Everett has had the unfortunate habit in recent weeks of outplaying its opponent, but winding up on the wrong end of the result. That’s been particularly true in games against Seattle. When Everett dominated the first period tonight, but missed all kinds of great chances and ended up with just a 1-0 lead, it had the feeling of being another of those nights. But this time the Tips found a way to win in what was a thrilling game before a packed house and a television audience.
Everett began the game in grand fashion, with a goal 1:41 in, and the Tips could have been ahead 5-0 by the end of the first period, given their domination of play and creation of scoring chances. But Everett couldn’t convert — including what had to be the miss of the season by Logan Aasman — and led just 1-0 after one. But Mirco Mueller finally found the net midway through the third to give the Tips the all-important two-goal advantage. Seattle got back within one with 1:03 remaining with the goalie pulled, and it was nail-biting time the rest of the way (really, the entire third period was an all-action nail biter), but the Tips held on.
This ended up being a perfect night for the Tips with regards to the race for sixth place in the Western Conference, as not only did Everett win, but Vancouver, Tri-City and Prince George all lost in regulation. Therefore, the Tips are back within two points of Vancouver with three games in hand, and they bumped their lead over Tri-City and Prince George to six and eight points, respectively.
Lastly, have I ever mentioned how compelling games between Everett and Seattle have been? It’s been 11 years, can we please have our first Everett-Seattle playoff series?
This game could have turned at so many moments. But Mueller’s goal, as his shot from the left point through traffic found the far corner, was so critical.
First star: Mueller. One goal and one assist, also made a great long outlet pass to set up Everett’s first goal.
Second star: Austin Lotz, Everett. 17 saves, if Mueller’s goal wasn’t the critical moment, then Lotz’s amazing glove save on Alexander Delnov with 2:39 remaining probably was.
Third star: Dawson Leedahl, Everett. One goal, staked the Tips to their early lead with a good finish.
The Herald’s honorable mention: Evan Wardley, Seattle. No points, but was a big physical presence, particularly in the first period.