The Portland Winterhawks fall in game three by a score of 5-0 to the Seattle Thunderbirds. The win puts Seattle on the board in their series, down two games to one in their best of seven. Before this game, the Winterhawks had only been shut out twice this season. The last time Portland was held scoreless was October 23rd, 2021 in a 1-0 loss to the Everett Silvertips.
Game three at Veterans Memorial Coliseum again saw Seattle grabbing an early edge. Jared Davidson would score the opening goal of the game at 6:14 in the first period. In the second period, Pittsburgh Penguins draft pick Lukas Svejkovsky would net his fifth of the postseason to give the Thunderbirds a 2-0 lead. In the third period, a power play goal from Dallas Stars draft pick Conner Roulette would extend Seattle’s lead. A pair of empty net goals from Jared Davidson and Lucas Ciona, along with a shutout performance from Seattle’s goaltender Thomas Milic, would secure the Thunderbirds a 5-0 victory. Milic’s 28 saves on 28 shots earned him his second postseason shutout.
The Thunderbirds’ offense is emerging as one of the biggest storylines in this series. Against Portland, Seattle continues to get off to hot starts. Seattle has scored first in every game of this playoff series so far. On top of that, the Thunderbirds have outscored their opponents in the first period 9-2 this postseason. Once Seattle’s offense gets rolling, it’s been difficult to stop. In five of Seattle’s eight playoff games this year, the Thunderbirds have scored at least four goals. The stars of Seattle are leading the charge as well. Jared Davidson and Lucas Svejkovsky, who lead Seattle in goals at the end of the regular season, lead the Thunderbirds in both goals and points in the postseason.
For the Winterhawks, Taylor Gauthier continues to be a rising star for the team. Gauthier made 25 saves on 28 shots, and earn the third star of the game in game three. Gauthier still has some of the best statistics among goalies this postseason despite his first playoff loss. Taylor Gauthier is currently ranked 4th in both playoff save % (.944) and Goals Against Average (1.57).
However, Portland’s special teams struggled this game. Portland was 0-for-3 on the power-play in Game three. Combined, the Winterhawks are now 3-for-23 on the power play this postseason. Portland also couldn’t avoid the penalty box in Game three. The Winterhawks gave the Thunderbirds four power-play opportunities, one of which they were able to capitalize on.
Game four of this series returns to the accesso ShoWare Center in Kent, WA Friday, May 13th. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m.