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  • Portland squeezes T-Birds 5-2
    November 01, 2013 10:01 pm

    KENT - The defending WHL Champion Portland Winterhawks skated into the ShoWare Center and made an early season statement by blitzing the T-Birds in the first ten minutes to win their 10th straight game. Portland buried Seattle early, scoring three goals, two by Brendan Leipsic and never looked back.

    "We lost the game in the first ten minutes," Justin Hickman said. "They score three goals and its tough to recover after that. We weren't ready to start tonight and it ended up biting us."

    The slow start for Seattle (11-4-0-2) is a bit surprising as they had been playing well, and playing with a bunch of confidence.

    "We had guys not ready to play," Steve Konowalchuk said. "Not too many (players) in the first period were ready to play. We weren't physical, we weren't trying our game plan. I thought half the guys were able to snap themselves into it to give us a litte bit, but the other half couldn't get going."

    The loss was the first in regulation on home ice for the T-Birds and their second straight lop sided loss to their I-5 rivals.

  • What's on tap for the T-Birds
    October 31, 2013 7:17 pm
    The Seattle Thunderbirds take on their two I-5 rivals this weekend in the young season's two biggest games to date.
  • T-Birds harvest 4-2 win against Wheat Kings
    October 30, 2013 5:57 am
    The Thunderbirds continued their dominance over Eastern Conference opponents Tuesday night as they dispatched of the Brandon Wheat Kings 4-2 at the ShoWare Center.
  • Mckechnie, Yakubowski open up about move to Seattle
    October 29, 2013 11:43 am
    It didn't take long for newly acquired left wing Jaimen Yakubowski to endear himself to Thunderbirds fans. Just 3 minutes and 37 seconds into the second period of Saturday night's 5-3 Seattle victory over Vancouver, Yakubowski exchanged blows with the Giants' Brooks Orban.
  • T-Birds three stars of the week
    October 28, 2013 8:17 pm

    It was another busy weekend for the Seattle Thunderbirds filled with a lot of noteworthy items. News broke late last week that the team made a block buster move to bring in Jaimen Yakubowski and Sam McKechnie from Lethbridge - a move which will make them one of the more deeper teams in the league.

    We also saw the debut of Ryan Gropp and the team won a game and lost one in a shoot out.

    Who was good this weekend? Here are our three stars of the week.

  • T-Birds hold off Vancouver 5-3
    October 26, 2013 9:40 pm

    KENT - The Seattle Thunderbirds returned home Saturday night and came away with a 5-3 victory over the Vancouver Giants. Seattle got two goals from Seth Swenson and 41 saves from Justin Myles to hold off the Giants and pick up their tenth win of the season.

    A night after dropping a game where they didn't play well the T-Birds were happy to bounce back.

    "That (bouncing back) is huge," Seth Swenson said afterwards. "Those losses are going to happen, there's always going to be close games, its nice to have an answer after that one instead of dwelling on it."

  • Americans trip up T-Birds 3-2 in shoot out
    October 26, 2013 4:52 am

    The Toyota Center in Kennewick continues to trip up the Seattle Thunderbirds. Friday night it was not kind to Seattle as they dropped a 3-2 shoot out game to the Tri City Americans in Kennewick. Seattle got goals from Ryan Gropp and Seth Swenson along with 41 saves from Danny Mumaugh to pick up a point in the standings.

    While the T-Birds managed to salvage a point out of this one, it felt like a game that slipped away from them.

    "It wasn't good enough," Steve Konowalchuk said. "We had guys who didn't compete hard enough on one-on-one battles and our decision making was bad. Give them (Tri City) credit, they worked hard and they were more tenacious than us. Not good enough on our part."

  • T-Birds preparing to make a run with additions of Yakubowski, Mckechnie
    October 24, 2013 8:49 pm

    By Tim Pigulski

    The Thunderbirds announced another blockbuster move on Thursday evening, acquiring 19-year-old forwards Jaimen Yakubowski and Sam Mckechnie from the Lethbridge Hurricanes in exchange for 19-year old forward Riley Sheen, 17-year-old forward Carter Folk, and a third-round draft choice.

