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Hockey Challenge 2014

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One team goes home on Tuesday

I was honestly too deflated about the loss last night to write anything right away. Tbirds lose last night 4-3 in Overtime on a fluke (but hard working) goal by Lucas Bloodoff.

I think coach Rob Sumner summarized the effort very well last night by essentially saying that they just didn't play to the level that one needs to play to eliminate a team. Kelowna battled all night to save their season and eventually extended it with the winner.

Seattle did not play poorly and held a 1-0 lead on a goal by Sena Acolatse in the 1st... but they fell behind 2-1 and 3-2 in the game before Greg Scott got an equally fortunate Power Play goal with 27 seconds left to send the game into OT.

On the Internet feed I honestly couldn't see the hit by Brady Leavold on Scott Jackson that resulted in the game tying Power Play for the Tbirds. Regan Bartel, who I think puts a pretty honest spin on things, said the call was poor at best and inexcusable at worst.

So.... it all comes down to Game 7 at the Key on Tuesday. The Tbirds fought hard for the last two months of the season to earn this Game 7 at Key Arena and the two teams have now proven that can win games on home ice.

Game 7's are everything you want to be a part of as an athlete and I would bet that these two teams will give it everything they have on Tuesday night to extend their seasons. One of the great things about Junior Hockey is the finality to the season for the 20 year old players. For them... there is no next season, there is no building for another run. Sure some and maybe most will play beyond this last season of Junior's, but there is something about knowing that this is the last time they will play with this team and these teammates that brings out the best in them. For Benn Olson, Scott Jackson and Ian McKenzie this could be their last game with this team and this franchise. I would be willing to bet those guys will give everything they can to extend this season for a little bit longer.


Spokane moves past Everett

Everett is gone in 4 games, continuing a franchise tradition as Spokane just scored in overtime to send the Everett faithful to the golf course for the season.

Box score found here...

McEwan gets One Game

After looking out for this all day... I was scooped on this over in the forum.

McEwan gets a one game suspension for last night's buffoonery. Not surprising and likely wouldn't have had an impact on the game anyways.

Hickey, Tbirds dominate and take a 3-2 series lead

Seattle finally breaks through with a home ice win and takes a 3-2 lead in the series with Game 6 in Kelowna on Saturday.

Thomas Hickey and Bud Holloway (there you go Kings fans!) led the way for the Tbirds. Captain Hickey with 3 assists and Holloway with 2 goals in the 6-2 victory over the Rockets.

The game started precariously for the Tbirds as Helenius was beaten on the first shot taken by Brady Leavold (having a very good series) just 22 seconds into the game. Colin Long and Jamie Benn (both also having good series') got the assists on the goal.

It took the Tbirds about 7 minutes to answer, but when they did... boy did they answer. Jan Eberle, who has been excellent in the series, got the equalizer at 7:46 of the 1st before Holloway at 9:03 and David Richard (his 5th) at 12:51 gave the Tbirds a 3-1 lead at the end of 1.

They continued to pile on in the 2nd with goals by Prab Rai at 13:51 and Bud Holloway scoring with less than a second left in the period to give Seattle the big 5-1 lead.

Luke Schenn got his 1st playoff goal for the Rockets but it just wasn't enough and Ian McKenzie finished the scoring with 30 seconds left and the 6-2 margin.

Benn Olson then fought Dowzak before James McEwan took a run at goaltender Riku Helenius at the end of the game.

Now... I had to miss the game last night for my own game (I know... I'm a terrible blogger) so it's not totally fair for me to jump all over McEwan.

You guys tell me... how bad was it?

3 Stars of the game:

1. Thomas Hickey
2. Bud Holloway
3. Jan Eberle


More thoughts on Game 4

-Gutty, Gritty, Huge, Enormous, Scrappy... you name it, the win in Game 4 was it for Seattle.

-This playoff history between the Rockets and Tbirds continues to be strange as the road team has won 10 of the last 11 playoff games between the two teams.

-In my opinion the most important game of any 7 game series is Game 5. Let's look at the situations for Game 5's.

