Updated Nov 10, 2012 - 7:33 am
T-Birds shut out 3-0 in Prince Albert
By Andrew Eide
The Thunderbirds dropped their third straight road game Friday night 3-0 to the Prince Albert Raiders. Much like the game in Regina the T-Birds started off strong only to still find themselves trailing in the first period. Through out the game Seattle was not able to get any of their 28 shots past Raiders goalie Luke Siemens, who recorded the shut out.
"We were not quite as sharp as we needed to be," Head Coach Steve Konowalchuk said. "We were not executing, we were missing passes, then we started taking penalties and that kind of zapped us."
Seattle got off to a good start with some good early shifts and had the shot lead to start. Then the penalties happened. Seattle was called for three penalties in the first period and Prince Albert made them pay. With Shea Theodore in the box for tripping Prince Albert got on the board first as Mark McNeill was scored his eighth of the season.
The T-Birds found themselves trailing after the first period for the fourth straight game which can begin to drain a team. Playing from behind requires much more energy than playing with the lead and the Thunderbirds, despite fighting back, may be starting to tire on this trip.
The penalties continued in the second period and Prince Albert scored again just as the power play was ending when Dakota Conroy finished a Raiders flurry around the net to make it 2-0. At that point it felt that the Thunderbirds just didn't have it that night.
While they continued to play hard, and were able to generate some chances they could not beat Siemens who made some solid saves and continued to frustrate the Thunderbirds through the rest of the second and third periods. Raiders Mike Winther ended their misery 8:46 into the third when he banged home a puck that had been turned over, giving Prince Albert a 3-0 lead and in effect ending the game.
Seattle was not without some bright spots though. Brendan Rouse's line had a strong game and had two or three moments where they had Siemens down and were banging away at rebounds in the crease, only to be denied. In the end though, it wasn't enough, as the rest of the games on this trip have been.
"There's some frustration (in the dressing room)," Konowalchuk said. "They aren't getting the results they want. We'll have to regroup quickly though, we'll correct our mistakes and we'll start getting the wins."
Perhaps the most frustrating thing for the T-Birds on this road trip is that, outside of the Spokane game, they have been in every game. None of these games are games where they got blitzed and they had chances to win each one. It may be possible that this adversity can be a learning point for the young team.
Seattle plays their last game on this eastern swing Saturday night in Saskatoon against the Blades.
Early on the trip the Thunderbirds were struggling to put pucks on net. The last two nights though they have managed to have some good shot totals. last night they out-shot Prince Albert in two of the three periods. This is a good trend for Seattle moving forward.
The shut out was the first for Seattle this season as they have managed to score in every game this year prior to Friday night.
The T-Birds play in Saskatoon Saturday. Saskatoon will be hosting this year's Master Card Memorial Cup and as the host team will be invited to play. They have had some struggles this year leading to some Canadian writers questioning whether the format of having the host team get an automatic bid.
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