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T-Birds Overthrow Royals To Clinch Playoff Spot

Millette, Theodore, Smith and Volcan score in 4-1 win over Victoria

VICTORIA, BC, March 3, 2015 — Shea Theodore had a goal and two assists and goalie Taran Kozun made 29 saves Tuesday night to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 4-1 win over the Victoria Royals at Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena in Victoria, British Columbia.

This was the second of back-to-back games between the two teams. Victoria won 3-2 in a shootout Monday.

The win over Victoria combined with the Vancouver Giants 7-0 loss to Spokane Tuesday night clinches a playoff spot for the T-Birds. Seattle is now 32-23-4-5 which gives them 73 points. The Giants, in ninth place in the conference, have nine games left this season and have 55 points. If the Giants were to win all their remaining games and the T-Birds were to lose all their remaining games the two teams would both end the season with 73 points and tied for the eighth and final playoff spot.

Theodore needs 16 more assists to tie the team record for career assists by a defenseman. Craig Channel holds the record with 166 career assists. Theodore is T-Birds career leader for goals and points by a defenseman with 56 goals and 150 assists for 206 career points. The T-Birds have eight games left this season.

Kozun made 29 saves to improve his record to 29-17-4-4.

Seattle opened up a 1-0 lead on their second shift of the game. Mathew Barzal carried the puck from right to left behind the Victoria net. Barzal found Cory Millette in the high slot. Millette beat Victoria goalie Coleman Vollrath with a wrist shot that hit the right post. Roberts Lipsbergs had the second assist on Millette’s 19th goal of the season.

Shea Theodore gave the T-Birds a 2-0 lead at 17:03 of the first with an unassisted goal. Theodore blocked a shot at the left point then collected the loose puck in the neutral zone for a partial breakaway. A Victoria defenseman was closing the angle on Theodore when he took a wrist shot from the right circle and beat Vollrath over the blocker.

Victoria outshot Seattle 10-9 in the first period.

Jerret Smith’s 10th goal of the season, on the power play, gave the T-Birds a 3-0 lead at 8:50 of the second period. Theodore moved the puck up ice to Barzal who gained the Victoria zone on the left side. Barzal crossed the puck to Smith. Smith took a wrist shot that beat Vollrath, hit the left post and went into the net.

The Royals led 19-17 in shots after two periods by outshooting the T-Birds 9-8 in the second period.
Victoria (34-26-3-1) got on the board at 2:18 of the third period on a power-play goal from Joe Hicketts. Tyler Soy and Brandon Fushimi had the assists.

Seattle grabbed the three-goal lead back at 13:56 of the third. Smith passed the puck from the right point to Theodore at the left point. Theodore took a wrist shot that rebounded off Vollrath’s right pad right to Nolan Volcan. Volcan swept the puck past a prone Vollrath for his eight goal of the season.

Victoria outshot Seattle 11-9 in the third period and 30-26 in the game.

Vollrath stopped 22 of 26 shots and his record is now 24-14-3-1.

The T-Birds travel to Portland to face the Winterhawks at 7pm at the Moda Center. They are home at ShoWare Center on Saturday at 7:05pm to take on the Kamloops Blazers.

T-Birds single game tickets for the 2014-15 season are available online at the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare Center box office. The ShoWare Center Box Office is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday game days at 10 a.m. and Sunday game days at noon.

SCORING SUMMARY

First period – 1, Seattle, Millette 19 (Barzal, Lipsbergs), 1:13. 2, Seattle, Theodore 11, 17:03. Penalties – Crunk, Vic (charging), 2:45. Pederson, Sea (tripping), 17:23.

Second period – 3, Seattle, Smith 10 (Barzal, Theodore), 8:50 (pp). Penalties – Hauf, Sea (hooking), 2:57. Chase, Vic (unsportsmanlike conduct), 7:40. Fisher, Vic (hooking), 9:10.

Third period – 4, Victoria, Hicketts 11 (Soy, Fushimi), 2:18 (pp). 5, Seattle, Volcan 8 (Theodore, Smith), 13:56. Penalties – Gropp, Sea (slashing), 1:50. Gropp, Sea (slashing), 9:52.

Shots on goal – Seattle 9-8-9 26, Victoria 10-9-11 30. Goalies – Seattle, Kozun 30 shots-29 saves (29-17-4-4); Victoria, Vollrath 26-22 (24-14-3-1). Power plays – Seattle 1-4; Victoria 1-4. A – 4,361. Referees – Ryan Benbow, Jeff Ingram. Linesmen – Riley Friessen, Jeff McAdams.

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