T-Birds Extinguish Blazers

Mar 07, 2015 - 21:38 PST
Written By: Swanson, Matt

Barzal records two points and Kozun makes 39 saves in victory

KENT, March 7, 2015 — The Seattle Thunderbirds defeated the Kamloops Blazers Saturday night, winning 3-1 after taking the lead with just four minutes left in the game.  The win makes Seattle’s record 33-24-4-5 this season, good for third in the U.S. Division.  Kamloops falls to 25-34-4-3.

Taran Kozun made 39 saves on 40 shots to clinch the victory for the T-Birds in his 56th appearance of the season.  Kozun is now 30-18-4-4 this season.  Starting in goal for Kamloops was Connor Ingram, who took the loss after stopping 29 of 31.  Ingram falls to 18-18-2-3.

Kozun stopped Kamloops’ first shot, coming from deep in the slot.  The puck ended up trapped under Kozun’s skate as he lay prone on the ice and was dislodged after a bit of a scrum in front.  The puck slowly made its way toward the sideboards before Jerret Smith was able to tip it just enough to keep it away from an onrushing Blazer, who would have had an open net to shoot at.  Regrouped, Seattle put on the offensive pressure from there and kept the Blazers pinned in their zone for much of the first half of the period.

Scott Eansor came close to putting a cap on a long Seattle attack later in the period.  Eansor took a shot that bounced off the pads of Ingram in the crease.  The T-Bird forwards crashed down to try and knock the puck in, with the puck ending up behind the Kamloops goalie in the scrum.  A Kamloops defender was able to reverse the puck’s course, however, and the whistle blew as the puck disappeared beneath a pile of bodies.

Ethan Bear fired a shot from the point while on the move that forced Ingram to stand on his head at 14:23.  Cory Millette and Mathew Barzal were both near the crease waiting for the rebound.  Millette got a piece of the puck and looked as if he’d get it past Ingram before the Kamloops goaltender spun and laid down on the puck to get the whistle.

Seattle led in shots 11-9 after one period of play.  Faceoffs were 7-7.

A tipped shot from Bear resulted in the game’s first goal.  Cory Millette, perched in front of the crease, got his stick on Bear’s shot and redirected it into the corner of the net as Ingram fought to get an eye on the puck.  It was Millette’s 21st goal of the season and made the game 1-0 in Seattle’s favor.  Mathew Barzal had the secondary assist on the goal.

After shutting down a Kamloops power play, Kozun again shined.  The Blazers got a shot off that rebounded straight to one of their forwards cutting across the crease.  Kozun managed to track the puck from a sitting position and cover it up with a combination of his leg and glove.

Matt Needham tied the game at 17:16.  Needham was waiting at the side of the net for a centering pass that came right on time from Matt Revel for the goal.  Cole Ully had the other assist.

Shots in the second period were 22-9 Kamloops and faceoffs were 12-9, also in favor of Kamloops.

Ingram gloved a Lane Pederson one-timer out of the air at 9:42 of the third period to keep the score tied.  Barzal had circled around at the top of the zone several times before finally finding Roberts Lipsbergs cutting down into the slot.  Lipsbergs’ pass through traffic found Pederson’s stick but Pederson’s shot on the bouncing puck was just slow enough for Ingram to get his glove on it.

Jared Hauf’s point shot through heavy traffic made it 2-1 Seattle at 15:36.  The assists went to Evan Wardley and Ryan Gropp.  Ingram couldn’t get a bead on the shot that travelled through two T-Bird screens on its way to the back of the net.

Down one, the Blazers pulled Ingram with 1:30 left in the game.  Nick Holowko added an empty net goal for the T-Birds 45 seconds later to make it 3-1 and seal the victory.  Barzal had the only assist.

Shots were 13-9 Seattle in the third period.  Seattle led in faceoffs 10-5.

Seattle will host the Everett Silvertips at the ShoWare Center on Friday at 7:35 pm.  After that, the two teams will meet again in Everett on Saturday at 7:05 pm.

T-Birds single game tickets for the 2014-15 season are available online at the  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 – No scoring. Penalties – No penalties.

Second period – 1, Seattle, Millette 21 (Bear, Barzal), 4:53. 2, Kamloops, Needham 23 (Revel, Ully), 17:16. Penalties – Eansor, Seattle (hooking), 6:47. Theodore, Seattle (cross-checking), 18:27.

Third period – 3, Seattle, Hauf 3 (Wardley, Gropp), 15:36. 4, Seattle, Holowko 5 (Barzal), 19:16 (en). Penalties – No penalties.

Shots on goal – Seattle 11-8-13 32, Kamloops 9-22-9 40. Goalies – Seattle, Kozun 40 shots-39 saves (30-18-4-4); Kamloops, Ingram 31-29 (18-18-2-3). Power plays – Seattle 0-0; Kamloops 0-2. A – 5,073. Referees – Sean Raphael, Curtis Marouelli. Linesmen – Bevan Mills, Aaron Mills.