The Seattle Thunderbirds defeated the Kelowna Rockets 4-3 in a shootout on Friday night at Prospera Place in Kelowna, coming from behind in the third period and completing the comeback in the shootout.
Shea Theodore scoring the winning goal in the shootout and Seattle netminder Justin Myles turned aside all three Kelowna shooters on top of a 37 save performance in regulation to give Seattle the win.
The Rockets held a 3-1 lead heading into the third period but Seattle took over the game in the final frame. Erik Benoit and Jared Hauf scored back to back goals 47 seconds apart early in the third period to tie the game at 3-3. Alexander Delnov had the other Seattle marker.
The win moved the Thunderbirds into first place in the WHL Western Conferernce at 7-2-0-0 while the Rockets drop to 5-1-0-2 on the season.
After Tyson Baillie opened the scoring in the first period, the Rockets built a 3-1 lead with a strong second period outshooting Seattle 15-8 in the frame. Defenceman Damon Severson and Madison Bowey each scored to give Kelowna a two goal lead after 40 minutes.
Kelowna outshot Seattle 40-28 in regulation time
The game featured two of the WHL’s top 16-year-olds as the Rockets Nick Merkley and the Thunderbirds Mathew Barzal faced off against each other for the first time in their WHL careers. Only Merkley, the reigning WHL and CHL player of the week hit the score-sheet, adding an assist.
Barzal, Seattle’s leading scorer heading into the game, was turned aside by Rockets starter Jordon Cooke late in overtime.
The game was the first of a four game home-stand for the Rockets, who are idle until Wednesday when they play host to the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Kelowna will also play Prince George (Oct. 19) and Calgary (Oct. 22) on the home-stand.