Tonight it was all about the penalty shots. Everett was twice awarded penalty shots in the final 10 minutes of the game. Both came after Everett players were taken down from behind on breakaways, and both came in situations that would have essentially put the game away for the Tips.
On the first one, Manraj Hayer was hauled down from behind while on a short-handed breakaway, with the Tips leading 2-1 with 8:26 remaining. Hayer was shaken up on the play, and Joshua Winquist stepped in to take the penalty shot. However, Spokane goalie Garret Hughson waited out Winquist and made the save. Spokane scored on the power play 39 seconds later, and the sequence had all the feel of a turning point in favor of the Chiefs.
However, the Tips were given a second chance with 2:44 remaining when Petryk, who had fallen down behind the play and was late getting back, had a defensive-zone clear come right to him, found himself with a breakaway, and was tripped up from behind by Reid Gow. Petryk converted his attempt, sliding a shot into the corner, to give the Tips the win.
OK, maybe it wasn’t all about the penalty shots. Austin Lotz, following up on his CHL Goalie of the Week award, had another fantastic effort in goal for the Tips. Spokane had the better of the play the final two periods, and it was Lotz who made a number of big stops to hold the Chiefs at bay. The Tips also played more physical tonight, laying out a number of big hits.
Fifteen-year-old defenseman Kevin Davis, Everett’s first-round pick in the 2012 bantam draft, made his WHL debut tonight. With seven d-men dressed I figured Davis might get two or three shifts. Especially after his first pass as a WHLer was errant and led to a Spokane scoring chance. But he ended up playing a lot more than that, even getting shifts in the third period, and I’d have to say he held up well. Call-up winger Logan Aasman also received a substantial amount of ice time and held his own. One has to wonder whether Aasman will be sticking around for the long haul.
It would be easy to point to Petryk’s penalty shot. However, after the game as I was waiting outside Everett’s locker room to do interviews, Tom Lafferty walked by and pointed out that the Tips are 3-0 in games where he’s filled in for Greg Piland as the public address announcer. So I’ll give the nod to his presence.
First star: Petryk. Two goals, including the game winner.
Second star: Lotz. 33 saves, he looks very confident in net right now.
Third star: Mike Aviani, Spokane. One goal, it was a nice one.
The Herald’s honorable mention: Landon Oslanski, Everett. One very nice assist and did other good things. Eventually there will be a week where there’s no breaking news on Thursday, he isn’t moved back to defense to cover for injuries, and I can finally write the story about how well he’s playing having converted from defense to forward. I’ve had that one in the queue for about six weeks, only to be thwarted every time I plan on writing it.