Silvertips feel better after snapping losing streak
Friday's 3-0 victory at Tri-City ended a seven-game losing streak, and the Tips are enjoying their time off a lot more since they don't have to stew over an eight-game skid.
"It's been tough," Everett coach Mark Ferner said Tuesday following practice at the Comcast Community Ice Rink. "The mental side is important as far as confidence is concerned. The kids have been going out and doing everything they're asked to do, we just weren't getting the result.
"I'm certainly happy for the kids," Ferner added. "I think we deserved a better result than what we've been getting. We've been working hard, we just haven't getting the result we were looking for. It was a good effort and a real good win for our mindset alone."
Friday's game was the final game of a seven-games-in-11-days stretch that included heavy travel, a stretch in which the Tips also had to deal with missing key personnel. So it was a relief for Everett to end on a winning note.
"After that seven-game stint where we couldn't get it done, we just knew our luck was going to change," Tips goaltender Austin Lotz said. "It did for the better, after all that hard work.
"Things are a little lighter in the room," Lotz added. "It was getting pretty tough when we were losing that much. But people are definitely a little more excited to come to the rink every day. It's a better atmosphere."
Lotz was a key component in ending the losing streak. The 17-year-old sophomore stopped all 34 shots he faced for his first career shutout in his 28th WHL appearance.
"It felt great to finally get it because it's been a while," Lotz said.
"I was feeling pretty good, but the team played a full 60 minutes," Lotz added. "I can't honestly say it was all me, it was them. It was a team stat. They helped me out, they were huge, and without them I wouldn't have been able to do it."
Even though the losing streak is now over, Ferner wasn't unhappy with Everett's play during the stretch, and he still believes the Tips are on the right track.
"The process is important," Ferner said. "Regardless of what the score is, it's making sure we stay focused and in the process. We know what we are and what we're going to be. It's just a matter of making sure we're patient with this group."
Everett, which has been playing short-handed because of injuries and illness, is expecting to get players back soon.
Ferner said center Manraj Hayer (upper body) and defenseman Austin Adam (broken hand) both might return during the upcoming three-in-three weekend. Hayer remains tied for the team lead in scoring among forwards, despite missing the past six games. Adam has been out since the opening weekend of the season. Both practiced Tuesday.
Overage winger Ryan Harrison sat out Tuesday's practice. Harrison tweaked a knee when he was hit by Tri-City's Michal Plutnar on Friday. Harrison is scheduled to undergo an MRI for precautionary reasons, but is listed as day to day.
Winger Joshua Winquist, tied with Hayer for the team lead in scoring among forwards, remains out indefinitely because of mononucleosis.
Low added to roster
The Tips addressed their depth issue up front by adding center Brayden Low to the roster.
Low, an 18-year-old from Richmond, B.C., was playing for the Powell River Kings of the British Columbia Hockey League, where he had four goals and five assists in 14 games. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Low, originally a seventh-round pick in the 2009 bantam draft by the Portland Winterhawks, was recently added to Everett's 50-player protected list.
Low's addition gives the Tips 24 players on their roster -- 13 forwards, nine defensemen and two goaltenders.
Check out Nick Patterson's Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at NickHPatterson.
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