Eight is Enough For the Thunderbirds – Seattle Thunderbirds

KENT, Wash. –Reid Schaefer scored twice, and Jordan Gustafson contributed three assists, as the Seattle Thunderbirds remained unbeaten with an, 8-3, win over the Spokane Chiefs Saturday at the accesso ShoWare Center. The Thunderbirds improved their record to 8-0-0-0 with the win. Seattle now heads north to Prince George for a pair of games against the Prince George Cougars next weekend.

As they had done in five of their previous seven games, Seattle scored first, picking up a pair of goals in the first period. Jared Davidson earned his fourth of the season at 11:32. Just twenty seconds later Coster Dunn scored his first of the year on an assist from Ethan Mittelstaedt. “It was a great play by Mittsy, coming down the middle,” said Dunn. “I got it on my stick and just shot it. I didn’t see it go in, but it was a good feeling to get it (his first goal) out of the way.”

For the first time this season, Seattle lost a lead as Spokane struck for three goals in the first five minutes of the second period to go up a goal.

“That wasn’t a great stretch when they rattled off three quick goals,” said Thunderbirds head coach Matt O’Dette. “In the blink of an eye we’re down 3-2 after being up two-nothing. That wasn’t ideal.”

But O’Dette did like his team’s response after falling behind. Seattle tied the game then took the lead on Schaefer’s two goals. His first came at 6:49 of period two and his game winning second goal came at 10:19. “Obviously you don’t want to give up three goals that quick,” said the Edmonton Oilers prospect. “It was up to us to get the momentum back. I think our line did a good job of that.” Gustafson assisted on both goals.

The Thunderbirds struck for one more goal in the second period as Lucas Ciona scored at 16:08 to finish off a back and forth passing play with Tij Iginla.

Seattle then put the game away with a three goal third period. Sam Popowich popped home a power play goal at 3:04 as Gustafson earned his third assist. Jeremy Hanzel followed at 8:50, snapping home a drop pass from Kyle Crnkovic. Sawyer Mynio finished the scoring at 17:58, blasting home a feed from Iginla.

The Thunderbirds have one of the youngest rosters in the WHL and O’Dette isn’t afraid to use his younger players in key moments. Three of those players, Mynio, Iginla and Dunn, combined for six points (2g, 4a) in the win. “There’s a lot of great things happening with those young players. They’ve really given us a boost when we need it.” O’Dette says there are going to be mistakes. “But we can live with that because the effort is there.”

After two on the road next weekend Seattle returns home November 1st to host Prince George.


The Thunderbirds outscored their last three opponents 26-6. On the season Seattle has a plus 28 goal differential through the first eight games.

Jared Davidson’s first period goal was the 65th of his Thunderbirds career and his 140th point.

Lucas Ciona has scored five times over his last three games and has 12 points (5g, 7a) in his last four.

Thomas Milic turned aside 28 shots to improve his record in goal to 4-0-0-0. He needs two more wins to reach 40 regular season wins as a Thunderbird.

Box score: WHL Network