Link to jump to start of content The Seattle Times Company Jobs Autos Homes Rentals NWsource Classifieds

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - Page updated at 02:01 AM

Print      Share:    Digg     Newsvine

WHL Playoffs | T-birds try to take 2-1 series lead

Special to The Seattle Times

Sooner or later the mirror will have to crack.

The Seattle Thunderbirds and Tri-City Americans have played two games in their opening-round Western Hockey League series and they appear to be identical twins.

The two games have been virtually dead even with Seattle winning the opener 2-0 and Tri-City coming back with a 2-1 win in Game 2.

"We've been in a position to win both games, but so have they," Seattle coach Rob Sumner said. "It's been very close and we expect it to continue that way."

Games 3 and 4 are scheduled at KeyArena tonight and Wednesday.

Both goaltenders, Carey Price for Tri-City and Derek Yeomans for Seattle, have been the big stars so far. Yeomans had 19 saves to post a shutout in the opener, and Price stopped a penalty shot and had 32 saves in Game 2.

"There hasn't been a lot of scoring, but it really hasn't been a sit back, defensive kind of series, either," Sumner said. "It has been intense, the kind of hockey where every shift and every play matters."

Seattle has outshot Tri-City 64-49 in the two games, but Price has made 62 saves and the penalty-shot stop to preserve the win in Game 2.

"He's not just stopping pucks, he's also been very good at playing the puck and transitions them well up the ice," Sumner said. "We've got to get a lot more traffic in front of the net and make our chances count."

Seattle is 2 for 16 on the power play, with Tri-City 1 for 11.

"It's a case where both teams are really good on the penalty kill," Sumner said. "Your goalie is usually your best penalty killer and both goaltenders are playing well."

Sumner said he won't change a thing heading into the next two games at KeyArena.

"We've been able to do a lot of things the way we have wanted to do them, but there's still room for improvement," Sumner said. "For the most part, we're happy with how we played."

Silvertips take 2-0 lead to Spokane

Zach Hamill, the leading scorer in the WHL in the regular season, isn't slowing down in the playoffs.

Hamill had key goals in both games to help the Everett Silvertips take a 2-0 lead over the Spokane Chiefs in what Hamill expects to continue to be a close series.

In Game 1, Hamill scored 15 seconds into the game and Everett built a 4-0 lead before winning 4-2. In Game 2, Hamill scored in overtime to lift the Silvertips to a 3-2 win.

Hamill has three overtime winners in the playoffs in his career, including two against the Chiefs.

Hamill's goal came immediately after the Silvertips killed off a five-on-three penalty in overtime when Hamill was called for a high-sticking penalty.

"The guys who killed off that penalty are the guys who won this game," Hamill said. "For me, scoring goals in overtime or blocking shots, it doesn't matter as long as it helps the team win."

Moises Gutierrez, who led the Silvertips with 35 goals in the regular season, has two goals and an assist and is tied with teammate Peter Mueller with three points in the series. Adam Hobson has two goals for Spokane.

Everett coach Kevin Constantine said the Silvertips were fortunate to win Game 2.

"The reason Hamill scored is that we were somewhat disorganized about who was going out on the ice after killing off that five-on-three," Constantine said. "We had a mismatched group of guys out there, and in that sense we were a little lucky to get the goal."

Each team was fined $2,500 and had two players suspended after a melee that followed Hamill's game-winning goal. For Spokane, Judd Blackwater was suspended three games and Mitch Wahl two games. For Everett, Brandon Campos got two games and Kyle Beach one game.

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company


Today's stories



Local sales & deals Play games Find a job
Search for a job
Job type