The Kelowna Rockets are ready for another go around with the T-Birds
April 02, 2014 5:35 am
After 72 regular season games and one playoff round we are right back where we left off last year.
The Kelowna Rockets and the Seattle Thunderbirds are preparing for another playoff battle with even more on the line this year. The winner of the series will get a chance to play for the Western Conference title and as intense as last year's series was, this one could be even greater.
Last year's series between these two clubs was one for the ages. It featured the heavily favored Rockets watching as Seattle stunned them early with three straight overtime victories. Kelowna took those punches however, got their legs back, and won the next four to finally advance. As exciting as that was, Rockets head coach Ryan Huska doesn't believe it has much of an influence on this year's rematch.
Elliot looking forward to his first shot at second round
March 31, 2014 3:28 pmFor the first time since the 2008 playoffs, the Seattle Thunderbirds are moving on. In finishing off the Everett Silvertips in convincing fashion by shutting them out 5-0 on Saturday night, the Thunderbirds proved they were the better team, winning their first-round series four games to one.
Catching up with T-Birds top prospect Dante Fabbro
March 31, 2014 4:54 am
While the Seattle Thunderbirds were skating on the ice at Everett's Comcast Arena Friday night, a potential big part of their future was watching from the stands. 2013 first round draft pick Dante Fabbro had made the trek down from Vancouver to see some WHL playoff action.
Fabbro has yet to sign with Seattle as he and his family are exploring all of the high-flying defenseman's options for next year and beyond. He skated with the T-Birds during last fall's training camp and was impressive in showing off his skill set.
He recently completed a stellar season in the British Columbia Major Midget Hockey League where his Vancouver NW Giants came up just short, falling in the championship series. Individually, Fabbro had a spectacular season. He posted 22 goals and 61 points in only 38 games played. He was far and away the top BCMMHL scoring defenseman and only five forwards managed to top him in points.
T-Birds advance after 5-0 shut out of Everett
March 29, 2014 11:43 pm
KENT -- For the first time in six years the Seattle Thunderbirds have advanced into the second round of the WHL playoffs.
A night after getting blown out, the T-Birds erupted for four third period goals Saturday night at the ShoWare Center to bury the Everett Silvertips 5-0 and win their first round playoff series 4 games to 1. The T-Birds got a big goal, along with another gritty game from Scott Eansor and added 24 saves from Taran Kozun to get the shut out.
"It was nice," Seattle head coach Steve Konowalchuk said. "It was nice because it wasn't over. They're a really good hockey team...sometimes its unfortunate that two teams get matched up like that and lose. That's a really good hockey team over there and I'm really proud of our guys to beat them."
In contrast to Friday's game, Seattle came out hard and strong Saturday night. They managed the puck better, took the body to the Silvertips and eventually wore then down. The game was almost the exact opposite of Game 4 where Everett blew the doors open in the third period.
Silvertips stay alive with 6-1 rout of T-Birds
March 29, 2014 6:52 am
EVERETT -- Friday night the Everett Silvertips proved that in hockey, the team that plays with more desperation usually comes out on top.
With their backs to the wall the Silvertips controlled the game from start to finish and won 6-1 in a blow out at the Comcast Arena. Everett picked up a hat trick from Jujhar Khaira and cut the Seattle Thunderbirds lead in their opening round playoff series to 3-1. The series will now return to the ShoWare Center Saturday night for Game 5 as the T-Birds will try again to close out the Silvertips.
Friday's game was never really in doubt. As well as Seattle had played in the previous three games, they started just as poorly in this one. The Silvertips fought hard, won every battle, forced Seattle into to turnovers and took control of the game from the opening face off.
T-Birds rookies playing like seasoned playoff veterans
March 27, 2014 10:46 am"Just play simple hockey." That's been the game plan for Seattle's Scott Eansor, who despite being matched up against rival Everett's most formidable offensive line has been able to take his first playoff experience in stride.
