A goal by Conner Roulette at the 8:55 mark of the third period proved to be the winner last night (June 3) as the Seattle Thunderbirds struck first in the Western Hockey League (WHL) championship series against Jake Neighbours of Airdrie and the Edmonton Oil Kings.
The goal from Roulette combined with a goal off the stick of Matthew Rempe less than two minutes into the second period propelled Seattle to a 2 – 1 win over the Oil Kings and a one-nothing lead in the best of seven series. Roulette also picked up an assist on Rempe's goal for a two-point night.
Carter Souch scored with just over eight minutes to go in the game but the Oilers couldn't tie it up on home ice.
Neighbours didn't make the score sheet despite having three shots on goal in the game. In 14 playoff games this season, Neighbours has three goals and nine assists. During the regular season where he played 30 games after starting the season with the NHL's St. Louis Blues, Neighbours recorded 17 goals and 28 assists for 45 points.
Last night's winning goal by Seattle came off of a deflection of a shot from the point by Cochrane's Tyrel Bauer. It capped off an exciting week for the 6'3" defenceman as he signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Winnipeg Jets, the team that drafted him in the sixth-round, 164th overall, in the 2020 NHL Draft. Bauer, now in his fourth full season with the T-Birds came up through the ranks of Cochrane Minor Hockey and played AAA hockey with the Airdrie Xtreme, AC Avalanche, and Airdrie Bisons.
Game two of the best of seven series is tomorrow at 4:00 pm with game three back in Seattle on Tuesday.
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