Team A and Team B

A leads B 3-1 and looks to close it out. Obviously if Team A wins the series is over and if Team B wins not only is the series now much closer but the momentum has now shifted where a Game 6 on the road could carry and team back home for Game 7 or if returning home for Game 6 would most likely propel the series to a 7th game.

A and B are tied at 2-2. Here we are in this series. Winner takes a 3-2 lead and has two shots to close it out.

Based on how the road teams have dominated this historical matchup I wouldn't call Game 5 a must win for Seattle, but someone HAS to win a home game and this series might be over in 6 if Seattle could hold serve at home.

-How bad has the officiating been in this series. I have to think that Kelowna isn't very happy about the officiating to this point either, but Seattle is getting killed by the boys in the striped shirts in this series. How and where does an official come up with a penalty shot on that hooking by Seattle in the 3rd period?? Here is hoping that all the poor officiating is over and that these two teams can decide the series by performance and not by phantom Power Plays.

-I really don't understand Brady Leavold. Can I call him Beach Jr. yet? He is obviously talented and I love tough guys, but why go after a guy like Dillon? I don't think it took Seattle out of their game and it seemed to actually pump the Tbirds up a little bit. Going into the 1st intermission tied at 2-2, Seattle proceeded to score twice in the 2nd period to take the 4-2 lead. If you're going to be a tough guy, pick a fight with one of our tough guys and take your shots. Benn Olson went for a little retribution at the end of the game and I doubt we have see the last of that issue in this series.

-The Scott-Nielsen-Holloway line has played much better in Games 3 and 4 and I believe they are the key to the Tbirds success. If they play well in Game 5, Seattle wins...

Game 5 is tomorrow...


Its a best of 3 series now

Tbirds get a HUGE win tonight in Kelowna to even the series at 2-2 and regain home ice advantage. This game couldn't have possibly started worse for Seattle as they were down 2-0 within the first 5 minutes of the game. They battled back behind Ian McKenzie (3 assists), Bud Holloway (1 and 1) and Thomas Hickey (1 and 1) and gained a 4-2 lead only to see it disappear on a penalty shot goal and capped by Greg Scott getting the Short Handed GWG just over a minute later.

I have to go play tonight so I will have more thoughts tomorrow....


David Richard wins it for the Tbirds in OT!

David Richard completes the Hat Trick night with a wrister over the shoulder of Westblom from Prab Rai and the Tbirds get the 3-2 victory tonight in Game 3 of the series.

The win ensures that Seattle will return home on Thursday for Game 5 no matter what.

Seattle will now try to take this momentum into Game 4 tomorrow night and even the series at 2 games a piece.

I cannot overstate how huge this win is for the Tbirds... lose and the season was over, win and this could be the springboard back into the series and into the rest of the playoffs.

I also believe Seattle can still play much better... The Holloway-Nielsen-Scott line hardly showed signs of life until the Overtime period when I thought they put together some outstanding shifts. At times the Tbirds looked like the team we saw in the 2nd half and at times we did not, when Seattle is at their best Kelowna looks overwhelmed, when they aren't... Kelowna dominates the action.

Jacob DeSerres was also enormous in the game and made the save of the night in the Overtime period that saved the game and the season.


3 Stars of the Game:

1. David Richard
2. Jamie Benn
3. Thomas Hickey

Jake DeSerres in net...

tonight for Seattle... more to follow.

Season on the line tonight in Game 3

Tbirds have managed to dig themselves a really big hole while I was gone this weekend, ugh. Who would have thought just 6 days ago that Kelowna would storm Key Arena and steal two wins from a lethargic, unmotivated Seattle team that finished the regular season on fire.

I did make it back in time to catch the 2nd and 3rd period of Game 2 on Saturday night and from what I'm told, the action was pretty much the same as the 4 periods that I missed.

I still believe this series is not over... but Game 3 is a must-win. You cannot go down 0-3 and expect to comeback. At the same time... you win Game 3 on the road and you shift momentum to where you can probably carry it over and win Game 4 and you are right back in the series.

Tonight must be a Seattle win or I believe the season is over.


Game 2 Thread

Comment below.

Game Thread for Game 1

I'm going to set up game threads for Games 1 and 2 for people to leave their comments about what happens.

