Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Puckpourri: T-Birds love, 'Tips news, two ooh's + one OMG GWG

The Seattle Thunderbirds proved to be no match for the CHL-leading Kelowna Rockets, losing all four games in their WHL playoffs second round match-up. The T-Birds showed some flashes of brilliance, but unfortunately, the Rockets shined just a bit brighter, winning 3 of 4 games pretty handily: 6-2, 6-3, -5-4, 5-2. 

(Photo: Kelowna Rockets/WHL)

I'm not going to try to wrap up the season. That's definitely not my strong suit. I will say this: I thoroughly enjoyed myself this season, both as a fan and as an anthem singer. T-Birds fans are incredibly friendly, supportive and loyal. AND they sing along. I can't wait to see what next season brings.

In the meantime, here are write-ups from hockey minds I respect and admire:

Thom Beuning (The "Voice of the T-Birds"): The Last Harrumph
Andy Eide (T-Birds writer for T-Birds season ends with 5-2 loss to Rockets in Game 4

Player notes:

The team and fans said goodbye to Mitch Elliot, who wrapped up his fifth and final season. He played his entire WHL career with the T-Birds, which is a bit of a rarity in these times. He played in a total of 322 regular season games, scored 14 goals and had 20 assists. He played in 16 playoff games, scored 1 goal (against the Everett Silvertips in Game 5 of this year's playoffs), and had 2 assists. I had the chance to sit and chat with Mitch, his parents and his billet parents. That story will post very soon. I will say this about Mitch - he's a class act, and I expect this young man to succeed at whatever he puts his mind to doing.

(Mitch Elliot/Photo: Seattle Thunderbirds/WHL)

Captain Justin Hickman signed an ATO with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (the Islanders' AHL team). Here's the release. I wonder whether former T-Birds Captain Thomas Hickey (current d-man for the Isles) will be able to offer any tips.

(Justin Hickman/Photo: Seattle Thunderbirds/WHL)

D-man Shea Theodore has been called up to the Norfolk Admirals (the Ducks' AHL team). Here's the release.
(Shea Theodore/Photo: Seattle Thunderbirds/WHL)
The Everett Silvertips have got to be proud of goaltender Austin Lotz, who made the NHL Central Scouting Service's final rankings of North American goaltenders prior to the Entry Draft in June. Lotz came in at number 22 of the top 30 goalies. By all accounts, Austin had a stellar season: 57 games played, Record: 31W (including 5 shutouts), 18L, 3OTL, 2SOL. His GAA was 2.53 and SV% WAS 0.905%.
(Austin Lotz/Photo: Mast Images/Everett Silvertips)
Player notes:
Captain Matt Pufahl signed an ATO with the Lake Erie Monsters (the Avs' AHL team). Here's the release. The d-man will protect former enemy opponent, former T-Birds goalie Calvin Pickard.
(Matt Pufahl/Photo: Mast Images/Everett Silvertips)

Josh Winquist and Jujhar Khaira have joined the Oklahoma City Barons (the Oilers' AHL team). JJ signed a contract with Edmonton over the summer, while Josh signed an ATO. (Side note: The Silvertips Booster Club has this neat thing they do every year - they match each member up with a player in a "secret pal" program. The pals deliver good cheer to their players throughout the season, along with gift cards. At the end of the regular season, they host a party where the pals and players finally meet, and the pal gives his/her player one last gift. I was proud to be JJ's secret pal this season, although I couldn't make it to the reveal party because of a prior commitment. I'm told he thoroughly enjoyed his gift, a mounted photo of him in action against the Winterhawks, snapped by awesome photographer Chris Mast. I wish JJ the best of luck with the Barons and beyond).
(Jujhar Khaira/Photo: Mast Images/Everett Silvertips)
(Josh Winquist/Photo: Mast Images/Everett Silvertips)

Mirco Mueller has been called up to the Worcester Sharks (San Jose's AHL team). The Sharks drafted him 18th overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Read about all three players here.
(Mirco Mueller/Photo: Mast Images/Everett Silvertips)

Marc-Andre Fleury (Pens):  incredible flip to deny Red Wing Daniel Alfredsson in the shootout the other night.

Kris Letang (Pens): suffered a stroke six weeks ago. Wednesday night, he laced 'em up and hit the ice for the first time and played like he'd never left. I won't lie - seeing him back in the game makes me nervous, but as friends (and Tanger himself) pointed out, a stroke could hit at any time, no matter what he's doing. Why not at least be doing what he loves? I can't argue with that.

(Kris Letang/Photo: Pittsburgh Penguins/Getty)

Jonathan Quick (Kings): Kings fans know what a class act Jonathan Quick is - now, the entire nation knows. Watch what happened when he surprised a young fan on the Ellen Show:

Justin Holl (University of Minnesota): This kid waited until the final 6 seconds of the final 4 of the Frozen Four to score his very first goal of the season. And what a goal! Holl's shot lifted the Golden Gophers over the UND Fighting Sioux team to land in the championship game against Union College, who beat Boston College Thursday. That game takes place tomorrow (Saturday, April 12) at 7:30pm ET on ESPN.

Talk about the ultimate buzzer-beater.


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