KENT — Tuesday night the Everett Silvertips witnessed first-hand why Mathew Barzal is considered perhaps the best young talent in the WHL.
The 16-year-old rookie had a goal and two assists to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 5-3 victory over Everett.
Everett, which was playing a skater short because of injuries, outshot Seattle 37-22. However, the T-birds made the most of their opportunities, in large part because of moments of brilliance from Barzal.
Justin Hickman added two goals and an assist, while Roberts Lipsbergs and Alexander Delnov also scored for Seattle (33-16-2-3), which scored twice in the third period to snap a 3-3 tie. Danny Mumaugh earned the win in goal with 34 saves.
Ivan Nikolishin, Brayden Low and Joshua Winquist scored for Everett (26-20-7-1), which was missing five forwards because of injury. Daniel Cotton finished with 17 saves in net for the Tips.
Everett was all over Seattle in the first period, outshooting Seattle 21-8. However, it was Seattle that struck first at 3 minutes, 50 seconds, Barzal stealing the puck from Everett’s Cole MacDonald, then threading a pass to Hickman at the back door.
The Tips answered with a pair of goals to go ahead 2-1. Nikolishin batted the puck out of the air to himself, then fired a shot into the top corner at 5:30. Then Low put in a rebound at 11:30 following a positive move on goal by MacDonald.
But Barzal was back at it at 14:18, putting the puck in on the second attempt, and Mumaugh made a pair of big saves in the final minutes of the period as it remained 2-2 going into the second.
Seattle regained the lead 1:55 into the second as Lipsbergs was found all alone in front, and he scored past Cotton to make it 3-2.
The Tips gave the game it’s third tie at 5:56 as, on the power play, Winquist beat Mumaugh with a shot from the side boards.
Everett had two power-play chances early in the third, but couldn’t convert, then Seattle took the lead at 9:31, Delnov putting the puck in at the second attempt after an Everett turnover. Then Barzal helped give the T-birds insurance at 14:55 as his pass in transition set up Hickman for the game’s final goal.
Thunderbirds 5, Silvertips 3
Everett 2 1 0 — 3
Seattle 2 1 2 — 5
First Period—1, Seattle, Hickman 14 (Barzal), 3:50. 2, Everett, Nikolishin 14 (Fonteyne), 5:30. 3, Everett, Low 4 (MacDonald, Mueller), 11:30. 4, Seattle, Barzal 9 (Hickman, Gropp), 14:18. Penalties—Wardley, Seattle (roughing), 19:14.
Second Period—5, Seattle, Lipsbergs 31 (Troock, Maxwell), 1:55. 6, Everett, Winquist 34 (Pufahl, Leedahl), 5:56 (pp). Penalties—Hickman, Seattle (elbowing), 5:28; Lipsbergs, Seattle (tripping), 12:38; Laurencelle, Everett (tripping), 13:46.
Third Period—7, Seattle, Delnov 21 (Troock), 9:31. 8, Seattle, Hickman 15 (Barzal, Gropp), 14:55. Penalties—Maxwell, Seattle (checking from behind), 0:52; Troock, Seattle (boarding), 4:44.
Shots on goal—Everett 21-7-9—37. Seattle 8-5-9—22. Power-play opportunities—Everett 1 of 5. Seattle 0 of 1.
Goalies—Everett, Cotton 8-4-4-0 (22 shots, 17 saves). Seattle, Mumaugh 14-9-2-3 (37 shots, 34 saves).