Westblom will start for Kelowna

Kristofer Westblom will get the nod for the Rockets in Game 1. This isn't much of a shock even though Regan Bartel thought that Torrie Jung might get the call. Story can be found here.

I simply have not had time to do much of a series preview with the Rockets so I will point to Bartel who does a very nice job of covering the game notes for tonight, that can be found here and a few more notes on the series here.

KJR Podcast with Matt and Tom

Matt Gaschk and Tom Helm have recorded a special Tbirds podcast preview for the playoffs that begin tonight.

There is a lot of basic stuff... but for you Tbird junkies out there it's still a good listen. This blogger wonders why they didn't call him for a quote or segment (kidding).

Click HERE for the podcast.


Tbirds defeat Everett 5-2, plus Team awards

Seattle finishes the regular season with a 5-2 win over Everett. Everett rested several of their key players including Hamill, Gendur and Kyle Beach. Beach was no where to be seen in the arena though... hmmm...

With the win, Seattle goes over the 90 point mark on the season and finishes 42-23-5-2 which is good for 91 points, scoring 241 goals (never saw that happening around December 1st) and giving up 179 goals.

Jacob DeSerres was excellent and borderline unreal in the win. Not only did he make 36 saves on 38 shots in the win, but several of the saves were of the highlight reel variety and if Seattle had been a little less sloppy in their own end he likely would have had a 38 save shutout or perhaps 37 saves.

Prab Rai also scored in the 3rd period for his 20th of the season. Seattle finishes with five 20 goal scorers and narrowly missed the 6th as Ian McKenzie's backhand clanked off the post in the 2nd period before Jan Eberle finished for his 7th of the year.

Greg Scott did not score and finished with 38 goals, just short of the 40 goal mark.

Seattle opens the first round of the playoffs at home against the Kelowna Rockets on Friday for Game 1 and Saturday for Game 2. I will have more thoughts and previews later in the week.

After the game we saw the season ending Award Ceremony and I will have to remember all of them off the top of my head.

Team MVP - Thomas Hickey

Leading Scorer - Bud Holloway

Top Defencemen - Thomas Hickey and Scott Jackson

Most Popular Player (Booster award) - Bud Holloway

Rookie of the Year - Jim O'Brien

Most Improved - Greg Scott and David Richard

Humanitarian of the Year - Jacob DeSerres

Most Sportsmanlike Player - Prab Rai

Scholastic Player of the Year - Steve Chaffin

Shutout(s) Awards - Jacob DeSerres and Riku Helenius (tied with 3)

Hat Trick Awards - Bud Holloway, Greg Scott and Jeremy Boyer


Seattle blasts Portland, faces Kelowna in the first round

Well... the matchup we have been waiting?/dreading? will not happen as Kelowna beat P.G. tonight at home and the Silvertips got blasted on the road in Chilliwack setting up a first round Rockets/Tbirds matchup. The epic Everett/Seattle playoff series will have to wait.

Seattle wins tonight 8-2 behind Bud Holloway who not only netted his 40th goal of the season but also goals 41 and 42. Congratulations to Bud on the wonderful season. Aaron Gagnon last season had 42 goals as well (in only 52 games), Bud now with 42 in 69 games. Greg Scott also had 4 assists in the game and was +5.

Thomas Hickey was a healthy scratch for the Tbirds as they decided to rest him in a game that meant nothing. I expect to see both Hickey, Holloway and perhaps Jackson, Olson and/or others to sit tomorrow for the season finale.

Erik Fleming, the 1st round draft pick of the Thunderbirds last year had 2 assists in his first game ever with the Thunderbirds and earned himself the 3rd star of the game.

Seattle hosts Everett tomorrow at the Key to end the regular season. The game likely has even less on the line now that the two teams will avoid each other in the first round of the playoffs.

Quick note... As a die hard Tbirds fan I don't really ever root for other teams in the league but I think its important to give a small shout out to the Tri-City Americans who clinched the Scotty Munro Trophy for the top record in the league for the first time in their history with a 2-1 win over the Spokane Chiefs. As a fan of a team that only has 3 division titles and 0 WHL titles you have to be a little happy when a franchise with a similar history happens to breakthrough with a big accomplishment. So congrats to the Ams... we hope to see (and beat) you in the 2nd round of the playoffs.

