Riley Sheen had a strong week for the T-Birds (photo Seattle Thunderbirds)
By Andrew Eide
Our three stars feature returns this week after taking a Ryan Gropp inspired break last week. With the big news breaking last Wednesday there was a lot of excitement for an already exciting season. The T-Birds had an up and down week that saw them drop games they probably shouldn't have and ended the weekend with a solid 6-3 win against Swift Current.
Despite the two losses there were some good performances from Seattle players this week. Here are our three stars of the week - feel free to tell us who you're three stars were.
Third Star - Shea Theodore
The T-Birds star defenseman had a good week for Seattle as he picked up a goal and three assists. He has had a strong start to the year and has a nice four game point streak -- along with points in seven out of his last nine games. Since returning from Anaheim the first round draft pick looks stronger at both ends of the ice. He mentioned after Saturday's game that he learned some tricks from the NHL defenseman he played with in the Ducks camp. That is all good news for Seattle as Theodore is off to a hot start and is always a candidate to take a game over.
Second Star - Mathew Barzal
It's unclear what is more impressive about Barzal's start to his rookie year. Is it the fact that he leads the team in scoring with 19 points? Is the fact that he also leads the team in plus/minus with an impressive plus-10. Whichever it is the young center had a solid week again making plays for the T-Birds. He ended the week picking up four points in the three games as he continued to set up his teammates in good scoring areas. Barzal is now carrying an eight game point streak into this weekend's games -- that's pretty impressive as well.
First Star - Riley Sheen
Sheen was Seattle's best player in their loss at Kamploops last week and he carried that great play into the weekend. He was rewarded with a promotion to the Branden Troock-Alex Delnov line and he stepped up with two goals and an assist. Sheen has always displayed tremendous offensive acumen, but along with that he has been a versatile player for Steve Konowalchuk. He kills penalties, he is aggressive on the forecheck and often is asked to shut down the opponents top lines. Our own Tim Pigulski asked him about his role with the team after Saturday's game against Swift Current.
"I like to fashion myself as a two-way player," Sheen said. "I try to play both ends of the ice well and contribute offensively when I can. Steve (Konowalchuk) says we've got to keep it tight in our own end, try to do the right things back there and a strong defense leads to a strong offense."
Sheen is off to a good start with eight points in the team's first 12 games to go along with his fine defensive play.
Russ Farwell - It's not often that we give the general manager of the team a star but with the arrival of Ryan Gropp to Seattle we have to recognize Farwell here. There was a ton of speculation and gnashing of teeth over whether or not the former first round bantam pick was going to come to Seattle. Farwell stayed the course, kept the lines of communication open and accepting and finally was able to land their guy.
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