Prospect Park: Gropp’s Goal Ignited Thunderbird Outburst To Tie Series

In News, Prospect Park by Jess Rubenstein

Ryan Gropp (Brian Liesse/Seattle Thunderbirds)

While the Ranger season may be over, three Ranger prospects are fighting for a chance to play for the Memorial Cup. On Wednesday night, the first star of the game Ryan Gropp ignited a six-goal outburst by his Seattle Thunderbirds as they defeated the Regina Pats 6-1.

The win ties the WHL Championship finals at two games each but it was a very big win for the Thunderbirds as they got six goals from six different players. The game actually started with Regina dominating play for the first 13 minutes of the game.

Seattle could not enter the Regina defensive zone to establish any kind of offensive flow. When Regina got on the board first it really looked as if this was going to be a Regina win.

The game turned when Regina took a holding call that set up a Seattle power play and that led to Ryan Gropp’s first goal of the finals.

Gropp’s fifth goal of the playoffs was also his fourth power-play goal at 16:06 of the first period tying the game at 1. 19 seconds later at 16:25 Seattle would take the lead for good scoring at even strength. 3:03 later at 19:28 Seattle would make it 3-1 and Regina never recovered.

Gropp would add a secondary assist on Seattle’s fifth goal giving him a 1-1-2 evening. The goal was also a power play goal as Seattle was two for seven with the man advantage. Gropp is 5-10-15 in 14 playoff games.

Dawson Leedahl (Brian Liesse/Seattle Thunderbirds)

For Regina, Sergey Zborovskiy was scoreless with a minor for holding and a -1 while newly signed Dawson Leedahl did have the primary assist on Regina’s only goal but also had a minor for high-sticking. Leedahl is 11-13-24 in 21 games this playoff run.

Game five will be on Friday night in Seattle with the series tied at 2-2.

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