Let's Go Birds Three Stars of the Game:

I agree with the arena...

1. Holloway
2. Scott
3. Fleming


Special Thanks to Kyle Beach

Beach might have given the Tbirds the win tonight all by himself and Seattle clinches home ice advantage with a 3-1 win over the Silvertips.

The turning point in the game was the Checking from Behind Major by Beach at the 7:53 mark of the third period. Seattle then converts two Power Play goals by Bud Holloway (his 39th) and Greg Scott (his 38th) to take a 3-1 lead.

He cost the Silvertips a goal in the 1st period when a goal was waived off while Beach got a penalty and Seattle also converted on the Power Play created by a Beach in the first skirmish in the 1st period.

Seattle still had to convert all of those opportunities and give credit to the leaders, Holloway and Scott for getting the two big goals in the 3rd for the win.

David Richard also had a strong game getting assists on both of the extended Power Play goals.

Riku Helenius was back to dominating Everett with 34 saves in 35 shots to avenge the disaster in his previous outing in Everett. Even with the disallowed goal, I'm a little surprised he did not receive any of the three stars. Riku was especially big in the second period that saw him make 17 saves on 18 shots when Everett dominated the action for most of the period.

As I stated earlier... with the win Seattle will host Games 1 and 2 at Key Arena next Friday and Saturday against an opponent still to be determined. Kelowna holds the 1 point lead over Everett but has only one game left against P.G. If they can earn the win they will force the Tips to get 3 points out of their last two games.

Article on Bud

Nice article on Bud this morning in the Seattle Times that can be found here.


Ams help Tbirds

Tri-City gets two points from Kruise Reddick tonight and the Americans defeat the Silvertips 3-1. Leland Irving stopped 44-46 in the loss or it could have been worse for the Tips.

With the loss Seattle's magic number for home ice is down to 1.5 and Seattle can hold serve on home ice they will clinch the 4th spot. They can also do the most direct damage to Everett's attempt at getting the 5th spot as Kelowna won tonight and sits 1 point ahead of Everett but having played 1 more game.


Fighting Majors

Full credit to NWDubFan over in the message board for starting this discussion and I thought I would add to it.

Seattle has been in 60 fights this season and it was noted that it seemed like a lower number than in past seasons.

In fact that isn't quite true...

Some have heard of this website and some likely haven't... keeps track of all the fights that happen in hockey (great resource).

Here is the link to this seasons current leaders.

You can see on the chart from the main page here that Seattle was in only 47 fights last season. The 60 fights from this season are down from the 05-06 season (67 fights) and the 04-05 season (73 fights). The website only goes back to the 2004-05 season for the Tbirds so I would have to do a little more homework for seasons past that

Here are some interesting items from the website:

  • Benn Olson leads this season with 17 fights and Sena Acolatse is 2nd with 9 fights.
  • Olson has been in 58 fights going back to the 04-05 season.
  • Player who has fought the most against Seattle, Frazen McLaren (11), anyone surprised?
  • Imac vs. Tanner Gillies was the only fight in last years playoffs for Seattle
  • Bash Brothers Olson and James McEwan fought 19 and 18 times respectively in 05-06 with Olson getting 5 for going with Michael Funk while McEwan got only a double rough on March 18th, 2006.
  • website claims since 1998-99 the Tbirds have fought 91 times against the Portland Winterhawks, by far the most. 2nd on their list is Spokane with only 29!
  • Everett is closing fast despite their short history now have 26 tilts with the Birds.

Needless to say... lots of other cool stuff on there.


Olson-Hunt Fight

You gotta give Hunt a little credit for being willing to go with Benn... but wow did Benny get some payback for what Hunt did to Bud.


As I suspected... the Tbirds do NOT have a Video Review Judge at Key Arena.

Klein and Savage get to take all the heat for this one.


Seattle beaten by Devin Klein and Officiating Crew

I really hope someone saw this differently or can explain to me what I missed... or explain to me the ruling by the officiating crew tonight because this loss hurts a little bit and I would love to blame it on someone other than the officials.

