By Nick Patterson Herald Writer
EVERETT — When the Everett Silvertips faced the Kamloops Blazers 10 days earlier, they somehow eked out a point despite being on the wrong end of a historic shot total.
The Tips managed to keep the shot clock level Saturday night, but the payoff ended up the same.
Everett had to settle for a single point after falling in a shootout for the second straight night, losing to the Blazers 3-2 at Comcast Arena. JC Lipon was the only player to convert in a four-round shootout as Kamloops prevailed 1-0.
However, it was a well-earned point for the Tips, who not only played a solid game against a tough opponent, but did so despite being severely short-handed.
“We fought hard, we just have to get that extra goal,” said defenseman Landon Oslanski, who scored both of Everett’s goals on slap shots from the point. “But our team played very well. We battled as hard as we could all night and just couldn’t pull through with that one extra goal.
“It would have been nice (to win one of the weekend’s shootouts), but shootouts are a tough thing,” Oslanski added. “We still came away with a point from each game, so it was still a good weekend.”
Lipon and Colin Smith scored in regulation for Kamloops (35-15-2-3), while Cole Cheveldave earned the win in goal with 28 saves.
Daniel Cotton played another solid game in net for Everett, making 30 saves.
Everett was already dealing with an injury crisis, and two more names were added to the list Saturday. Center Tyler Sandhu was injured when he was checked from behind in Friday’s 2-1 shootout loss to Tri-City and center Kohl Bauml was out sick.
With those two joining a lengthy injury list that included leading scorer Joshua Winquist and No. 1 goaltender Austin Lotz, Everett was forced to play Saturday’s game two skaters short. The injury list is comprised almost exclusively of veterans, too, meaning twelve of the 18 players who dressed for the Tips on Saturday were rookies.
That didn’t bode well for Everett, considering what happened the last time the Tips played the Blazers. When the teams met on Jan. 23 in Kamloops, the Blazers put 69 shots on Everett’s goal, which was a Silvertips franchise record for shots against. The Tips still came away with a point as a heroic performance by Lotz got the game into overtime.
But it was a different story Saturday as Everett went toe-to-toe with Kamloops, and the Tips actually had a 22-11 shot advantage after two periods.
“It was kind of a weird game because there were so few shots in the first period,” Cotton said. “The first two periods and the end of the third the team played so well in front of me. I think we outplayed them overall. It was just a good team game, it’s unfortunate we couldn’t come out with the extra point there.”
Despite having the shot advantage in the first two periods, the Tips twice had to come from behind. Smith opened the scoring just 3 minutes, 31 seconds into the game, one-timing a Tim Bozon feed past Cotton during a three-on-two rush. But Oslanski answered at 6:38, as Cheveldave could only get a piece of his pad on a slap shot from the left point.
Kamloops regained the lead with 34.2 seconds remaining in the first, Lipon redirecting Brendan Ranford’s pass from out of the air and past Cotton. But again Oslanski found the equalizer, this time on the power play at 11:54 of the second as his one-timer from the point was too powerful for Cheveldave to keep out.
The Tips had to hang on tight in the third period as the Blazers outshot Everett 17-3, with Cole Ully twice drawing iron. But Cotton did his best work in the period and the Tips held on for a point, despite the difficult circumstances.
“It’s was great,” Cotton said of how the Tips handled being short-handed. “We’re definitely misisng a lot of guys, especially some of our vets. All the younger guys have really stepped up. A lot of the rookies look like they’ve been playing in the league two or three years, so it’s been pretty impressive to watch.”
Everett’s power-play goal in the second period ended a drought of 19 consecutive fruitless power plays for the Tips. That stretch spanned parts of five games. … Among those in attendance Saturday was former Seattle Mariners star first baseman John Olerud.
Blazers 3, Silvertips 2 (SO)
Blazers won shootout 1-0
First Period—1, Kamloops, Smith 36 (Bozon, Cross), 3:31. 2, Everett, Oslanski 11 (Harrison, Petryk), 6:38. 3, Kamloops, Lipon 27 (Ranford), 19:25. Penalties—Thomson, Kamloops (tripping), 12:38; Hrbas, Kamloops (delay of game), 13:29; Oslanski, Everett (holding), 14:41; Hansen, Kamloops (roughing), 20:00; Bozon, Kamloops (unsportsmanlike conduct), 20:00; Harrison, Everett (roughing), 20:00.
Second Period—4, Everett, Oslanski 12 (Hayer, Leedahl), 11:54 (pp). Penalties—Smith, Kamloops (roughing), 11:03; Lipon, Kamloops (fighting), 17:10; Aasman, Everett (fighting), 17:10; Grist, Kamloops (cross checking), 18:29.
Third Period—no goals. Penalties—Mappin, Everett (high sticking-high sticking), 0:21; Low, Everett (tripping), 9:42; Kornelsen, Kamloops (tripping), 16:27.
Overtime—no goals. Penalties—none.
Shootout—Kamloops 1 (Bozon NG, Smith NG, Ranford NG, Lipon G); Everett 0 (Mappin NG, Hayer NG, Oslanski NG, Harrison NG).
Shots on goal—Kamloops 5-6-17-4—32. Everett 11-11-3-5—30. Power-play opportunities—Kamloops 0 of 4. Everett 1 of 6.
Goalies—Kamloops, Cheveldave 25-12-1-1 (30 shots, 28 saves). Everett, Cotton 9-11-0-2 (32 shots, 30 saves).
Check out Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at NickHPatterson.