Updated Jan 4, 2014 - 8:55 pm
Edmonton drubs T-Birds 7-0
By Andrew Eide
The T-Birds limped into Rexall Place in Edmonton Saturday night and were hammered 7-0 by the Oil Kings. For a wounded Seattle team it was their fourth straight loss as they continue to play short-handed. Edmonton got two goals from Reid Petryk, five assists from Henrik Samuelsson and scored three straight power play goals to build a commanding lead on the listless T-Birds.
Seattle struggled to get anything going in this one, looking flat from the beginning. They hung with the Oil Kings for a while but when Brandon Ralph scored 15 minutes into the opening period, the life went out of the Seattle skaters.
"I thought we had a little bit of energy at the start," Steve Konowalchuk said. "I didn't think we maintained it, it felt like we were working up hill all game. Definitely didn't get a lot going."
Down a goal, the T-Birds got into some penalty trouble and paid dearly for it. Brandon Pollock extended the lead in the 19th minute of the first with a power play goal, his 14th of the year. The Oil Kings scored two more power play goals in the second to extinguish what little life the T-Birds might have had in them.
In total Edmonton got power play goals from Pollock, Mitch Moroz and Reid Petryk to bury Seattle. After forty minutes the Oil Kings were out shooting the T-Birds 30-14. Seattle was never able to get any sustained pressure on Edmonton goalie Tristan Jarry who recorded the shut out -- making 22 saves.
Seattle's normally solid penalty kill struggled on a night when most facets of the game were not in tune.
"A little bit of execution, miscues," Konowalchuk said of the penalty kill. "They (Edmonton) put pucks in the net and they did a great job of finding pucks on the rebounds."
The T-Birds had a scary moment in the third period when Mads Eller drilled Branden Troock against the boards late. Eller was given a major boarding penalty and Troock laid on the ice for several minutes. When he finally was able to get to his feet he had to be helped off the ice and looked to be in some difficulty.
With a roster already shredded, an injury to their top scorer is the last thing that the T-Birds need. The road trip doesn't get any easier as they have to play their third game in as many nights Sunday in Calgary against the Hitmen. A T-Birds team that was flying high a few short weeks ago is now struggling and facing a grueling schedule with a short roster.
So far they are still finding a way to fight through it.
"I think its a little bit of frustration getting into our locker room," Konowalchuk said. "We've got to clean it up and get it out of there. You know you get frustrated, feeling sorry for yourself it taps all your energy, all your emotion."
Seattle will need to dig deep to generate energy and overcome some serious adversity facing them during this stretch.
"We've got to stick together here," Konowalchuk said. "They've got to believe that they're going to get through it. We can still win with the guys we have and we have enough guys. They have to believe that things will get better."
Seattle takes on the Calgary Hitmen Sunday at 3 P.M.
Danny Mumaugh got the start for the second straight night but wasn't scheduled to. Justin Myles was going to get the nod but was a late stretch due to suffering from an illness. Konowalchuk said they will have to wait and see how he feels before deciding on who will be in net Sunday.
There was no update on Troock's condition after the game.
With the U17 tournament ending this weeekend the T-Birds still have to wait a bit to get Keegan Kolesar and Ethan Bear back. Konowalchuk said they were targeting the two up coming games in Prince George as a possibility.
Seattle will get some help Sunday as defenseman Evan Wardley will return from suspension. He had missed the two previous games.
Seattle has now given up seven goals twice in their last three games and have been outscored 19-2 in that span.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andyeide.
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