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T-Birds Blast Chiefs

Larry Brunt

14 T-Birds register a point in 10-3 win over Spokane

SPOKANE, December 17, 2017 — Nolan Volcan had a goal and four assists and Blake Bargar and Nikita Malukhin each scored two goals to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 10-3 win over the Spokane Chiefs Sunday night at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.

The T-Birds will now take a nine-day break before their next game. They will be back in Spokane on Wednesday, December 27, at 7:05pm. They will host the Chiefs at accesso ShoWare Center on Friday, December 29, at 7:35pm.

Matthew Wedman had a goal and three assists in the win. Austin Strand, Reece Harsch and Zack Andrusiak each had a goal and an assist in the game.

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Goalie Matt Berlin had 31 saves on 34 shots and his record is now 11-7-1-1.

Malukhin, Mike MacLean, Holden Katzalay and Samuel Huo all registered their first point of the season in the game.

Seattle (15-14-3-1) to a 1-0 lead 20 seconds into the game. Reece Harsch took a wrist shot from the right point. The puck rebounded off Spokane goalie Donovan Buskey. Andrusiak and Dillon Hamaliuk each got a piece of the puck before Donovan Neuls knocked it into the net.

The goal 20 seconds into the game is the fastest goal to start a game for the T-Birds this season.

Spokane (18-13-1-2) tied the game 1-1 at 3:14 on a power-play goal from Jaret Anderson-Dolan. Eli Zummack and Ty Smith had the assists.

The T-Birds took the lead back at 7:31 of the first. Noah Philp forced a turnover at the Spokane blue line and Volcan got to the puck. Volcan skated into the high slot and beat Buskey low on the stick side for his 13th goal of the season.

Volcan set up the T-Birds third goal at 18:48 of the first by winning a puck battle in the right corner. Volcan passed the puck to Strand at the right point. Strand took a slap shot that hit a Spokane defenseman’s stick and beat Buskey five-hole.  Wedman had the second assist.

Berlin made a highlight reel save with one second left in the first period when he went right to left to deny Hudson Elynuik all alone in the low right circle.

Spokane outshot Seattle 15-10 in the first period.

The Chiefs upped the pressure to start the second period. Berlin withstood a barrage of shots in the first eight minutes as the T-Birds battled to the media timeout.

The T-Birds extended the lead to 4-1 at 12:34 of the second period. Volcan passed the puck from the left-wing boards to Wedman behind the net. Wedman came out from behind the net at the right post and found Bargar all alone in the slot. Bargar beat Buskey low for his sixth goal of the season.

The T-Birds made it a 5-1 lead at 14:50 of the second. MacLean won a battle for the puck behind the Spokane net. MacLean got the puck to Katzalay who centered it to Malukhin in the high slot. Malukhin beat Buskey high for his first goal of the season. MacLean and Katzalay each got their first point of the season with the assists.

Buskey was replaced by Campbell Arnold after Seattle’s fifth goal. Buskey had 14 saves on 19 shots. His record is now 7-5-0-0 with the loss.

Andrusiak scored on the power play with 1:12 left in the second period to give the T-Birds a 6-1 lead. Volcan carried the puck down the left wing into the left circle. Volcan passed the puck back to Andrusiak at the point. He sent the puck to Strand the right point and Strand sent it right back. Andrusiak skated into the top of the left circle and took a slap shot that beat Arnold over the right shoulder.

The T-Birds outshot the Chiefs 13-9 in the second period. The Chiefs lead 24-23 in shots after two periods.

The Chiefs cut the T-Birds lead to 6-3 with two goals 1:25 apart in the third period. Anderson-Dolan scored on the power play at 7:12 and then Riley Woods scored at 8:37.

Bargar scored his second of the night 47 seconds after Spokane’s third goal to put the T-Birds in front 7-3. Wedman banged the puck up the right boards from the Seattle zone where Volcan chased it down. Volcan got the puck to Bargar who came in all alone on Campbell. Bargar beat the goalie overt the glove.

The T-Birds scored three goals in the last 3:02 of the game to skate away with the 10-3 win.

On the power play Jake Lee passed the puck to Ian Briscoe in the right circle. Briscoe passed the puck to Wedman to the right of the net. Wedman took the puck to the net hard and got a shot. Campbell made the initial save but Wedman pounded the rebounded past the goalie for his fourth goal of the season.

Harsch beat Campbell with a slap shot from the right point at 18:46 of the third to make it a 9-3 lead. Andrusiak sent the puck up the left boards to Lee at the left point. Lee crossed the puck to Harsch. Harsch’s shot beat Campbell over the blocker.

Malukhin added the final touch when he scored from the slot with two seconds left in the game. Samuel Huo intercepted a Spokane pass on the left wing. He skated below the goal line and then centered the puck to Malukhin who beat the goalie low. The assist by Huo was his first point as a T-Bird.

Spokane outshot Seattle 10-6 in the third period and 34-29 in the game.

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.

Season Tickets for the WHL Champion T-Birds 2017-18 season are currently on sale. Season tickets can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.

SCORING SUMMARY

First period – 1, Seattle, Neuls 9 (Andrusiak, Hamaliuk) :20. 2, Spokane, Anderson-Dolan 15 (Zummack, Smith), 3:14 (pp). 3, Seattle, Volcan 13 (Philp), 7:31. 4, Seattle, Strand 12 (Volcan, Wedman), 18:48. Penalties – Lee, Sea (holding), 2:01.

Second period – 5, Seattle, Bargar 6 (Wedman, Volcan), 12:34. 6, Seattle, Malukhin 1 (Katzalay, MacLean), 14:50. 7, Seattle, Andrusiak 17 (Strand, Volcan), 18:48 (pp). Penalties – Helgesen, Spo (roughing), 9:36. Ottenbreit, Sea (major-fighting), 15:15. Leduc, Spo (major-fighting), 15:15. Helgesen, Spo (holding), 16:54.

Third period – 8, Spokane, Anderson-Dolan 16 (Smith, Arnold), 7:12 (pp). 9, Spokane, Woods 13 (Fischer, Elynuik), 8:37. 10, Seattle, Bargar 7 (Volcan, Wedman), 9:24. 11, Seattle, Wedman 4 (Briscoe, Lee), 16:58 (pp). 12, Harsch 6 (Lee, Andrusiak), 18:46. 13, Seattle, Malukhin 2 (Huo), 19:58. Penalties – Tyszka, Sea (interference), 1:04. Hamaliuk, Sea (goaltender interference), 6:05. Strand, Sea (double minor-roughing), 12:20. Tyszka, Sea (roughing), 12:20. Fischer, Spo (roughing), 12:20. Elynuik, Spo (roughing), 12:20. Campbell, Spo (delay of game-served by Farfak), 15:34.

Shots on goal – Seattle 10-13-6 29, Spokane 15-9-10 34. Goalies – Seattle, Berlin 34 shots-31 saves (11-7-1-1); Spokane, Buskey 19-14 (7-5-0-0), Arnold 10-5. Power plays – Seattle 2-3; Spokane 2-4. A – 4,042. Referees – Bryan Bourdon, Sean Raphael. Linesmen – Mark Heier, Chris Mottl.

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