Silvertips goalie stymies Thunderbirds
Goaltender Austin Lotz stopped 38 shots to pace Everett to a 2-1 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Special to The Seattle Times
KENT — Between injuries and playing behind a rebuilding hockey team, the first half of the season was a struggle for Everett goaltender Austin Lotz.
Lotz showed things may well be different in the second half Friday night when he stopped 38 shots to pace Everett to a 2-1 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds at ShoWare Center.
"I got off to kind of an unlucky start with injuries (pulled groin and pulled hamstring)," Lotz said after picking up his sixth win. "My teammates were huge in front of me when I had my rusty moments."
Even though the Silvertips (14-22-0-2) gave up 39 shots, they survived a lengthy 5-on-3, didn't allow Seattle to score on five power-play opportunities and came up with key blocked shots when Seattle had good scoring opportunities.
"When you have a team that maybe doesn't have that much skill, you have to do all the grindy stuff to win games," Lotz said. "We blocked shots, cleared rebounds and did everything we needed to do to be successful."
Seattle (16-18-1-1) lost its sixth in a row.
"Their goaltender had a great game, credit to him," Seattle forward Connor Honey said. "We didn't play a bad game. We just didn't score. We have to get more traffic and more shots through. When we get everything going, we're going to be a really good team."
The Thunderbirds took an early lead on the 12th goal of the season by Alexander Delnov with assists from Honey and Taylor Green, a defenseman who has moved up to the first line with leading scorer Roberts Lipsbergs playing for Latvia at the World Junior Tournament.
Seattle goaltender Brandon Glover looked like he might make that goal stand up, but Seattle had far too many turnovers in its own end and Carson Stadnyk took advantage of one to tie the score in the second period. Kohl Bauml scored the winner at 7:53 of the third period, and Seattle could not get the equalizer despite 17 shots in the third period.
The Thunderbirds travel to Everett for a rematch Saturday night at 7:05.