What's worse? Getting blown out on opening night? Or giving up a three-goal third-period lead before losing in a shootout the next? It was another soul-crushing defeat for the Tips tonight at the hands of the Cougars, but in a completely different way. Everett was in total control through two periods, leading 6-3. But the Tips couldn't hold the lead, then fell 4-3 in a seven-round shootout. The Tips got passive in the third period, and for the second straight night Everett's goaltender struggled.
But it was progress from opening night, so let's accentuate the positives:
- Everett found offense. The Tips rarely created anything Saturday in getting shut out. But they were much better on the offensive end tonight, particularly on the power play as Everett went 4-for-7.
- Manraj Hayer returned from his suspension and was fantastic, tallying three assists and creating all kinds of problems for the Cougars with his skating. His hustle on the penalty kill was what drew Jari Erricson's five-minute major penalty for checking to the head -- and Hayer was fortunate to escape that hit without getting seriously hurt.
- Tyler Sandhu had an excellent, excellent game for a 16-year-old in just his second WHL contest. Two gorgeous passes to set up Josh Winquist goals, and good work as a penalty killer. There was a reader a while back who questioned why Sandhu made the team. Watching tonight's performance easily answers that question.
- Landon Oslanski was bombing away from the blue line. If he shows that kind of power and accuracy on his shot all season long, Everett will get as much offensive production from its blue line this season as it has in years.
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