T-Birds Come up Short Against Royals
KENT, Wash. – Despite four power play goals the Seattle Thunderbirds came up short, falling to the Victoria Royals, 5-4, Tuesday at the accesso ShoWare Center. The loss drops Seattle back to .500 at 11-11-1-0 on the season. Seattle’s homestand continues Friday when they host the Tri-City Americans. Game time is 7:05 p.m.
“We take a step forward and then we take two steps back,” commented head coach Matt O’Dette as the T-Birds failed to record back-to-back wins. “We had a really good first, then we get easily frustrated when we’re not getting as much to show for it as we think we should.”
Seattle struck first with a Jeremy Hanzel power play goal at 4:37 of the first period, assisted by Sawyer Mynio and Gracyn Sawchyn.
Victoria then grabbed the lead with two goals, 17-seconds apart. The first came at 13:25 from Nate Misskey and the second at 13:42 from Ben Riche. “We’ve been talking about setting aside a little bit more of our focus and priorities to the defensive side of things,” remarked O’Dette. “We’ve seen some progress but didn’t have that tonight.”
The Royals were then awarded five straight power plays and eventually converted on the fifth chance, late in the second period, with Dawson Pasternak scoring at 17:43. Victoria then added to their lead just 27-seconds into the third period on a Reggie Newman goal. “The details of defending, and really applying yourself to that end of the ice apparently wasn’t much of a priority to us tonight,” said O’Dette. “That’s not a recipe to win.”
The T-Birds were able to respond with Hanzel’s second power play goal at the 4:40 mark and spent a good amount of the next four minutes on the attack but couldn’t score at even strength. The Royals then cashed in at 10:24 on an Austin Zemlak goal.
Down 5-2 the Thunderbirds used their power play to make a game of it. Sawyer Mynio scored at 15:43 and three minutes later it was Gracyn Sawchyn. “It’s nice to see the power play clicking tonight,” remarked O’Dette. “The guys know it’s an opportunity to score, so they’re applying themselves but that’s got to carry over to defending and other parts of the game.”
Earlier in the day Scott Ratzlaff was invited to Team Canada’s selection camp for the upcoming IIHF World Junior Championship, to be held in Sweden after Christmas. The selection camp will be held in Ontario.
Seattle has brought in goalie Grayson Malinoski who will pair with Spencer Michnik with Ratzlaff away.
The T-Birds outshot the Royals 36-21 on the night including 15-3 in the third period. O’Dette said the five goals were not the fault of Ratzlaff. “He made some ten bell saves. He’s there for us when things break down but there’s only so much he can do. The intangibles you need to help a goalie out, like blocking shots, that wasn’t happening enough.”