The Seattle Thunderbirds came back from a three-goal deficit, scoring four unanswered goals to overcome the Vancouver Giants 4-3 Wednesday night at the accesso ShoWare Center to even their first-round Western Hockey League playoff series at two games apiece.
Matthew Wedman delivered the game-winning goal at 15:46 of the third period.
The series returns to Vancouver, B.C., for Game 5 Friday, with face-off at 7:30 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre.
Game 6 is on Kent ice at 6:05 p.m. Saturday.
Vancouver went in front 1-0 at 10:33 of the first period on a goal from Dylan Plouffe. The Giants took a 2-0 lead with three minutes left in the first on a goal from Brayden Watts and made it a 3-0 at 2:19 of the second period on a goal from Davis Koch.
Seattle started the comeback at 5:18 of the second on the power play. Nolan Volcan took a shot from the right circle that was blocked and went behind the net. Keltie Jeri-Leon got the loose puck, skated out into the left circle and slot, beating Vancouver goalie David Tendeck with a wrist shot over the blocker.
Noah Philp pulled the T-Birds to within one goal at 7:11 of the second period. Philp entered the offensive zone on the left wing and centered to Andrej Kukuca, who sent the puck right back to Philp in the left circle. Philp beat Tendeck with a wrist shot for his first goal of the playoffs.
Kukuca tied the game 3-3 at 11:13 of the third on the power play. Philp had the puck on the right wing with Wedman in front of Tendeck. Philp passed the puck to Wedman who tipped the puck on goal. The rebound came to Kukuca in the left circle, and he beat Tendeck with a quick slap shot.
Wedman scored the decisive goal at 15:46 of the third. Henrik Rybinski stole the puck on a backcheck in the right circle. Rybinski went behind the Vancouver net and centered the puck to Wedman on top of the crease. Wedman beat Tendeck low on the blocker side.
Seattle goalie Roddy Ross had 26 saves. Tendeck had 30 saves.
For tickets to Game 6, visit online or drop by the ShoWare Center box office, which is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Vancouver vs. Seattle, best-of-seven series
Game 1 – At Vancouver 7, Seattle 1
Game 2 – Seattle 4, Vancouver 1.
Game 3 – Vancouver 6, Seattle 4
Game 4 – Seattle 4, Vancouver 3
Game 5 – Seattle at Vancouver Friday, March 29, 7:30 p.m.
Game 6 – Vancouver at Seattle Saturday, March 30, 7:05 p.m.
Game 7 – Seattle at Vancouver Tuesday, April 2, 7 p.m.*
First period – 1, Vancouver, Plouffe 3 (Koch, Svejkovsky), 10:33. 2,Vancouver, Watts 2 (Dmytriw, Bafaro), 17:00. Penalties – Richards, Sea (major-checking from behind, game misconduct), 4:16. Plouffe, Van (roughing), 15:45. Kubicek, Sea (interference), 15:45.
Second period – 3, Vancouver, Koch 1 (Nielsen, Kannok Leipert), 2:19. 4, Seattle, Jeri-Leon 1 (Volcan), 5:18 (pp). Penalties – Roman, Van (hooking), 3:30. Philp, Sea (delay of game), 7:01. Hardy, Van (checking to the head), 11:58.
Third period – 5, Seattle, Philp 1 (Kukuca, Tyszka), 7:11. 6, Seattle, Kukuca 3 (Wedman, Philp), 11:13 (pp). 7, Seattle, Wedman 2 (Rybinski), 15:46. Penalties – Byram, Van (tripping), 5:04. Kannok Leipert, Van (cross checking), 10:54.
Shots on goal – Seattle 9-13-12 34, Vancouver 12-11-6 29. Goalies – Seattle, Ross 29 shots-26 saves (2-2); Vancouver, Tendeck 34-30 (1-1). Power plays – Seattle 2-4; Vancouver 0-2. A – 2,270. Referees – Jeff Ingram, Mark Pearce. Linesmen – Ron Dietterle, Mark Heier.