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Published: Saturday, December 18, 2010, 12:01 a.m.

Silvertips’ Siemens strong in the net

The goalie and the Tips’ defense help struggling Everett shut down Spokane, the WHL’s hottest team

EVERETT — Luke Siemens had a one-word answer for how big the Everett Silvertips’ victory over the Spokane Chiefs was Friday night.
“Monumental,” responded Everett’s goaltender, who stopped all 27 shots he faced as the Tips defeated the Chiefs 2-0 at Comcast Arena.
“We really needed this one,” Siemens continued. “We were struggling here at home, had a couple losses in a row, and we needed to rally to get the fans behind us again.”
Everett was facing the prospect of heading into the Christmas break on a major downbeat. The Tips had lost three straight, and they faced a daunting challenge during the last weekend of the first half, with red-hot Spokane and Tri-City coming to town.
But Siemens and Everett’s defense held firm until Everett struggling offense, snake-bitten for 39 minutes, finally found the breakthrough in the final moments of the second period, courtesy of Tyler Maxwell.
Maxwell added a late empty-net goal for the Tips (15-15-2-3), who also snapped a four-game home losing skid. Everett completes the first half tonight against Tri-City.
“This was really important,” Maxwell said. We’ve been really focused on getting a win tonight and going home for Christmas on a roll. This was the first step to it.”
Siemens continues to stake his claim for more playing time. He appeared in just four of Everett’s first 27 games as he backed up Kent Simpson. But Friday’s start was his fifth in Everett’s past eight contests, and it was his second shutout during that span.
Friday’s shutout was even more impressive, considering the opponent. Spokane was the hottest team in the Western Conference, having not lost in regulation in 11 games, and the Chiefs lit the lamp an astounding 34 times in their past five outings.
“The key was shutting down their top line,” Siemens said. “(Clayton) Cumiskey’s line did a really good job of shutting down (Tyler) Johnson’s line. We played a full team game, all the lines were going. They didn’t get too many chances and I think that was the biggest part of it.”
Mac Engel had a strong game in goal for Spokane (18-10-3-2), making 37 saves.
Everett also received the benefit of the calls. The Tips had three five-on-three power plays, and the Chiefs were twice called for stand-alone dives.
Yet Everett was unable to take advantage of the power plays as the offense, scoreless for five periods coming into the game, continued to struggle finding the net. After captain Landon Ferraro fired wide at an unguarded net during a first-period five-on-three, and after the Tips were unable to generate anything during a 1:54 second-period five-on-three, it seemed Everett was in for another night of offensive futility.
But the Tips kept churning away and finally beat Engel with 29 seconds remaining in the second. Parker Stanfield created a turnover with a hit in the corner, then quickly fed an open Maxwell out front, who snapped a shot past Engel to break the drought.
“We had our chances and on the bench we just stayed positive the whole game,” Maxwell said. “There was no doubt in my mind that we were going to score, and good things happen when you work that hard.”
The Tips then did a good job keeping the Chiefs to the perimeter in the third, and Maxwell clinched the victory by scoring into the empty net with 14 seconds remaining.
Everett scoring woes continued in the first period. The Tips were given a golden opportunity when presented with 56 seconds of five-on-three. However, Ferraro somehow managed to fire wide at an unguarded net, and after it became a five-on-four Engel made a great glove save to stop Manraj Hayer’s tip. The period ended scoreless -- Everett’s sixth consecutive goalless period — and Ferraro goal-less drought remained at 16 games.
Everett’s offensive woes continued in the second period. The Tips received another five-on-three, this time for 1:54, and again were ineffectual. Then on another power play defenseman Chad Suer hit the post on a long rebound with Engel down and out.
Slap shots
The Tips finished the game without Suer. Suer came off holding his face early in the third period and did not return. ... Everett played without three forwards because of injury as Kellan Tochkin (concussion), Campbell Elynuik (shoulder) and Josh Winquist (concussion) all remained out. The injuries meant call-up winger Jordyn Boyd played his second straight game. ... Spokane was without its top defenseman Jared Cowen, who is with Canada’s team for the World Junior Hockey Championships. ... Pat Gillick, the former Seattle Mariners general manager and a recent inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame, dropped the first puck. Gillick is friends with Tips owner Bill Yuill.
Silvertips 2, Chiefs 0
Spokane 0 0 0 – 0
Everett 0 1 1 – 2
First Period–no goals. Penalties–Stanfield, Everett (hooking), 3:13; Birkholz, Everett (hooking), 5:45; Mort, Spokane (tripping), 17:03; Gal, Spokane (tripping), 18:08.
Second Period–1, Everett, Maxwell 22 (Stanfield), 19:31. Penalties–Marantz, Spokane (hold stick), 2:50; Baldwin, Spokane (fighting), 5:37; Spokane coach (bench minor, served by Brassart), 5:37; Ferraro, Everett (fighting), 5:37; Koper, Spokane (diving), 5:44; Johnson, Spokane (diving), 13:36.
Third Period–2, Everett, Maxwell 23 (Cumiskey), 19:46 (en). Penalties–Murray, Everett (slashing), 0:45; Kuhn, Spokane (delay of game) 12:44; Vanscourt, Spokane (boarding), 14:23.
Shots on goal–Spokane 6-11-10–29. Everett 13-17-9–39. Power-play opportunities–Spokane 0 of 3. Everett 0 of 8.
Goalies–Spokane, Engel 0-3-1-1 (38 shots, 37 saves). Everett, Siemens 5-4-0-0 (27 shots, 27 saves).
A–5,125.
Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog: http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog
Story tags » Silvertips

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