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RECAP: 49ers eliminate Seahawks, Kraken set record

by IAN BIVONA
Sports Reporter | January 18, 2023 10:22 AM

SEATTLE – While the Seattle Seahawks saw their season end to the division rival San Francisco 49ers, the Seattle Kraken set an NHL record during their road trip across Canada and the Northern US. Check out this week’s professional sports recap for an update on the two teams.

Seahawks

A surprising season for Seattle Seahawks ended with an appearance in the playoffs for the fourth time in the past five years, falling to the No. 2 seed San Francisco 49ers 41-23 in Santa Clara, California.

The final score doesn’t represent how close the Seahawks were to pulling off an upset – in fact, Seattle led the game at halftime thanks to an unnecessary roughness penalty that allowed Seahawks kicker Jason Myers to hit a 56-yard field goal to end the first half and put Seattle up 17-16.

However, it was all San Francisco from the start of the third quarter on. The 49ers opened with a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Brock Purdy, then strip-sacked Seattle quarterback Geno Smith in the red zone on the ensuing drive. San Francisco scored on all but one of its second-half drives, the outlier being the 49ers running out the clock to end the game.

San Francisco became the third team to gain 500 yards of offense against the Seahawk defense this season, also gaining 170-plus rush yards against Seattle for the third time this season. While the defense was able to hold the 49ers to field goals three times in the first half, they broke down in the second half and gave up three touchdowns.

The loss eliminated Seattle from the playoffs, ending its season with a 9-8 regular season record. The Seahawks have 26 players set to hit free agency headlined by Smith, who set the franchise high in passing yards this season.

On Tuesday, Seattle signed 10 players from the practice squad to reserve/future contracts: offensive lineman Greg Eiland, linebacker Chris Garrett, defensive tackle Jarrod Hewitt, center Joey Hunt, receiver Cade Johnson, tackle Jalen McKenzie, cornerback Chris Steele, running back Darwin Thompson, receiver Connor Wedington and receiver Easop Winston Jr.

As the Seahawks enter the off-season, the team controls two first-round picks in this year’s NFL Draft – the No. 5 pick via Denver from the Russell Wilson trade along with Seattle’s own No. 20 pick.

Kraken

Saturday’s 8-5 win over the Chicago Blackhawks didn’t just mark the end of a road trip for the Seattle Kraken, it also set an NHL record – Seattle became the first team in NHL history to sweep a road trip lasting seven or more games with the win, having previously defeated Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Buffalo and Boston before taking down Chicago over the weekend.

Off to a 4-0 start to the cross-country road trip, the Kraken took down Buffalo 4-3 to move the streak to five wins in a row. Right wing Jordan Eberle, center Yanni Gourde, center Matty Beniers and defenseman Justin Schultz all netted goals in the win, where Seattle had come back from a 1-0 deficit in the first period to win.

Up next for Seattle was a date with the NHL’s leader in wins, the Boston Bruins. Boston had yet to lose on its home ice during the 2022-2023 season, but that changed with 3-0 Kraken win. Brandon Tanev got things started with a first-period goal, and Eeli Tolvanen and Jaden Schwartz scored in the second and third periods, respectively, giving the Kraken their sixth-straight win. Along with the win, Seattle became the first team this season to shut out the Boston Bruins.

The road trip ended with an 8-5 win over the Chicago Blackhawks, setting the NHL’s record for the longest winning streak on a road trip of seven or more games. The offense exploded with six first-period goals to Chicago’s one and managed to stall out an attempted third-period comeback to win 8-5.

Similarly to the last time this season that the Kraken won seven-straight games, they followed up with back-to-back losses – this time a 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay and a 5-2 road loss to Edmonton.

Up this week for the 26-14-4 Kraken are three-straight home games against New Jersey, Colorado and Vancouver.

photo

AP PHOTO/SCOT TUCKER

Defensive breakdowns in the second half cost Seattle a chance to advance to the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs, losing 41-23 to the San Francisco 49ers

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