Saturday night the Tips found a way to win without him.
With star defenseman Ryan Murray on the sidelines injured, Everett battled back thrice from deficits to defeat the Vancouver Giants 6-5 at Comcast Arena.
Reid Petryk scored his second goal of the game with less than five minutes remaining to snap a 5-5 tie as the Tips overcame their latest bout of adversity.
"(Murray) is a key guy to our lineup, you really can't fill his spot," Petryk said. "But I think we showed our character today. It was a good win."
Murray suffered a dislocated shoulder during Friday night's 5-0 defeat at Victoria. Murray was marking a Victoria attacker on a one-on-one when the players collided. Murray felt his shoulder on the collision, then the problem was compounded when he fell awkwardly on the shoulder on the ice.
The full extent of the injury is not yet known, but there's a good chance it could be a matter of months rather than weeks. Murray, who was selected second overall in this year's NHL draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets, is scheduled to travel to Columbus next week to undergo an MRI once the swelling goes down in his shoulder.
"I just feel so bad for him," Everett coach Mark Ferner said. "He's been such a great soldier for this organization and is such a great person. It's a terrible thing.
"You can't replace a guy like Ryan Murray," Ferner added. "We're devastated by it, we feel terrible for him. We just asked the guys to go play hard for each other, and that's what they did."
Even without Murray the Tips managed to open the offensive floodgates that have been jammed shut most of the season. The six goals not only matched a season high, they were one more than Everett scored in its previous six games combined. Nick Walters, Landon Oslanski, Tyler Sandhu and Ty Mappin also found the net for Everett (8-14-0-2).
"I think we just shot the puck on the net, drove the net and made sure we buried our chances tonight," was Petryk's explanation for the offensive outburst.
Austin Lotz earned the win in goal, making 21 saves.
Brett Kulak, Anthony Ast, Kale Kessy, Trevor Cheek and Taylor Vickerman scored for Vancouver (7-14-0-0). Payton Lee stopped 21 shots in net for the Giants.
Everett had already trailed twice in the game as the third period began with the score tied 4-4, and the Tips fell behind again 4 minutes, 53 seconds into the third when Vickerman got around the defense and slid a shot under Lotz.
But the Tips found a way to rally one more time. Oslanski took advantage of a Vancouver turnover down low, drew the defense, then fed a pass to Mappin, whose shot just got through Lee at 11:13 to make it 5-5.
Then Petryk gave the Tips the lead for good at 15:30. Mirco Mueller put a perfect pass off the boards, releasing Petryk past the Vancouver defense. Petryk made a move to his backhand and scored around Lee to complete the comeback.
"Games like this reveal your character, and they came out and played hard," Ferner said of his players. "It was back and forth, they stuck with it and found a way to win a hockey game."
Vancouver opened the scoring 8:14 into the game when Kulak beat Lotz with a shot off the rush.
But the Tips turned the game dramatically with three goals in 3:05. Walters tied it at 10:42 when he stepped into a one-timer and ripped a shot into the top corner. Oslanski gave Everett the lead at 12:42 when his one-timer on the power play found its way under Lee. Then Sandhu made it 3-1 at 13:47 with another power-play goal, his centering feed banking off a defender and under Lee. The three goals in 3:05 were the fastest three goals the Tips have scored this season.
The Giants got back within one at 17:44, Dalton Sward's no-look backhand pass from behind the net finding Ast in front with Lotz stranded.
Vancouver then went ahead with a pair of second-period goals. Kessy scored on a rebound on the power play at 6:05 and Cheek spun home a rebound at 12:50 to give the Giants the lead.
Everett tied it back up with 40.9 seconds remaining in the period, Petryk finishing off a scramble in front.
Everett welcomed defenseman Austin Adam back to the lineup Saturday. Adam had been out since the opening weekend of the season because of a broken hand. ... Vancouver was without key winger Marek Tvrdon. Tvrdon is out for the season because of a blood clot issue.
Silvertips 6, Giants 5
Vancouver 2 2 1 -- 5
Everett 3 1 2 -- 6
First Period--1, Vancouver, Kulak 4 (Sieben, Foster), 8:14. 2, Everett, Walters 1, 10:42. 3, Everett, Oslanski 7 (Walters), 12:42 (pp). 4, Everett, Sandhu 6 (Hayer), 13:47 (pp). 5, Vancouver, Ast 3 (Sward), 17:44. Penalties--Cooke, Vancouver (kneeing), 2:01; Kieser, Vancouver (tripping), 11:11; Sward, Vancouver (slashing), 13:09; Vannieuwenhuizen, Vancouver (instigator-fighting-10-minute misconduct), 16:24; Grayson, Everett (checking to the head-fighting), 16:24; Kessy, Vancouver (unsportsmanlike conduct), 18:59.
Second Period--6, Vancouver, Kessy 7 (Cheek, Kulak), 6:05 (pp). 7, Vancouver, Cheek 9 (Kieser), 12:50. 8, Everett, Petryk 6 (Soumelidis, Bauml), 19:19. Penalties--Geertsen, Vancouver (cross checking), 3:40; Walters, Everett (interference), 5:50; Orban, Vancouver (fighting), 12:13; Soumelidis, Everett (fighting), 12:13; Petryk, Everett (checking to the head), 15:35; Kessy, Vancouver (interference), 19:27.
Third Period--9, Vancouver, Vickerman 2 (Geertsen), 4:53. 10, Everett, Mappin 2 (Oslanski), 11:13. 11, Everett, Petryk 7 (Mueller), 15:30. Penalties--none.
Shots on goal--Vancouver 8-9-9--26. Everett 9-13-5--27. Power-play opportunities--Vancouver 1 of 2. Everett 2 of 6.
Goalies--Vancouver, Lee 4-3-0-0 (27 shots, 21 saves). Everett, Lotz 3-8-0-1 (26 shots, 21 saves).
Check out Nick Patterson's Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at NickHPatterson.
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