Seattle takes advantage of power play opportunities to beat Spokane 6-2
Dec. 30, 2021 Updated Thu., Dec. 30, 2021 at 10:30 p.m.
The Seattle Thunderbirds entered Thursday’s matchup with the Spokane Chiefs holding one of the league’s worst power play units. By the end of the night, you’d think it was one of the best.
The T-Birds scored four power play goals on seven chances and handed the Chiefs a 6-2 loss at the Arena.
Both teams were shorthanded and iced just 11 forwards. Seattle even had the disadvantage of a perilous travel day and arrived only 90 minutes before puck drop.
Five different T-Birds had goals. Reid Schaefer had two goals to lead the way for Seattle. Jared Davidson had a goal and two assists for Seattle. Bear Hughes had a goal and an assist for Spokane.
“I thought the guys played hard for the most part but we have to be more disciplined and clean up the penalty kill,” head coach Adam Maglio said.
Schaefer gave Seattle a 1-0 lead at 7:47 of the first when he scored on the power play. Spokane got even exactly five minutes later when Yannick Proske scored his seventh of the season.
Sam Oremba scored just after a Spokane penalty expired at 7:26 of the second to regain the lead for Seattle. Hughes tied it for Spokane on the power play at 17:01. The Chiefs then left Jared Davidson all alone at the point and gave him a clear shot on net and he capitalized. The goal came with just 44 seconds left in the second, giving Seattle a 3-2 lead.
“There was a missed assignment,” Maglio said. “We had a player stuck on the wall and (Seattle) made a good play off a turnover up high and he walked through the middle. That’s a tough one but it started with a turnover.”
Spokane gave Seattle a 5-on-3 power play just 92 seconds into the third and the T-Birds capitalized. Chase Bertholet took a high sticking penalty just 24 seconds into the period, and Saige Weinstein cleared the puck over the glass in the defensive end for a delay of game penalty. Matthew Rempe took advantage and redirected a shot past Spokane goaltender Mason Beaupit.
“That was the momentum killer,” Maglio said.
“That was really tough,” added Hughes. “Hockey’s a game of flow and transition and there’s a lot of momentum shifts. At five on five I think we were playing well but once we took penalties it killed our momentum. We have to stay out of the box.”
Jeremy Hanzel scored Seattle’s third power play goal of the night at 6:45 to extend the T-Birds’ lead.
Schaefer scored his second of the night and Seattle’s fourth power play goal at 17:52 of the third.
The Chiefs were once again shorthanded due to injuries and illness. Three rookies were in the Chiefs’ top two defensive pairings, giving the young players some experience in a larger role.
Maglio liked how his defense played in Tuesday’s 6-3 win at Seattle, but he didn’t see the same performance Thursday.
“I thought the D were good in Seattle but I thought tonight they were inconsistent,” he said. “As a young D, they’re finding their way a little bit. It’s a tough position but we need more consistency from the whole team. They were good at times and at times there was some costly mistakes.”
The game was Spokane’s first in a stretch of three games in three nights, and its second in a stretch of four games in five nights. Maglio doesn’t expect any of the injured or ill to come back before next week.
The Chiefs are in Kennewick tonight to take on the Tri-City Americans.
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