Updated Feb 2, 2013 - 11:45 pm
T-Birds lose a heart breaker in OT to Tri City
Seattle's Mitch Elliot battles for position Saturday night against Tri City (photo Seattle Thunderbirds)
By Andrew Eide
KENT - The Seattle Thunderbirds let one get away Saturday night at the ShoWare Center in Kent. After leading for most of the night and controlling the play they gave up a late tying goal to Tri City and then lost the game 27 seconds into overtime. It was a game that Seattle probably should have won as they led all but one minute of the game. Tri City's Justin Feser potted both the tying and game winning goals to send the Americans off the ice with a come from behind victory.
"We had really good first two periods," head coach Steve Konowalchuk said. "In the third period we started turning into individuals again, stick-handling through the neutral zone and the other team started getting momentum."
Seattle came out playing a tight, well paced game in the first period where they out-shot Tri City 11-6 and took the lead after a pretty play by Seth Swenson. Swenson broke in on the Tri City net, made a nice deke that fooled goalie Luke Lee-Knight. Swenson then dropped the puck back to Connor Sanvido who was driving the net and was rewarded with an easy tap in for his 12th goal of the season.
In the Second Seattle played equally as well and extended their lead when Jesse Forsberg flung a wrist shot through traffic to give Seattle a 2-0 lead. Tri City pushed back and cashed in on a goal by Parker Bowles who had an open net to shoot at.
The Third period is where Seattle started to turn the puck over in the neutral zone and miss some great opportunities.
"We played a pretty good first period, the second period was good," said Justin Hickman. "In the third period we just kind of got away from things, didn't buy in and it costs us games, especially in February, you have to figure out a way to play a full 60 minutes, we didn't do that and it cost us."
Tri City started to gain momentum and push the play in the third period and tied the game up 9 minutes in when Malte Stromwell deflected a nice pass from Drydn Dow behind Brandon Glover for his 16th goal. With the game tied Seattle seemed to find the spark they needed as Connor Honey made a nice play to get the puck to Swenson who broke in on the Americans' goal and beat Lee-Knight for the go ahead goal with just over five minutes left.
"Once we got the third goal we were pretty confident," Hickman said. "Obviously you go up 3-2 in the third period you're going to feel pretty good, we played a good game we just couldn't buckle it down."
Tri City pulled Lee-Knight with a two minutes left in the game and Feser took a shot from the blue line through a sea of bodies that found the back of the Seattle net. Just like that, the momentum built by Swenson's goal was gone. The teams went into overtime and Feser wasted no time to ending the drama as he scored 27 seconds in to win the game.
After the game the T-Birds players and coaches were visibly upset and conducted a lengthy players only meeting.
"Some guys are really upset that some guys fell off," Konowalchuk said. "They weren't on board in the third period so some guys are upset. There's two periods where everyone's on board, in the third period they weren't."
As upset as the players were right after the game they seemed to come out of the meeting feeling determined to right the ship.
"I think we have good character in the room," Hickman said. "A lot of guys, all want to be here, know what it takes to win, but we have to figure out the little stuff, close these games out, something we have to figure out and get back at it at Victoria."
Seattle now heads out to Vancouver Island for two games against the Victoria Royals on Tuesday and Wednesday night.
A night after handing Portland ten power plays Seattle played with much more discipline and only found the penalty box four times. They did not allow a power play goal.
In the playoff race all three teams vying for the seventh and eighth spot lost games in overtime so there was no change in the standings.
Seattle has not fared well in games that are decided in overtime. They have lost all three games that were decided during the extra frame. They have done better once the game gets to a shoot out, where they are 2-1.
Seattle has not fared well against Victoria this year. They played them twice during their 15 game losing streak and struggled to get anything going. Seattle has been playing better since those games and should have a chance to win one of the games this week.
Bonneville Media encourages site users to express their opinions by posting comments. Our goal is to maintain a civil dialogue in which readers feel comfortable. At times, the comments can descend to personal attacks. Please do not engage in such behavior. We encourage your thoughtful comments which: have a positive and constructive tone, are on topic, are respectful toward others and their opinions. Bonneville reserves the right to remove comments which do not conform to these criteria.