EVERETT — One moment moment it looked like Kohl Bauml would be adding his name to the long-term injury list. A half-hour later he scored the game-winning goal.
Just consider it the great Bauml resurrection of 2013.
The Everett Silvertips center recovered from a nasty-looking hit to pot the game’s only goal as the Tips defeated the Kamloops Blazers 1-0 in a tense affair Saturday night at Comcast Arena.
Bauml took a huge open-ice hit from Kamloops defenseman Ryan Rehill midway through the second period of a scoreless game, a hit that resulted in a five-minute major penalty for interference and a game misconduct for Rehill. Bauml remained prone on the ice for several moments, drawing athletic trainer Marc Paquet onto the ice.
But Bauml eventually left the ice under his own power, and after a trip to the locker room he returned to the bench. Then 13 seconds into the third period he scored the goal that stood up as the game winner.
“That was probably the biggest hit I’ve taken since coming into this league, probably my whole career,” Bauml said. “It felt like I hit a wall. Marc took me into the room and checked me out. I was a little stiff, what big hit isn’t going to make you a little sore.
“It’s always nice to help the team win,” Bauml added. “Coming back from the big hit maybe makes it a little more special. But I wasn’t planning on missing a shift if Marc was OK with it. I was happy I could get back out there.”
It wasn’t long before Bauml produced the game’s decisive moment. On the first shift of the third period, Tips defenseman Matt Pufahl pinched from the left point, and his centering feed created havoc in front of the Kamloops goal. Bauml was eventually able to flip a backhander over a downed Taran Kozun to give Everett the lead, and ultimately the victory.
The Tips also received another quality goaltending performance from Austin Lotz. Lotz wasn’t required to do too much, as he faced just 23 shots. However, he made the saves when required, particularly during the third period when the Blazers made their push. The shutout was his second of the season.
Meanwhile, Kamloops goalie Kozun was performing miracles at the other end. Not only did he stop 37 of the 38 shots he saw, two were Plays of the Week quality as he committed highway robbery on Manraj Hayer in the second period and Joshua Winquist in the third.
“He definitely gave them a chance to win,” Bauml said of Kozun. “He made some pretty unbelievable saves. You have to give him credit, he kept them in the game the whole time. But at the same time Lotzy did the same for us. He didn’t have to make the spectacular saves, but he made the key saves when we needed it.”
When Everett did manage to get the puck past Kozun, it hit the backboards instead of the net. The Tips had several instances where they got the puck into good scoring positions, only to blaze shots high or wide. Everett may have had 38 shots on goal, but it easily could have eclipsed 50 had the Tips been more accurate.
Nevertheless, the Tips were encouraged by the shot total, particular given they managed just 19 on net in their 4-2 loss at Spokane on Friday.
“We had lots of good moments,” Bauml said. “We shot the puck a lot, that’s what we were harping on, and the coaches were really getting on us to shoot the puck more. We kind of got away from that last couple games, so we did that really well tonight. We had a couple mental lapses at times and they kind of took it to us a little bit. Bit overall I thought that was one of our better games in a while.”
There was plenty of action during the first period, but no goals. Everett had to kill off a five-on-three midway through the period. During the first of those penalties Winquist was awarded a penalty shot after he was hacked down on a short-handed breakaway, but although he managed to get the puck under Kozun, it slid just wide. Then when Everett got a power play of its own late in the period, Kozun made an impossible save when he came out of nowhere to glove Hayer’s shot at the back door.
Everett then had all kinds of power play time in the second period, but was completely ineffective with the advantage. The Tips were more dangerous late in the period while the teams were at even strength, but Everett kept putting its shots wide as it remained scoreless going into the third.
After Bauml scored his goal early in the third, Kamloops turned up the heat. But the Tips absorbed the pressure, and with three minutes remaining Everett could have clinched it, only for Kozun to make another unbelievable save, denying Winquist at the back door.
Saturday’s game marked the first return to Everett of former Silvertips head coach Mark Ferner. Ferner, who was fired by Everett in January, is now Kamloops’ associate coach. … Everett was without two forwards as center Jujhar Khaira (upper body) and winger Patrick Bajkov (undisclosed) were both scratched. The Tips have just 12 forwards on the roster, therefore Everett dressed all eight of its defensemen, with Cole MacDonald and Micheal Zipp playing as forwards.
Silvertips 1, Blazers 0
Kamloops 0 0 0—0
Everett 0 0 1—1
First Period—no goals. Penalties—Hayer, Everett (tripping), 10:11; Leedahl, Everett (hooking), 11:36; Connolly, Kamloops (delay of game), 16:00.
Second Period—no goals. Penalties—Sterzer, Kamloops (hooking), 0:39; Cross, Kamloops (hooking), 2:41; Rehill, Kamloops (major-interference-fighting-game misconduct), 6:48; Adam, Everett (instigator-fighting-10-minute misconduct), 6:48.
Third Period—1, Everett, Bauml 3 (Aasman, Pufahl), 0:13. Penalties—Grist, Kamloops (checking from behind), 19:29.
Shots on goal—Kamloops 8-2-13—23. Everett 12-12-14—38. Power-play opportunities—Kamloops 0 of 2. Everett 0 of 5.
Goalies—Kamloops, Kozun 1-6-0-0 (38 shots, 37 saves). Everett, Lotz 6-2-1-0 (23 shots, 23 saves).
Check out Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at NickHPatterson.