Well, at least the Tips found the net tonight. Everett ended its scoreless drought after being shut out for seven straight periods, but the Tips continued to struggle offensively. Everett created chances tonight, but too often was unable to put the puck away.
Everett's night was summed up in the final minute. With Tips goalie Daniel Cotton pulled for an extra attacker, a pass was whipped out front to Ryan Harrison. Harrison was right on top of the crease with Red Deer goalie Patrik Bartosak nowhere in sight, yet somehow his redirect went wide.
It's just not happening right now for the Tips in the offensive zone. Everett has lost seven straight, and the Tips have just 10 goals in those seven games. It's no coincidence that Everett has been without winger Joshua Winquist for the entire skid and without center Manraj Hayer for five-plus of those games. The Tips just aren't deep enough offensively to withstand losing their top two scoring forwards.
The positive for Everett tonight was the play of its 16-year-old forwards. Tyler Sandhu scored, while Ty Mappin and Dawson Leedahl both recorded assists. This was the first time the three touted rookies were on the scoresheet in the same game. With Winquist and Hayer out those three are having to play major roles, and tonight they performed well in those roles.
Red Deer controlled the first period, but it looked like the Tips would escape trailing just 1-0. However, with time winding down, Everett was unable to clear the zone, giving Tyler Ness the chance to blow a slap shot past Cotton from the top of the circle. That goal came with just 13.3 seconds remaining and gave Red Deer a two-goal lead Everett was never able to overcome.
First star: Ness. One goal and one assist, the goal was the key one.
Second star: Turner Elson, Red Deer. One assist, controlled play pretty much whenever he was on the ice.
Third star: Landon Oslanski, Everett. One goal, played as a forward instead of on defense because of Everett's injuries up front and looked good in the role.
The Herald's honorable mention: Leedahl. One assist, congratulations on the first WHL point.
Red Deer 4, Everett 2
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