The goal in question came at the 13:00 mark of the 2nd period and was scored by David Rutherford. Here is how I saw it... shot comes in from the left corner where Riku makes the save but the puck remains loose where the Spokane player enters the crease area in an attempt to play the puck and finish the goal. In the process of doing this... the puck squirts out of the crease back towards the left circle where Rutherford buries the puck into an empty net as said Spokane player stands over Helenius who is still down at the far post. The Spokane player couldn't have possibly been standing more in the crease.

I did a little leg work to get an exact definition and I will leave it up to the fans to tell me if they think I'm crazy.

Rule 69 of Table 18 of the WHL Rulebook.

Section B Situation:

"An attacking player skates in front of the goalkeeper, well inside the crease, at the same time a goal is scored. The attacking player remains in motion and, in the judgement of the Referee, maintains a significant position in the crease impairing the goalkeeper's ability to defend his goal"

Result - "Goal is disallowed. The announcement should be "No goal due to interference with the goalkeeper."


Section D Situation:

"An attacking player plants himself within the goal crease, as to obstruct the goalkeeper's vision and impair his ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored."

Result - "Goal is disallowed. The announcement should be, "No goal due to interference with the goalkeeper."

I think you could easily site both examples of the rulebook to say that goal should have been disallowed but at the very least where is the video review judge???

Rule 39 - Video Goal Judge - General Duties

(i) He will review replays of the disputed goals when requested to do so by the Referees.

Ok... so maybe Klein and Savage didn't think it was disputed. I would disagree, but so be it.

(ii) He will review replays of disputed goals when he observes an incident that was undetected by on-ice officials.

So is that not a "disputed goal"??? really??

and finally... what goals are allowed to be reviewed?

Rule 39.4 - Situations Subject to Video Review

(viii) - The video review process shall be permitted to assist the referees in determining the legitimacy of all potential goals (e.g. to ensure they are "good hockey goals").


I guess its not really right to say the Tbirds lost the game because of the officials, but it a tight game like that one was, its a shame that a call like that would go completely un-reviewed.

Bottom line is that Seattle had their chances tonight and Tokarski pretty much shut them down. They opened with a hot 1st period (shots 15-1) but weren't able to take advantage.

Seattle now must clinch the 4th seed the hard way by beating Portland at home on Saturday and taking at least one of two from Everett.

Oops... Seattle dropped by Portland

I don't want to dwell on this game too much... As I stated yesterday this game was dangerous with the way Portland has been playing lately and Seattle has been on the road for 7 days now. I'm not going to put too much focus on this being a bad loss (although it is) since the Tbirds beat Vancouver on the road the night before.

What does hurt is that both Kelowna and Everett lost as well and Seattle could have reduced their magic number to 1.5 and instead is only 2.5 for clinching the 4th spot.

Thomas Hickey had a goal and two assists in the loss, while David Richard had 1 and 1 and Prab Rai also scored for Seattle.

For Portland... they snap their 22 game losing streak and while I'm happy for them it is over I certainly didn't want it to happen against the Birds.

Seattle faces Spokane tonight in another big test against a top Western Conference team. Let's see if Seattle can bounce back at home even though it will be their 5th game in 6 nights.


Another big win for the Birds

Seattle scores 3 goals in the 3rd period to defeat the Vancouver Giants last night 5-2. Is anyone else ready to jump on the bandwagon yet?

I consider Vancouver one of the best teams in the league and perhaps the toughest playoff matchup for Seattle and they rose to the challenge and won on the road.

Bud Holloway had two goals and so did Ian McKenzie in the win. Seattle was down 1-0 and came back with Power Play markers from IMac and Bud in the 2nd period to take a 2-1 lead. Vancouver then scored one of those goals that can sometimes prove to be a momentum killer when they scored the tying goal with just 5 seconds left in the 2nd period.

Seattle, however, was undeterred by the momentum shift and got goals from Holloway and McKenzie to take a 4-2 lead before Prab Rai sealed the game with the Empty Net goal for the final margin.

Seattle scored their two in the 3rd period on only 4 shots against losing goaltender Tyson Sexsmith. Tbirds had 5 total in the period including Rai's empty net goal.

With the win the Tbirds reduce their magic number for clinching the 4th seed to 3.5. In other words, Seattle needs to get to 92 points (Everett can only manage 91) to ensure 4th no matter what Everett does.

