Andrusiak Leads T-Birds To Shootout Win Over Portland

Ben Ludeman

Andrusiak has two goals in regulation and scores shootout winner in 5-4 win

PORTLAND, March 2, 2018 — Seattle Thunderbirds left wing Zack Andrusiak scored two goals in regulation and the shooting winning goal Friday night at Veterans Memorial Arena to lead the T-Birds to a 5-4 shootout win over the Portland Winterhawks.

The T-Birds record improves to 30-24-7-2 and they are six points ahead of the Kamloops Blazers for the second wild card playoff slot. The T-Birds have three games in hand on the Blazers. They are four points behind the Tri-City Americans for the first wild card playoff spot.

The T-Birds travel to Everett to take on the Silvertips at Angel of the Winds Arena on Saturday at 7:05pm. They return to accesso ShoWare Center on Sunday to play the Winterhawks at 5:05pm. The Sunday game is being broadcast in Seattle on JOEtv Channel 22/Cable 110.

In the shootout Portland elected to go first and sent out Kieffer Bellows. Seattle goalie Liam Hughes made a right pad save on Bellows. Noah Philp was the T-Birds first shooter. He went backhand, forehand and snuck the puck past Portland goalie Cole Kehler at the right post. Initially the referees waved no goal but went to video review. After a few minutes the referees indicated Philp’s attempt was a good goal.

Hughes stopped Portland’s second shooter, Joachim Blichfeld with a stick save, while Kehler stopped Austin Strand.

Cody Glass the third Portland shooter beat Hughes through the legs and Kehler made a save on Donovan Neuls.

Hughes made a right pad save on Dennis Cholowski the fourth Portland shooter. Andrusiak came over the boards as the fourth Seattle shooter. Andrusiak skated towards Kehler and snapped a wrist shot over the glove to win the game and send his teammates racing from the bench to mob him.

Hughes finished the game with 36 saves and improves his record to 12-10-4-1.

Seattle opened the scoring at 14:27 of the first period. Philp knocked down a Portland pass in the Seattle zone to create a two-on-one break with Andrusiak. Philp skated down the left wing, faked a wrist shot and then slid the puck over to Andrusiak in the right circle. Andrusiak put the puck over Portland goalie Cole Kehler sprawling to try and make the save. The goal was Andrusiak’s team leading 28th of the season.

Portland (38-20-1-4) tied the game 1-1 at 17:17 of the first on a goal from Ty Kolle. Jake Gricius and Henri Jokiharju had the assists.

The Winterhawks outshot the T-Birds 14-9 in the first period.

Andrusiak struck at 2:13 of the second period to give the T-Birds a 2-1 lead. Neuls carried the puck down the left wing and from the low left circle crossed the puck through the slot to Andrusiak at the back door. Andrusiak had a lot of net to shoot and buried the puck for his second goal of the game.

Neuls made it a 3-1 lead at 8:19 of the second. Andrusiak sent the puck low behind the Portland net to Philp. Philp came out from behind the net at the left post and centered the puck to Neuls in the slot. Neuls first shot was stopped by Kehler but he put back the rebound for his 21st goal of the season.

Portland outshot Seattle 15-12 in the second period and led 29-21 in shots after two periods.

The Winterhawks tied the game 3-3 with two goals in six seconds midway through the third period. Glass scored on the power play at 9:47 and Blichfeld scored at 9:53.

Portland took a 4-3 lead at 12:31 of third on a goal from Ryan Hughes. Glass and Bellows had the assists.

The T-Birds tied the game 4-4 on a scramble goal at 15:58 of the third. Turner Ottenbreit took a slap shot the Kehler stopped. The puck lay in the crease and Andrusiak got a stick on it. After several seconds the puck popped out to the right of Kehler. Philp skated to the puck, spun around and took a wrist shot with Kehler on the ice. Philp’s shot hit the top right corner to tie the game.

Seattle outshot Portland 10-9 in the third period.

Portland finished the game with a 40-37 advantage in shots.

Kehler’s record is now 25-15-1-4 after making 33 saves.

T-Birds single game tickets for the 2017-18 season are currently on sale online on the T-Birds website and at the accesso ShoWare Center box office.


First period – 1, Seattle, Andrusiak 28 (Philp), 14:27. 2, Portland, Kolle (Hughes, Jokiharju), 17:17. Penalties – Glass, Sea (hooking), 12:09.

Second period – 3, Seattle, Andrusiak 29 (Neuls), 2:13. 4, Seattle, Neuls 21 (Philp, Andrusiak), 8:19. Penalties – Huo, Sea (delay of game), 10:03. Overhardt, Por (interference), 15:06.

Third period – 5, Portland, Glass 31 (Jokiharju, Cholowski), 9:47 (pp). 6, Portland, Blichfeld 22 (Texeira, Overhardt), 9:53. 7, Portland, Hughes 15 (Glass, Bellows), 12:31. 8, Seattle, Philp 13 (Andrusiak, Ottenbreit), 15:58. Penalties – Quigley, Por (boarding), 10:15.

Overtime – No scoring. Penalties – No penalties.

Shootout – Seattle 2 (Philp G, Strand NG, Neuls NG, Andrusiak NG). Portland 1 (Bellows NG, Blichfeld NG, Glass G, Cholowski NG).

Shots on goal – Seattle 9-12-14-2-1 38, Portland 14-15-10-1-0 40. Goalies – Seattle, Hughes 40 shots-36 saves (12-10-4-1); Portland, Kehler 37-33 (26-15-1-4). Power plays – Seattle 0-3; Portland 1-1. A – 6,124. Referees – Tyler Adair, Duncan Brow. Linesmen – Michael Labbe, Brett Mackey.

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