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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Game 10 Recap vs. Saskatoon

-Helenius in goal tonight for Seattle vs. Holtby for Saskatoon. I would expect to likely see Riku tonight and tomorrow in Spokane and then DeSerres at home vs. Brandon on Sunday.

-Prab Rai opens the scoring at the 3:09 mark. Well actually Josh Lazowski opens the scoring with his first career WHL goal. Rai took the puck from the left circle to the slot on his back hand where he spun it around to his forehand to get the shot off. Lazowski (who my wife has coined "Lazer") crashed the net hard taking a swipe at the puck. I don't think he actually got a piece of it with his stick as the puck rebounded high in the air it deflected off his shoulder or something and pops into the net for a 1-0 lead. Congrats to "Lazer" on his first WHL goal.

-Colton Gilles gets Saskatoon on the board with a PP goal at the 11:07 mark of the first on a nice little wrister to the top shelf over Riku's blocker shoulder. The Tbirds have to be careful here with Saskatoon, who is playing the 6th game of their western road swing and has lost the first 5 on the trip. They are obviously struggling, but if you let them hang around they you risk giving them confidence and hang around long enough to steal a point or more.

-1st period ends 1-1 with shots favoring Seattle 12-11. At this very moment in the season, Seattle is better than this Blades team and hustle and effort in the next two periods should be able to take this game. It was a good sign for Seattle that they didn't get off to that slow start we have been seeing in the past few games. Hopefully they can finish with the same intensity of the past few.

-Jim O'Brien gets his second of the year on a nice pass from Holloway. Holloway found O'Brien in front of the net through some traffic from behind the net and O'Brien put it past Holtby for the 2-1 lead. Big goal to get the lead, lets see if it will hold.

-Just over a minute later and Lindsey Nielsen gets his second of the year as well. Something happened here where the puck squirted out from the corner and for some reason Holtby never saw it. Nielsen swooped in from the far side to the slot and place a backhand into the wide open net for the 3-1 lead.

-Greg Scott converts a PP goal for the Tbirds at the 7:53 mark as Seattle is starting to put this thing away. Rai and Hickey get the assists. Rai found Scott on the backside of the PP all by himself and no Blades came to the rescue of Holtby who had to attempt to stop Scott from point blank from the bottom of the left circle and could not.

-Quakenbush, who hadn't scored since the first Seattle goal of the season up in Kamloops bangs one home for a 5-1 lead. IQ planted himself in front of the net (good place for him to be) and Rai hit him with a nice pass from the end line at the 19:30 mark here in the 2nd. Rai with his 3rd assist of the game.

-2nd period ends 5-1 as Seattle has basically ended this game and needs just a solid 3rd period to come away with the two points. Shots on goal were 26-23 in favor of Seattle.

-Seattle wins 5-1 after a relatively slow third period. Saskatoon never really threatened and neither did the Tbirds. Toomey and Acolatse fought at the 18:01 mark which was really a draw until Sena popped Toomey right in the mouth and dropped him with his last shot of the bout giving him the win. Chaffin and Philp fight at the end of the game with Philp probably scoring the win on this one. Short fight and Chaffin held his own just fine, but one of the few fights at home this season that I think the Tbirds have lost.

-Shots on goal ended 31-30 in favor of Seattle.

This was was really over after the 3 goals in roughly 3 minutes that Seattle scored in the 2nd. Nice to see the Tbirds take care of business on home ice and against a team that they were clearly better than. Also nice to see them notch a PP goal and put 5 tallies on the board. Overall a dominant 2nd period wins the game for Seattle and they will move on to tomorrow night's matchup with the Spokane Chiefs in Spokane.

Let's Go Birds Blog 3 Star of the Game:

1. Prab Rai. Can't argue with the P by P boys on this one... he had 3 assists and played a fast and solid game all night.
2. Riku Helenius. He didn't even get one star in the rink and maybe I'm biased towards goaltenders, but when you stop 29/30 including some big stops you deserve a star.
3. Benn Olson. I'm going with Olsen who was +3 on the night with 4 PIM's and I believe that +/- is an important stat and Olson has improved so much in the two years he has been in Seattle.

Honorable Mention: Thomas Hickey (he is pretty much always here unless hes a star), Josh Lazowski (first WHL goal), Chris Durand (assisted on Gillies goal and a nod to the former Tbird)

In the rink:

1.Prab Rai
2. Thomas Hickey
3. Josh Lazowski

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