    Reports are that Lethbridge General Manager Brad Robson had spoken to at least 15 teams regarding his two forwards and had narrowed that list down to five earlier in the week, including the Thunderbirds.

    "The advantage we had [over other teams] is that we had a [19-year-old] and they wanted players to play right now," said Seattle GM Russ Farwell. "They didn't want just futures. There's not a lot of depth in the league so it's hard to give up players who can play right now. If you want to add a 19, you have to give one up, which put a lot of teams out of the running. I think we had a little more that Lethbridge was looking for. We were maybe a little more motivated to do it and we got on it right away."

  • T-Birds pick up two in block-buster trade with Lethbridge
    October 24, 2013 5:08 pm

    Seattle Thunderbirds General Manager Russ Farwell on Thursday announced a block-buster trade involving four players. Seattle has acquired forwards Jaimen Yakubowski and Sam McKechnie from the Lethbridge Hurricanes in exchange for Riley Sheen, Carter Folk and a third round pick in the 2015 Bantam Draft.

    Yakubowski and McKechnie were Lethbridge's two leading scorers last season with 32 and 26 goals respectively. Yakubowski was second on the team in points with 50 and McKechnie was third with 43 points. Both players are 19 years-old.

  • T-Birds three stars of the week
    October 22, 2013 7:37 pm

    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.

  • T-Birds blast Swift Current 6-3
    October 19, 2013 9:15 pm

    KENT - A night after letting a lead slip away against Prince George the Seattle Thunderbirds learned from their mistakes and held on to beat the Swift Current Broncos 6-3 Saturday night at the ShoWare Center in Kent. Seattle built a three goal lead only to see the Broncos cut it to one before Seattle put the game away in the third period with two goals.

    Seattle picked up goals from six different players and Justin Myles made 24 saves to pick up the win.

    The win was a nice rebound from Friday night when they gave up two goals in the last three minutes to Prince George on route to a shoot out loss. After building a 4-1 lead in the second period the T-Birds saw Swift Current strike twice to cut the lead to one - this time Seattle buckled down and held on for the win.

  • T-Birds blow two goal lead, lose to Cougars 5-4 in shoot out
    October 18, 2013 10:13 pm

    KENT - The Thunderbirds kicked one away Friday night. Leading 4-2 with under three minutes left in the game they allowed the Prince George Cougars to score two goals to tie it and go on to win in the shoot out 5-4. This is one that Seattle should have had.

    "We gave two points away and lost a point for ourselves," Steve Konowalchuk said of the loss. "Tough way to lose it when you've got a two goal lead there in the last couple of minutes in the game."

    Seattle scored what appeared to be the game clinching goal with just over three minutes left when Justin Hickman fed a pretty pass to rookie Ethan Bear on the doorstep to beat Cougars goalie Ty Edmonds. It was Bear's first career WHL goal and gave Seattle (8-3-0-1) what should have been the winner.

    The Cougars didn't relent however.

  • What's on tap for the T-Birds
    October 17, 2013 8:37 pm

    After playing eight of their first eleven games on the road the Seattle Thunderbirds return home this weekend for two games. Despite dropping Wednesday's night game in Kamloops there is a great deal of intrigue surrounding the two games this weekend as the T-Birds try to get back in the win column.

    Going into this weekends games the big question will be whether or not Ryan Gropp will make his T-Birds debut. He is eligible to play but is just recovering from a lower body injury and if he is ready, he will play. There has been about two years of anticipation of seeing Gropp in a T-Birds sweater and hopefully the wait will be over this weekend.

    The T-Birds come into the weekend with an 8-3-0-0 record which is good for second place in the U.S. Division, trailing only the scorching hot Spokane Chiefs. The T-Birds will have to play better this weekend than they did on Wednesday against the Blazers as they play tougher opponents.

  • Blazers stymie T-Birds 3-1 to end winning streak
    October 16, 2013 8:56 pm

    By Andrew Eide

    The Thunderbirds headed north to Kamloops Wednesday night with a great deal of excitement swirling around the club. The recent news concerning Ryan Gropp and more importantly their five game winning streak was the predominant chatter all day. That all faded away into the distance quickly however as they were shut down 3-1 by the Kamloops Blazers at the Interior Savings Centre.

