For a seventh-straight season, the Seattle Thunderbirds have qualified for the Western Hockey League Playoffs.
The Thunderbirds confirmed their ownership of a Wild Card spot with a 6-5 overtime victory against the Tri-City Americans Wednesday.
That win will ensure that all five U.S. Division team will qualify for the WHL Playoffs for a second-straight season. While the Thunderbirds don’t yet know their opponent in the 2019 #WHLPlayoffs, they’re guaranteed to face either the Vancouver Giants or Everett Silvertips in the first round.
While the season didn’t start on the right foot for the Thunderbirds, they’ve been one of the best teams in the entire league since January 1, 2019. Goaltender Roddy Ross has been a big part of that success with a 14-5-1-2 record in 24 games, 2.79 goals-against average, and a .917 save percentage.
Noah Philp and Matthew Wedman have carried the offensive torch. The pair each have 45 points since January 1, 2019, ranking in a tie for fourth in WHL scoring over that stretch. Wedman has the advantage on goals with 28, first among all WHL players since January 1, while Philp ranks third among all WHL players with 32 assists over the same span.
Captain Nolan Volcan has also remained a potent scoring threat with 56 points (26G-30A) in 57 games.
The Thunderbirds will close out their regular season schedule with a home-and-home series against the Portland Winterhawks beginning Friday, March 15 (6:05 p.m. PT) in Seattle.
To date, 14 teams have secured their spot in the 2019 WHL Playoffs: Prince Albert Raiders, Everett Silvertips, Vancouver Giants, Portland Winterhawks, Saskatoon Blades, Spokane Chiefs, Edmonton Oil Kings, Victoria Royals, Tri-City Americans, Lethbridge Hurricanes, Calgary Hitmen, Moose Jaw Warriors, Medicine Hat Tigers, and the Thunderbirds. The Raiders, Giants, and Silvertips have each clinched their respective divisions while the Raiders have also secured the top record in the Eastern Conference and WHL, earning them the 2018-19 Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy as regular season champions.