Seattle Kraken, Coachella Valley Firebirds

Kraken Daily: Firebirds Lose, Series Even, T-Birds Semi

Kraken Affiliate

The 5-2 loss for the Kraken’s top farm team on Thursday night means multiple things. One, the victory for the Milwaukee Admirals evens the Calder Cup western conference final at two games apiece. Two, it means the fans in Coachella Valley will get at least one more home game to watch with Game-6 now guaranteed on Monday, June 5th.

First things first, Game-5 in Milwaukee on Saturday night. The home team has won all four matches.

Admirals goalie Devin Cooley was the difference in Game-4 in his second consecutive start since taking over for Yaro Askarov who lost Games 1 and 2. Cooley stopped 30 of 32 Firebirds shots after making 28 saves in the Game-3 win on Monday night.

Special teams played a huge part in Milwaukee’s success. While the Kraken farm team went 0-for-5 with the man advantage on Thursday, the Nashville Predators AHL affiliate went 2-for-3. Milwaukee also had a shorthanded goal.

Finnish forward Joakim Kemell scored what was the game winner on the PP at 11:25 of the 2nd period, his 8th goal of the playoffs.

Jimmy Shuldt and Eddie Wittchow tallied the even strength markers for Coachella Valley. Kole Lind had an assist and led the team with five shots-on-goal.

Puck drop for the pivotal 5th game will be a little after 4 pm pacific time.

In the eastern conference final of the Calder Cup, the Rochester Americans have another opportunity to stay alive against the Hershey Bears on Friday night. The Amerks fell behind 3-1 in the series but pulled off a Game-5 win 4-1 on Wednesday night with two goals from Lukas Rousek, a power play tally plus an empty-netter.

It’s a 4:05 pacific time puck drop at the Blue Cross Arena in upstate New York.

Thunderbirds Puck Drop

The do or die portion of the Memorial Cup tournament has arrived for the Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday. The Western Hockey League champions take on the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League in the semi-final for the right to play the Quebec Remparts in the championship game on Sunday.

Seattle Hockey Insider will be on hand in Kamloops for full coverage of the final weekend and the CHL awards ceremony.

The Petes stormed back from down three goals to beat the host Kamloops Blazers 5-4 in overtime on Thursday night. After Vancouver Canucks prospect Connor Lockhart opened the scoring for the OHL champs at 7:52 of the 1st period, the Blazers scored the next four goals, including three of them in the opening period.

At 4:23 of the 2nd period, Logan Bairos gave Kamloops a 4-1 lead, with the club looking very much in charge of the outcome.

Yet the Petes wasted little time getting back into it. In fact, they reeled off three goals to tie the game before the 2nd period was over, picking up an assist from Lockhart and one for Kraken prospect Tucker Robertson.

Then things tightened up with no scoring in the third period.

The Petes finished off the comeback and won the game at 10:54 of overtime when J.R. Avon scored on an assist from Owen Beck.

J.R. Avon’s overtime game winner.

Petes goalie Michael Simpson made 43 saves for the victory.

The Thunderbirds vs. Petes semi-final begins a little after 7 pm in Kamloops. Seattle won the round robin match-up between the two teams 6-3 on May 27th.

— Editor’s Note: Don’t look now, but the Stanley Cup Final finally gets underway on Saturday night with the Vegas Golden Knights hosting the Florida Panthers in Game-1.

Recent Seattle Hockey Insider Stories:

— Seattle Kraken: The Kid is All Wright

— Kraken GM Ron Francis on Losing a Stanley Cup Final

— Kraken Add 3 Years to GM Ron Francis’s Contract

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.