T-Birds take commanding 3-0 lead after OT thriller
March 26, 2014 6:31 amFor the second straight year the Thunderbirds won an exciting Game 3 in overtime, this time against their closest rivals. Seattle beat the Everett Silvertips 4-3 on a Mathew Barzal trickler that somehow got past Austin Lotz early in the overtime period.
T-Birds playoff notebook: Two down, two to go
March 24, 2014 9:04 pm
After their solid 3-1 victory on Sunday night, the Seattle Thunderbirds find themselves with a 2-0 lead over Everett in their opening round playoff series. The T-Birds haven't had a 2-0 series lead since, well, last year when they won the first three games against Kelowna.
When asked if there was a lesson to be learned from last year, when they could not close out Kelowna, head coach Steve Konowalchuk made it clear that they weren't even thinking about wrapping anything up yet. There is a lot of hockey to play in this series and the T-Birds will have to turn in two more solid performances if they wish to move on.
Here are the odds and ends from the playoffs so far.
T-Birds jump out to a two game lead after 3-1 win in Everett
March 24, 2014 4:46 am
EVERETT -- The Seattle Thunderbirds turned in another gritty playoff effort Sunday night and have put themselves in the drivers seat.
Seattle scored three unanswered goals at the Comcast Arena in Everett to beat the home standing Silvertips 3-1. The win gives the T-Birds a two games to none lead in their best-of-seven opening round playoff series with Everett. Seattle's goals were scored by three different players and they got another outstanding performance by Taran Kozun in net, as he made 38 saves in the win.
This win was anything but easy for Seattle.
"You've got to work for it," head coach Steve Konowalchuk said. "That's a darned good hockey team over there, you've got to work for every inch of ice and battle and battle and battle."
For the second straight game the T-Birds were out shot by Everett, but for the second straight game they were able to come out on top. They once again got great special teams play, and some great goaltending from Kozun.
T-Birds hold on to take Game 1 from Everett
March 22, 2014 10:41 pm
KENT -- As expected, the Seattle Thunderbirds and Everett Silvertips opened their first round playoff series in dramatic fashion Saturday night.
Seattle scored two first period power play goals and relied on 38 saves by goalie Taran Kozun to hold off the Silvertips and take a one-game lead in their best-of-seven tilt. The T-Birds were paced offensively on goals by Russell Maxwell and Shea Theodore.
Everett and Seattle have played close, gritty games against each other all year and Saturday was no exception.
"Game 1, it's very exciting," Justin Hickman said. "We've been waiting all year for that. That was a hell of a game. We knew it was going to be a 60 minute battle, and that's what it was."
The way Seattle started the game it looked like the trend of close games wasn't going to hold in the playoffs. Seattle struck twice in the first 20 minutes to build a big two-goal lead.
Silvertips looking to stay hot against T-Birds in playoffs
March 21, 2014 6:16 amWithout question, the hottest team in the WHL on the eve of the playoffs are the Everett Silvertips.
Five keys to a Thunderbirds victory over Everett
March 20, 2014 11:30 am
Steve Konowalchuk talks T-Birds, Silvertips and the playoffs
March 18, 2014 9:00 pm
Eleven years. It took eleven years, but finally we have an Everett Silvertips and Seattle Thundbirds post season match up.
As the two fan bases get ready for what should be a tough and hard fought series, the two teams are preparing to face each other for Game 1 on Saturday evening at the ShoWare Center. Seattle has home ice advantage over Everett, something that was their goal from the start of the season.
As they beat Tri City Sunday night, they had to wait out and see if Portland could dispose of the Silvertips in a shoot out which would give them home ice.
"It was pretty exciting, the guys were all trying to get updates," head coach Steve Konowalchuk said. "They were all sitting in the locker room when that game was done in Tri City. We heard some pretty good cheers when the game went final and they accomplished their goal. I think now we've moved on to our next goal."
Your guide to the WHL playoffs
March 18, 2014 4:40 am
While there is a great deal of excitement locally for the first ever playoff series between the Seattle Thunderbirds and Everett Silvertips, the rest of the WHL playoffs should offer just as much excitement. After a play-in game Tuesday between Prince Albert and Red Deer, all the playoff match ups will be set.
