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T-Birds Advance To Western Conference Championship

Kolesar scores twice as T-Birds sweep Everett with 4-1 Game 4 victory

KENT, April 14, 2017 — The Seattle Thunderbirds advanced to the Western Conference Championship for the second consecutive season with a 4-1 victory over the Everett Silvertips in Game 4 of their Western Conference Semifinal series Friday night at ShoWare Center. The T-Birds swept the best-of-seven series against Everett 4-0.

The T-Birds will face the Kelowna Rockets in the Western Conference Championship. The Rockets defeated the Portland Winterhawks 6-2 Friday in Kelowna to win their Semifinal series 4-1.

Game 1 of the Western Conference Championship is Friday, April 21, at 7:35pm at ShoWare Center. Game 2 is Saturday, April 22, at 7:05pm at ShoWare Center.

Single game tickets for the Western Conference Championship are now on sale online on the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare Center box office. The ShoWare Center box office is open Monday through Friday 10am to 5pm.

Games 3 and 4 of the series are in Kelowna on Tuesday, April 25, at 7:05pm and Wednesday, April 26, at 7:05pm.

Western Conference Championship
Seattle vs. Kelowna
Game 1 Kelowna @ Seattle Friday, April 21 7:35pm
Game 2 Kelowna @ Seattle Saturday, April 22 7:05pm
Game 3 Seattle @ Kelowna Tuesday, April 25 7:05pm
Game 4 Seattle @ Kelowna Wednesday, April 26 7:05pm
Game 5 Kelowna @ Seattle Friday, April 28 7:35pm*
Game 6 Seattle @ Kelowna Sunday, April 30 5:05pm*
Game 7 Kelowna @ Seattle Tuesday, May 2 7:05pm*
*if necessary

The T-Bird and Rockets faced each other in the Western Conference Championship last year. The T-Birds won that series 4-0.

Neuls_Body_041417

Seattle took a 1-0 lead at 14:03 of the first period on an unassisted breakaway goal from Donovan Neuls. Neuls intercepted an Everett pass in the neutral zone just before an Everett power play ended. Neuls skated towards Everett goalie Carter Hart and made a move right, brought the puck back left and snuck it under the goalie.

The T-Birds extended the lead to 2-0 at 16:47 of the first. Ryan Gropp made a saucer pass from the left point to Turner Ottenbreit at the right point. Ottenbreit one-timed Gropp’s pass. Ottenbreit’s shot was going wide right when Keegan Kolesar tipped it past Hart for his fifth goal of the playoffs.

Both teams had seven shots on goal in the first period.

Barzal_Body_041417Mathew Barzal put the T-Birds in front 3-0 with a power-play goal at 6:24 of the second period. Alexander True passed the puck from the right corner to Kolesar in the slot. The Everett defenders collapsed on Kolesar as he passed the puck to Barzal in the left circle. Hart went down thinking Kolesar was going to shoot. Barzal took a slap shot at the empty net as Hart scrambled to get over. It was Barzal’s fourth goal of the playoffs.

Everett got on the board when Dominic Zwerger scored an unassisted shorthanded goal at 10:05 of the second.

Kolesar_Body_041417The T-Birds took the three-goal lead back at 12:51 of the second on Kolesar’s second goal of the game. Aaron Hyman poked a loose puck into to the neutral zone where Kolesar got to it. Kolesar turned with the puck into the Everett zone on the right wing. Kolesar took a hard wrist shot from the right circle that beat Hart low on the blocker side.

The T-Birds outshot the Silvertips 17-6 in the second period and led 24-13 in shots after two periods.

In the third period the Silvertips pulled Hart several times for an extra attacker. The T-Birds kept Everett man-advantage attack at bay as they were outshot 12-7 in the period.

Carl Stankowski made 24 saves to improve his playoff record to 8-0.

Hart had 27 saves and finishes with a playoff record of 4-6.

Western Conference Semifinal vs. Everett
Game 1 Seattle 3, at Everett 2
Game 2 Seattle 4, at Everett 3
Game 3 At Seattle 5, Everett 4, OT
Game 4 At Seattle 4, Everett 1

SCORING SUMMARY

First period – 1, Seattle, Neuls 5, 14:03. 2, Seattle, Kolesar 5 (Ottenbreit, Gropp), 16:47. Penalties – Kolesar, Sea (boarding), 12:02.

Second period – 3, Seattle, Barzal 4 (Kolesar, True), 6:24 (pp). 4, Everett, Zwerger 4, 10:05 (sh). 5, Seattle, Kolesar 6 (Hyman), 12:51. Penalties – Dewar, Evt (slashing), 4:48. Fonteyne, Evt (cross checking), 8:37. Strand, Sea (tripping), 18:57.

Third period – No scoring. Penalties – No penalties.

Shots on goal – Seattle 7-17-7 31, Everett 7-6-12 25. Goalies – Seattle, Stankowski 25 shots-24 saves (8-0); Everett, Hart 31-27 (4-6). Power plays – Seattle 1-2; Everett 0-2. A – 5,438. Referees – Chris Crich, Fraser Lawrence. Linesmen – Nick Bilko, Ron Dietterle.

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