KENT, Wash. – Gracyn Sawchyn scored at 2:04 of overtime and the Seattle Thunderbirds edged past the Everett Silvertips, 2-1, Saturday at the accesso ShoWare Center. The win pushed the Thunderbirds ten games over .500 at 13-3-1-0. The third game of the Thunderbirds four game homestand is slated for Wednesday when they host the Kelowna Rockets.
“I had just stepped on the ice,” said Sawchyn of his game winner. “I saw Schaefs (Reid Schaefer) had the puck, so I got open, he sauced it to me, right on my stick and I went down ice and shot it.”
The goal came moments after Seattle goalie Thomas Milic stopped an Everett shot. Milic, who finished the night with 21 saves, earned the second assist on the game winner. It was his second assist of the night.
Thunderbirds head coach Matt O’Dette said his team had a slow start after not having played in a week. “The way we came out in the third is the path we need to get on. It just needed to start a lot earlier in the game.”
He said his team was able to persevere and earn the win. “I’m happy with the way the guys stuck with it and finished the game strong. We had to really work for that win.”
After a scoreless first period, Everett opened the scoring with a power play goal from Roan Woodard at 4:52 of the second period. Seattle answered with a power play goal of their own from Kyle Crnkovic at 8:19 of the third period. The goal snapped a 0-for-12 stretch with the man advantage.
“We were getting chances, but we were kind of forcing things a bit,” said Crnkovic of the team’s power play struggles. Of his goal he said, “It was just a breakout, we were in the middle of a change. Hanzel dropped it to me, and they had a guy down ice. I just made a move and was in alone and was able to get it to go in.” Jeremy Hanzel and Milic had the helpers on the tying goal.
That set up the Sawchyn overtime heroics as he scored his first game winner in the WHL. “It was awesome, especially after last weekend and not getting those two points. It felt great tonight to get the extra point.”
In addition to the game Wednesday against Kelowna, Seattle will host the Portland Winterhawks Friday.
Jared Davidson was held off the scoresheet, snapping his ten-game point streak.
While recently acquired Nolan Allan made his Thunderbirds debut, Ty Hurley was a healthy scratch. Hurley was picked up in a trade Thursday from Swift Current.
Allan played after being traded to Seattle Wednesday. He then drove 18 hours to get to Kent from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. O’Dette appreciates the effort. “Some nerves, some fatigue, I’m sure, but he played a really solid game for us. Not a lot of daylight for the opposition when he’s out there on the ice.”
Luke Prokop missed the game with a lower body injury.
Box score: WHL Network