T-Birds Topple Spokane – Seattle Thunderbirds

SPOKANE, Wash. –The Seattle Thunderbirds top line combined for four goals and six assists in a 7-2 win over the Spokane Chiefs Friday at the Spokane Arena. It was the Thunderbirds league leading seventeenth road win of the season and improves their overall record to 33-7-1-1. The Thunderbirds return home Saturday for a showdown with the Portland Winterhawks. Game time at the accesso ShoWare Center is 6:05 pm

Thunderbirds head coach Matt O’Dette said the line of Jared Davidson, Lucas Ciona and Kyle Crnkovic set the tone early. “I thought the Davidson line bought in right away. They were playing the right way and were rewarded for it.”

Davidson and Ciona set up Crnkovic for the opening goal at 4:20, then Ciona assisted on a Davidson goal at 10:02. For Davidson it was the first of two on the night. “The chemistry is starting to come. We’re playing well and it’s starting to show on the scoresheet.”

Ciona led the attack with a four-point effort. He had three assists through the first two periods then scored a goal just six seconds into the final frame. “We were just doing the right things, trying to lead the way and create chances like that. We tried to start off right and have all the guys follow.”

Gracyn Sawchyn had the game winner late in the first period, scoring a minute after Spokane had scored on the power play to cut the Seattle lead in half. Seattle scored twice more in the second with Nolan Allan lighting the lamp at 7:26. Davidson got his second, on the power play at 15:29, just 68-seconds after the Chiefs had made it 4-2.

The Thunderbirds put the game away with two goals in the first three minutes of period three, including the Ciona goal. Then Ashton McNelly picked up his first with Seattle at 2:26, ​​assisted by Coster Dunn and Mekai Sanders.

“Just a good play by Dunner to catch the puck in the air and get it down on the ice. Just right place at the right time for me, I guess. It’s good to get that first one out of the way.

O’Dette said the goal was a nice reward for McNelly who has played the right way since joining the Thunderbirds in early December. “He’s a reliable player. He has really good habits, really good smarts on the ice. When you play the right way for the team you tend to get rewarded and that was the case for him tonight.”

Scott Ratzlaff earned his seventeenth win in goal with a 25 save effort as the Thunderbirds outshot the Chiefs, 36-27.


In six games this season Seattle has outscored Spokane 38-17. The two teams meet just once more this season, February 5th in Kent.

Kyle Crnkovic’s first period goal was his 270th WHL point.

Kevin Korchinski finishes the game with two assists. In eight games since returning to the Thunderbirds after helping Canada to a gold medal at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championships, Korchinski has eleven points (2g, 9a).

Box score: WHL Network