(50-18-0-3) Portland Winterhawks 5, (27-35-4-5) Seattle Thunderbirds 4
Gallimore with a goal and two assists...Cunningham nets the winning goal
KENT--The Thunderbirds knew coming into this game against Portland that they had to win to have any chance at making the playoffs. They found themselves down 5-3 with less than three minutes remaining and got to within one goal but they couldn't get the tying goal and therefore were eliminated from playoff contention.
Portland went on the power play at 4:49 of the first period when Luke Lockhart was called for Hooking. They didn't convert and had one shot on net.
Seattle got a power play chance at 8:04. Brendan Leipsic was called for Checking from Behind. They didn't convert and had no shots.
Portland went up 1-0 at 10:43. Sven Bartschi scored his 34th goal of the season off the faceoff.
They quickly went up 2-0 when Pearce Eviston (1) slapped one past Calvin Pickard (27-33-3-5). Time of the goal was 12:18.
Rob Sumner took his timeout. "Let's just regroup, refocus and get it going," said Sumner of the early timeout. "Of course using that timeout in that situation means you don't have one later in the game when it's nice to have one."
Marcel Noebels (27) made it a 2-1 game when he made several moves and beat Keith Hamilton (17-5-0-2) at 15:02. The assist went to Burke Gallimore.
A melee led to a Portland power play at 16:27. Tyler Alos ended up in the box for Roughing. They didn't convert.
Colin Jacobs got a penalty shot at 19:11 and converted to tie the game 2-2. It was his 22nd goal of the season.
The game was tied 2-2 after 20 minutes. Shots were 13-11 in favor of Portland.
Four on four play at 6:19 when Jacob Doty (Roughing) and Riley Boychuk (Slashing) went to their respective penalty boxes.
The Birds went on the power play at 9:09 when Tyler Wotherspoon was called for Tripping. Brenden Dillon (8) put the Birds up 3-2 when he slapped a rocket from the point past Hamilton. The goal was scored at 9:41 and was assisted by Gallimore and Lockhart.
Portland tied it 3-3 at 15:29. Brad Ross scored his 31st goal of the season.
After two periods of play the game was tied 3-3. Shots in the second period were 21-10 in favor of Portland. They led 34-21 overall.
The teams would skate four on four at 6:47 when Mitch Elliot was called for Roughing and Leipsic for USC.
Nino Niederreiter (41) put Portland up 4-3 at 7:44.
Only 34 seconds later the Hawks went up 5-3. Craig Cunningham scored his 27th goal of the season.
Both Portland goals were scored four on four. "Two goals so close together on a four on four situation made it tougher," said Sumner about the back to back goals.
With three minutes left Pickard was pulled in favor of the extra attacker.
Gallimore (34) scored to get the Birds to within one at 5-4. Time of the goal was 17:10 and the assists went to Brendan Rouse and Ryan Button.
Pickard was once again pulled with 1:40 left. He had to go back into net after an icing.
He was pulled with 37 seconds left.
The Birds couldn't get the tying goal and lost 5-4 to end their playoff hopes.
Shots in the third period were 19-10 in favor of Portland. They outshot Seattle 53-31 overall.
After the game a very disappointed Sumner was asked about his team not quitting right down to the last second. "No we didn't but it's still disappointing. We tried like crazy tonight. There were parts of the game where we weren't great but we tried, we really tried."
Unlike last season the Birds still had playoff hopes down to the next to last game and Sumner was asked if that was a big improvement in his eyes. "Yes. It would have been nice to push it to the last game though. Parts of our game have improved. We played really hard down the stretch."
When doing post mortems on the season you could look at the nine game losing streak and 12 of 13 lost in the early part of the second half. "Just after Christmas yes," said Sumner. "Not sure exactly why (it happened in back to back seasons) but that obviously hurt us."
Even so the Birds played well over the last few weeks and gave themselves a chance to make the playoffs. Sumner was asked if he was proud of his team for that. "We didn't want to be in that hole and we played well down the stretch but we had a big hill to climb."
What does a coach tell his players after their playoff hopes end on the next to last game of the season? "Well they are disappointed," said Sumner. "They know what's going on. Knowing Everett lost makes it even more disappointing. Our group is going to be disappointed but we have to pick our heads up and play again tomorrow."
The Birds play their final game of the season on Sunday at 5 pm against the Tri-City Americans at the ShoWare Center. The action can be heard live at MyNorthwest.com.
- G Calvin Pickard tied a club record for most games played by a goaltender in a season (68) with Danny Lorenz (1988-89).
- The Thunderbirds home record drops to 13-18-1-3.
- After winning four of their first five games against Portland the Birds lost the last seven meetings.
- Seattle was 1 for 2 on the power play. Portland was 0 for 2.
Game Summary: (courtesy of WHL website)
1st Period-1, Portland, Bartschi 34 (Cunningham), 10:43. 2, Portland, Eviston 1 (Morrow, Rattie), 12:18. 3, Seattle, Noebels 27 (Gallimore), 15:02. 4, Seattle, Jacobs 22 19:11. Penalties-Lockhart Sea (hooking), 4:49; Leipsic Por (checking from behind), 8:04; Boychuk Por (major-fighting), 16:27; Leipsic Por (roughing), 16:27; Wotherspoon Por (roughing, 10-minute misconduct), 16:27; Alos Sea (roughing, 10-minute misconduct), 16:27; Elliot Sea (major-fighting), 16:27; Lund Sea (cross checking, roughing), 16:27; Aronson Por (hooking), 19:11.
2nd Period-5, Seattle, Dillon 8 (Gallimore, Lockhart), 9:41 (PP). 6, Portland, Ross 31 (Johansen, Niederreiter), 15:29. Penalties-Boychuk Por (slashing, 10-minute misconduct), 6:19; Doty Sea (roughing), 6:19; Wotherspoon Por (tripping), 9:09.
3rd Period-7, Portland, Niederreiter 41 (Johansen, Morrow), 7:44. 8, Portland, Cunningham 27 (Ross, Pouliot), 8:18. 9, Seattle, Gallimore 34 (Rouse, Button), 17:10. Penalties-Leipsic Por (usc diving), 6:47; Elliot Sea (holding), 6:47.
Shots on Goal-Portland 13-21-19-53. Seattle 11-10-10-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Portland 0 / 2; Seattle 1 / 2.
Goalies-Portland, Hamilton 17-5-0-2 (31 shots-27 saves). Seattle, Pickard 27-33-3-5 (53 shots-48 saves).
Referees-Matt Kirk (4), Shane Warschaw (86).
Linesmen-Chris Carlson (92), Nathan Van Oosten (115).
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