T-Birds throttle Chiefs for fifth straight win | WHL

Branden Troock had a hat trick and Justin Hickman had two goals to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 7-3 victory over the Spokane Chiefs Friday night at the Veterans Memorial Arena in Spokane.

  • BY Wire Service
  • Saturday, December 7, 2013 1:50pm
  • Sports

Branden Troock had a hat trick and Justin Hickman had two goals to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 7-3 victory over the Spokane Chiefs Friday night at the Veterans Memorial Arena in Spokane.

Shea Theodore had four assists, Jerret Smith had a goal and two assists and Adam Henry had two assists in the game.

Seattle stretched its winning streak to five games.

Friday's game was the second of three consecutive games between the T-Birds and Chiefs. The T-Birds beat the Chiefs 5-1 last Sunday in Spokane. They will meet for the third consecutive time at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at the ShoWare Center.

After losing the first of the three games to the T-Birds the Chiefs started the game with energy. Seattle goalie Justin Myles made several solid saves to keep the T-Birds in the game. Myles stopped 12 of 15 shots to get the win and improve his record to 10-4-0-0.

Spokane (18-11-0-2) went in front 1-0 at 6:54 of the first period on a power-play goal form Adam Helewka. Mike Aviani sent the puck from the right point to Helewka low on the goal line. Helewka skated towards the Seattle net and beat Myles low. Jason Fram the second assist.

Seattle (17-9-1-3) tied the game 1-1 less than six minutes later on Troock's 11th goal of the season. Alexander Delnov won a faceoff in the left circle of the Spokane zone forward to Troock moving into the circle on the right side. A Spokane defender missed the puck putting Troock in all alone against of Spokane goalie Eric Williams. Troock put the puck around the left pad of Williams for the goal.

Spokane outshot Seattle 8-7 in the first period.

The T-Birds struck for two 4-on-4 goals in 1:02 the second period to take a 3-1 lead. A Chiefs penalty while on the power play put a faceoff in the left circle of the Spokane zone. Scott Eansor won the faceoff back to Theodore at the left point. Theodore moved the puck across to Smith at the right point. Smith took a wrist shot with traffic in front of Williams. The shot beat Williams for Smith's first goal of the season at 12:32 of the second.

Still playing four-on-four Henry gained the Spokane zone and dished the puck to Troock at the top of the left circle. Troock carried the puck through two Spokane defenders into the high slot. Troock took a hard snap shot that beat Williams over the glove for his second goal of the game. The goal came at 13:34 of the second.

The T-Birds extended the lead to 4-1 on a power-play goal by Roberts Lipsbergs at 17:14 of the second. Troock moved the puck up the left wall to Theodore at the point. Theodore skated to center ice and took a wrist shot with Lipsbergs in front of the Spokane goalie. Williams made the save with the rebound stopping a few feet in front of the goalie. Lipsbergs dove towards the puck and lifted it past Williams for the goal.

Seattle outshot Spokane 9-4 in the second period and led 16-12 in total shots after two periods.

Garret Hughson replaced Williams in net for Spokane to start the third period. Williams stopped 12 of 16 shots he faced and his record falls to 15-7-0-1 with the loss.

A strong shift from the Lipsbergs, Mathew Barzal and Hickman line led to the T-Birds fifth goal at 3:26 of the third period. The line was winning puck battles and outworking the Chiefs and had several solid chances before scoring. The puck went to Smith at the right point. Smith moved the puck to Theodore who quickly sent the puck to Hickman in the right circle. Hickman snapped the puck past Hughson for the goal.

Hickman struck again at 9:08 of the third with a power-play goal to give the T-Birds a 6-1 lead. Smith took a slap shot from the right point that Hughson blocked to the right of the goal. Jaimen Yakubowski got the loose puck and passed it backwards through his legs to Hickman in front of the goal.

Hickman put the puck past Hughson for his second goal of the game.

Helewka intercepted a T-Birds pass while they were on a power play and came in alone against Myles. Helewka beat Myles through the legs for the shorthanded goal at 11:50 of the third.

The T-Birds took a 7-2 lead 10 seconds after the Chiefs shorthanded goal. Off the faceoff the puck went back to Henry. Henry moved the puck to his left to Theodore. Theodore made a stretch pass to Troock on the right side. Troock skated into the Chiefs zone on a partial breakaway and from the right circle ripped the puck past Hughson for his third goal.

Aviani scored at 17:09 of the third to get the Chiefs third goal of the game. The goal came off a scramble in front of Myles. Helewka had the only assist on the goal.

Aviani was called for a cross checking penalty 32 seconds after his goal that precipitated a line brawl with three simultaneous fights.

The T-Birds outshot the Chiefs 9-3 in the third period and 25-15 in the game.

Hughson stopped six of nine shots in 20 minutes of action.


Available online at the T-Birds website, tickets.seattlethunderbirds.com, 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.

Season tickets can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.


First period - 1, Spokane, Helewka 16 (Aviani, Fram), 6:54 (pp). 2, Seattle, Troock 11 (Delnov), 12:14. Penalties - McKechnie, Sea (roughing), 5:53. Proft, Spo (major-fighting), 12:11. Yakubowski, Sea (major-fighting), 12:11. Aviani, Spo (charging), 16:35.

Second period - 3, Seattle, Smith (Theodore, Henry), 12:32. 4, Seattle, Troock 12 (Henry), 13:34. 5, Seattle, Lipsbergs 19 (Theodore, Troock), 17:14 (pp). Penalties - Bobyk, Spo (slashing), 9:01. Hauf, Sea (holding), 12:03. Helewka, Spo (unsportsmanlike conduct-diving), 12:26. Rayman, Spo (major-fighting), 15:01. Kolesar, Sea (major-fighting), 15:01. Stewart, Spo (high-sticking), 15:26.

Third period - 6, Seattle, Hickman 9 (Theodore, Smith), 3:26. 7, Seattle, Hickman 10 (Yakubowski, Smith), 9:08 (pp). 8, Helewka 14, 11:50 (sh), 9, Seattle, Troock 13 (Theodore, Henry), 12:00 (pp). 10, Spokane, Aviani 23 (Helewka), 17:09. Penalties - Bobyk, Spo (cross checking), 12:30. Hascic, Spo (holding), 11:03. Aviani, Spo (roughing, cross checking), 17:41. McKechnie, Sea (major-fighting, game misconduct), 17:41. Mitch Holmberg, Spo (major-fighting, game misconduct), 17:41. Smith, Sea (major-fighting), 17:41. Playfair, Spo (major-fighting), 17:41. Theodore, Sea (major-fighting, game misconduct), 17:41. Wedman, Spo (major-fighting, game misconduct), 17:41. Yakubowski, Sea (roughing), 17:41. Whittingham, Spo (major-fighting, unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:42. Swenson, Sea (major-fighting), 19:42.

Shots on goal - Seattle 7-9-9 25, Spokane 8-4-3 15. Goalies - Seattle, Myles 15 shots-12 saves (10-4-0-0); Spokane, Williams 16-12 (15-7-0-1), Hughson 9-6. Power plays - Seattle 3-8; Spokane 1-2. Referees - Mike Langin, Steve Papp. Linesmen - Jim Maniago, Jason Michelbook.

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