The Seattle Thunderbirds, Your 2023 WHL Champs


Ryan Koinange, Staff Writer

The Seattle Thunderbirds claimed the 2023 WHL championship in a 41 series win over the Winnipeg Ice Friday night. Excitement filled the air at the ShoWare center in Kent as the Thunderbirds put up a brave fight throughout the playoffs, overcoming every challenge in their way as they sought to recover the glory, they last experienced in 2017. However, they were still motivated to avenge their saddening loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings in 2022 by those recollections.

A throng of ardent Thunderbirds supporters filled the stands, their cheers reverberating throughout the venue. The TBirds stepped onto the ice; eyes fixed on the prize that last year was just out of reach. But with a loaded roster including five future NHL first round draft picks, the fans in Kent knew this was their moment. Center Sam Popowich tallies one on for the Thunderbirds. That was followed up with a goal by Nico Myatovic to bring the lead to 20. Winnipeg then scored to make it a 1goal game, but the Thunderbirds just kept it rolling and added an empty netter to make it a 31 win and to secure the title. “My family is very happy; weve always been Thunderbird fans and hockey fans in general. With the Kraken becoming team and making the playoffs and the TBirds winning, Seattle hockey is look bright,said Thunderbirds fan Ava Thomas. “Weve also got a family friend who coowns the birds, so we sometimes get perks with that, just another reason to be a Thunderbirds fan.”

Beyond the professional level, hockey has grown in Seattle. A longstanding favorite in the neighborhood, the Seattle Thunderbirds junior ice hockey club develops young talent and offers exhilarating entertainment. The popularity of the sport has increased not only from the Kraken, but as a result of the Thunderbirdssuccess, including their recent victory in the 2023 WHL championship.