Problem is... Seattle plays Everett two more times and even if Seattle defeated Portland twice and Spokane (Sunday at home) they would still need 1 point out of the two meetings with Everett. This of course assumes that Everett wins their final 5 games (including the two with the Tbirds). To keep it simple, Seattle just needs to beat Portland twice and win one of the games against the Tips to secure the 4th spot.

With the way the boys are playing... does anyone think they couldn't go 4-1 or possibly 5-0 the rest of the way? The home game against Spokane would certainly be tough and the game at Everett will be tough as well. Don't discount the two games against Portland as they have played with a lot more pride lately and they will want desperately to not let Seattle sweep the entire season series.

Three Stars of the Game:

1. Holloway
2. Casey Pierro-Zabotel
3. McKenzie


Slight Correction...

Alan Caldwell has on his blog that Seattle's magic number to clinch the 4th seed is actually 4.5 and I am inclined to believe he is correct.

I couldn't find it listed anywhere on the WHL website (shocking I know) but I believe it has to do with the fact that even if Everett were to pull into a tie in points, Seattle would still win the head to head season series with them and would get the 4th seed. If anyone knows this to be absolutely true, let me know.


Scott and Holloway stay hot and so do the Birds

Greg Scott tallied the natural hat trick in the 2nd period, blew open a 2-1 game and Seattle cruised to a 5-2 victory over the Prince George Cougars.

Riku Helenius made his first start in a while last night and was solid in the win stopping 22 of 24 shots.

I don't think Thomas Hickey had internet in Prince George to read my blog comments about his slight scoring drought, so I don't think I can take even a little credit for his explosion. Great to see Thomas pick up 3 assists, all on Greg Scott goals.

Game Recap Links:

Seattle Thunderbirds
Seattle Times
Box Score


Here is my best calculation on the Magic Number for Seattle to clinch the 4th seed in the West.

Seattle and Everett both have 6 games remaining, 2 with each other. Seattle has essentially 41.5 wins (counting 1 pointers as half a win) and Everett has 39.5 wins. I believe.... this gives Seattle a Magic number of 5. With a combination of 5 Seattle wins and/or Everett losses Seattle would clinch the 4th seed. Beating Portland on Saturday and sweeping the remaining games with Everett would get it done, but that of course might be easier said than done.

For Seattle to clinch at least 5th over Kelowna the Magic number is 3.5.


Special Request

I received a special request from blog reader Aaron A. about the progress of LA Kings draft picks Thomas Hickey and Bud Holloway.

If regular blog readers want to comment on my thoughts please do so. Please do not interpret my opinions as that of a real NHL scout, these are merely based on my observations.

Thomas Hickey

Thomas Hickey has enjoyed a solid season as the Captain of the Seattle Thunderbirds. Hickey has excellent character as a leader and player and leads by example on the ice. It is a tremendous honor that he was named Captain of the Thunderbirds as an 18 year old player.


Skating ability - Hickey is one of the smoothest skating defencemen in the league. He rarely puts his team in bad situations and rarely makes poor decisions with the puck and is reflected by his +17 rating. Hickey is also an excellent passer and has the ability to move the puck out of the back end and up to the forwards. He has also used his skating ability numerous times to take the puck end to end and create chances for his teammates. Hickey possesses an above average shot from the point and while it isn't as hard as teammate Sena Acolatse's it is more accurate and Hickey knows how to put the puck on net in good ways. Hickey rarely takes bad penalties and plays a ton of minutes.


While Hickey does have more goals this season (10) than in the previous campaign (9), his overall scoring is down this season. Hickey got off to a fast start this season totaling 12 points on 5 goals and 7 assists in the teams first 12 games. This makes his decline in point production even more surprising. Factoring into his point production could be several things including his participation in the World Junior Tournament and/or the emergence of scoring from a more diverse group of Thunderbirds in the 07-08 season.

Hickey must also improve on his ability to produce when opposing skaters make him the target of added physical play. Many times this year teams have gone out of their way to rough him up and at times I think it has affected his production at the offensive end.

Bud Holloway

Bud Holloway has already achieved a career high in goals this season with 35 and will soon set a new career high in assists (38) as he has 37 through 63 games.