Who's going to win? Who's the team to beat? Who might be prime to pull off a big upset? Who are some players to watch?
We have all those answers for you here with our guide to the WHL Playoffs. We will take a look at each conference and give you all the information you need to enjoy the 2013-2014 playoffs.
Thunderbirds focused, eager entering playoffs
March 17, 2014 9:19 amNot many players on the Thunderbirds' roster have had a taste of postseason success. Last year, the Thunderbirds fell in dramatic fashion to the Kelowna Rockets in a thrilling seven-game series. For most Thunderbirds, the matchup against Kelowna offered them their first opportunity at playoff hockey.
Seattle earns fourth seed with a 6-1 rout in Kennewick
March 17, 2014 5:14 amIt took 72 games but the Seattle Thunderbirds have finally clinched home ice advantage in the first round. Needing a win, Seattle got two goals from Shea Theodore and walked away from the Tri City Americans in a 6-1 rout.
T-Birds fall in Portland, will face Everett in first round of playoffs
March 16, 2014 9:28 am
The Thunderbirds fell to rival Portland in ugly fashion for the second night in a row, as the Winterhawks defeated Seattle by a final score of 7-0.
As Everett defeated Victoria for the second night in a row, their ninth consecutive win, and Spokane lost to Tri City, the Thunderbirds now know they will be playing the Silvertips in the first round of the playoffs. The outcomes of tomorrow night's games will determine who is the fourth seed and therefore has home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
In ten games this season, the Thunderbirds are 5-4-1-0 against Everett but have come up short in their last three meetings.
T-Birds late season slump continues with 5-2 loss
March 15, 2014 7:03 am
KENT -- Playing in their last regular season home game of the year, the Seattle Thunderbirds continued their late season swoon Friday night.
Needing a win to keep pace with Spokane and Everett the T-Birds were beaten 5-2 by the Portland Winterhawks. Portland got two goals from Oliver Bjorkstrand, built a lead and never looked back against the struggling T-Birds.
"It was one of those nights you know," Adam Henry said. "We just couldn't seem to get grounded and come all the way back."
It's Seattle's eighth loss in their last eleven games and they now find themselves tied with Spokane for fourth place.
T-Birds drop important game to Spokane 6-4
March 12, 2014 6:57 am
KENT -- The Seattle Thunderbirds are finding ways to fill the last week of the season with more drama than they probably wished for.
With a chance to take a strangle hold on fourth place the T-Birds played a sloppy game and lost to the fifth place Spokane Chiefs 6-4. Spokane was paced by Mike Aviani's two goals and has pulled to within two points of Seattle for home ice advantage, with only three games left in the year.
"That's a stinger right there," Justin Hickman said. "It would have been nice to have that one. I think we would have pretty much put our foot in fourth place there. We've just got to keep going and we don't have time to feel sorry for ourselves, we've got a big weekend coming up."
In the eighth meeting between the two clubs, Spokane was finally able to solve the T-Birds and pick up a huge win as the season winds down. They also found a way to solve Seattle goalie Taran Kozun, who had not allowed a goal against the Chiefs in over 180 minutes of hockey this season.
T-Birds end losing streak with 4-3 shoot out win
March 10, 2014 6:24 am
KENT -- With every point valuable, the T-Birds earned two big ones Sunday afternoon as they held on to beat the Vancouver Giants 4-3 in a shoot out.
Seattle got three assists from Shea Theodore along with a big shoot out conversion as Seattle held on after blowing a two-goal lead in the third period. The win snapped the T-Birds three game losing streak and kept them in the drivers seat to earn home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
"It's a big win and it's nice to get that second point," head coach Steve Konowalchuk said. "The guys deserved it. They played a good game. I was happy with our game for maybe all about a minute."
That minute was big, and after three tough losses might have spelled doom for the T-Birds.
Up 3-1 midway through the third period it looked liked Seattle (40-22-2-4) was going to cruise to an easy win. Vancouver (31-27-7-4) picked up a power play goal when Mason Geertsen blasted a shot from the point to bring the Giants back to within one.