009. Seattle is home tonight against the Americans while Prince George is off until they play the Americans at home twice early next week.