Holloway has solid skating ability and has played a prominent role on both Seattle's Power Play (7 PP G's) and Penalty Killing (3 SH goals) units. Holloway also possesses excellent character and is looked to as a leader of the club and would likely be a Captain without the presence of Thomas Hickey. Holloway is an effort guy who often scores and sets up offensive opportunities with his sheer will and determination. He also has a very accurate shot which is backed up by the team leading 35 goals. He also is not afraid to mix it up a little bit and has been in two fights this season. He has also improved his overall +/- to +32 this season.


Holloway, while certainly a good skater, does not possess the same kind of raw speed as fellow NHL draft pick Jim O'Brien and would certainly benefit from a little additional speed. At 6'1", Holloway is not the biggest player around and will need to rely on strength and speed at the next level.


Seattle wins first game in Prince George

Tbirds pick up 2 points tonight in their first of two games in Prince George against the Cougars. Seattle is now 3-0 versus the Cougars on the season.

Bud Holloway picks up 2 goals and 1 assist and was awarded the first star while linemate Greg Scott tallied a goal and an assist as well.

Jacob DeSerres made 25 saves on 26 shots for the win and Riku Helenius who has been battling a bit of the flu played the final 3:50 for Seattle after they had built a 5-1 lead.

The game was probably closer than the score indicated as Prince George tied the game 1-1 in the second period and had a goal disallowed as a puck shot in from outside the blue line was waived off as a Cougar player was still offsides.

Jeremy Boyer and Benn Olson did not play until the 3rd period and TB wondered if it was for disciplinary reasons or whether both had not been feeling well.

15 year old Chance Lund, playing in his third game with the Tbirds, was +1 tonight.

Seattle is now again 3 points clear of Kelowna with 1 game in hand. Everett is currently leading Tri-City 4-2 late in the 3rd period and would move into 5th and trail Seattle by two points if their lead holds up.


I had to post this...

Regan Bartel's blog has some thoughts about the game last night and I liked his observations for the most part but I wanted to point to his post from yesterday about his memories from Key Arena, good stuff.

You can find the specific post here...


Tbirds win big over the Rockets

Seattle picks up a big win tonight 5-1 over the Kelowna Rockets at the Key. With the win Seattle now hold a 2 point lead over new 5th place team Everett with one game in hand. Seattle also now holds a 3 point lead over Kelowna, also with one game in hand.

The effort tonight was probably as good as last night in Everett but the finish was much better. In addition, I agree with coach Rob Sumner's quote that the team was a little more "hungry" around the net. Kelowna goaltender Kristofer Westblom was not Leland Irving on this night and was likely the difference in the game. At the other end, Jacob DeSerres is starting to look more and more like the goaltender Seattle will take to the playoffs and was at times spectacular tonight while making 25 saves and getting the win. His save on Brady Leavold on a breakaway was one of the best stops I have seen all year considering the game, situation and the nice move that Leavold made.

I thought Greg Scott was absolutely incredible in this game. He was a physical force and ended the night with a goal and 3 assists. Might possibly have been his best game of the season considering the situation. In addition... talk about the ultimate Gordie Howe hat trick. G-Sco tips in a Jeremy Schappert shot (that was also deflected by David Richard) and is promptly jumped by Brady Leavold, meaning that he completed the "Gordie" by scoring and fighting at the same time... night work.

Seattle leaves for Prince George tomorrow morning and will get an extra day to rest in P.G. before facing the Cougars on Tuesday and Wednesday. Seattle then comes back to Vancouver on Friday and continues on to face Portland on Saturday.

Seattle "could" be looking at 6 out of 8 points in the next 4 games and if they can find a way to earn a point or two in Vancouver they could be looking at a very good situation for the 4th seed in the span of 7 days.

Let's Go Birds Three Stars of the Game:

1. Greg Scott. 1 goal, 3 assists and a fight
2. Jacob DeSerres. 25 saves on 26 shots.
2. Prab Rai. Scored the first two goals giving Seattle the lead twice and the goals came on the PP and the SH.

In the Arena:

1. Jacob DeSerres
2. Prab Rai
3. Greg Scott

WHL Scoreboard