    Tim Bozon paced the Blazers with two goals and Bolton Pouliot made 31 saves as Seattle could not generate any energy or offense all night long.

    "We got out worked," Steve Konowalchuk said after. "We weren't ready to play. They (Kamloops) stuck to their game plan and we thought it was going to be an easy game and that they were going to give it to us."

  • Where does Ryan Gropp fit in with the T-Birds
    October 15, 2013 8:26 pm

    Out of nowhere the Seattle Thunderbirds have landed another blue chip player to their roster. The team announced Tuesday that 2011 first round draft pick Ryan Gropp has signed with the club giving them another top prospect to join their already deep squad. The great start the T-Birds are off to all of sudden feels that much better.

    For head coach Steve Konowalchuk he now has one more weapon to deploy on the ice as the club tries to keep the pace they've started on.

    ""Its exciting," he said of the addition. "I mean he's a good player with elite offensive talent and with really good pro potential. Its exciting when we get those kind of players."

    Now that all the ink has dried and Gropp is in the fold -- how will he fit in?

  • Gropp addition provides more optimism for T-Birds
    October 15, 2013 2:56 pm
    The first month of the WHL season has created a new sense of hope in Seattle. The team has won eight of its first 10 games, and with the addition of Ryan Gropp - one of the top-rated prospects for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft - the now seemingly rich Thunderbirds have just gotten a whole lot richer.
  • Gropp reverses course, to sign with Thunderbirds
    October 15, 2013 10:34 am
    It's amazing what a hot start can lead to. In a very surprising move, Ryan Gropp has de-committed from the University of North Dakota and will indeed be joining the Seattle Thunderbirds, who currently hold the WHL lead in points with 16 in eight games played.
  • T-Birds take down Americans 4-2 for fifth straight win
    October 12, 2013 9:11 pm

    KENT - The Thunderbirds returned home after six straight road games and beat the Tri City Americans 4-2 Saturday night. The victory extended their current win streak to five straight games. The T-Birds got two goals from Roberts Lipsbergs while Danny Mumaugh made 22 saves to pick up his fourth win on the year.

    The T-Birds showed no hang over from the exciting win in Kelowna on Friday as they dominated the first period, picking up the first eight shots and scoring twice.

    The First goal started with Roberts Lipsbergs delivering a big hit on the forecheck which freed up the puck to Justin Hickman. Hickman flung it to Mathew Barzal who tapped it back to Lipsbergs for the easy tip in score.

  • Revenge tastes sweet as T-Birds outlast Rockets 4-3
    October 11, 2013 9:22 pm

    By Andrew Eide

    There is just something about a Kelowna Rockets and Seattle Thunderbirds match up that generates classic hockey games. The T-Birds were back in Prospera Place in Kelowna Friday night for the first time since their playoff loss and skated away with a memorable 4-3 shoot out win.

    Seattle trailed 3-1 entering the third period but got goals by Eric Benoit and Jared Huaf four and half minutes into the third to tie it. From there they rode the shoulders of goalie Justin Myles and got the shoot out win as Shea Theodore was the only player to convert.

    "We found a way to win," head coach Steve Konowalchuk said. "I thought we were fine in the first period, just the penalties there. We dodged a bullet taking seven minor penalties, our PK was good and we found a way to get it done."

  • What's on tap for the T-Birds
    October 10, 2013 7:14 pm

    After one of their most successful weekends in recent memory the T-Birds have three more games on the slate this coming week. Seattle sits a 6-2-0-0 on the season so far which is good for a first place tie in the U.S. Division.

    The team will have a new look as they hit the ice this week after making two trades on Wednesday afternoon. Defensemen Adam Henry should make his T-Birds debut Friday and it will be interesting to see how he fares with his new club.

    There are also some injury issues that Seattle will have to deal with this week. Branden Troock is listed as week-to-week which most likely means he won't play in any of the next three games - we will have to wait and see. Troock's line mate Connor Honey is also listed as day-to-day and hopefully he will be able to get into the games - the same goes for big defenseman Evan Wardley.

    Even if they are still missing those players the team's depth seems to be improved and they will still throw out a formidable lineup and you can bet that head coach Steve Konowalchuk still expects to win all three games.