Updated Nov 3, 2012 - 9:23 am
T-Birds done in by shorthanded goals in Swift Current
By Andrew Eide
The Thunderbirds dropped a close 4-3 game against the Swift Current Broncos Friday night at the Credit Union i-plex to kick off their East Conference swing. The game turned for Seattle in the third period where they allowed the Broncos to tie it early and then take the lead on two shorthanded goals within a minute of each other.
"Two shorties," Head Coach Steve Konowalchuk said afterwards. "Two shorties against there was the difference. We has a big breakdown to start the third period where they tied. We had some guys who played hard and some who did not give their best effort."
Three minutes into the third and tied at two Swift Current's Richard Nedomlel took Riley Sheen hard into the boards and got called for checking from behind. What seemed like a great chance for Seattle's fourth ranked power play to grab the lead back. Instead it turned into disaster.
It started as Adam Lowry took control of the puck and moved into the T-Birds zone with only Shea Theodore back. Theodore was in good position to stop him until he lost an edge and stumbled. That gave Lowry a break and he walked in and beat Brandon Glover to take the lead. It was an unfortunant break against Seattle and one that felt worse 30 seconds later when former T-Bird Cance Lund was able to get the puck after a forecheck and beat Glover for the Broncos second shorthanded goal on the same power play.
Seattle had been playing a good road game heading into the third. They yielded some chances but held them off and built a 2-1 lead on the strength of goals from Taylor Green and Seth Swenson. It all fell apart in the third however as Graham Black took advantage of some miscues in the Seattle end and scored to tie it 17 seconds into period.
Then the shorthanded goals happened.
Seattle did fight back after falling behind by two. Riley Sheen stole the puck behind the Swift Current net and scored on a nice wrap around goal to bring the T-Birds to within one with 11 minutes left. It was Sheen's second point of the night and indicative of how hard he played all night.
"He had a solid game," Konowalchuk said. "He competes, he's not afraid to go into the dirty areas of the ice, has good hands and a good shot."
After the Sheen goal Seattle played with a spark and had solid shifts where they kept the pressure on the Broncos. That included two power play chances that were created by strong play. Unfortunantly they were not able to cash in and eventually time ran out on them.
"We got back to playing a bit," Konowalchuk said. "We found a way to score and get back in it, but we couldn't do it."
Seattle's record falls to 7-7-1-0 and they are right back in action Saturday night with a game against the Moose Jaw Warriors.
Seattle was outshot 30-17 Friday and was not able to generate more than six shots in any period. While they would never admit it you have to wonder how much the team misses Brandon Troock and Tyler Alos. Troock may be the team's best offensive player who would help generate more offense. Alos is a 'glue' type of player who helps them out all over the ice. There is still no word on thier return from upper body injuries.
Seattle's strong power play failed them Friday. They were 0-for-4 with the man advantage and gave up the two big shorthanded goals.
With a goal and assist Riley Shhen leads the team in scoring with 13 points. He continues to prove that Seattle made a great trade this summer to pick him up.
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