EVERETT — As the Everett Silvertips prepare for one last three-game weekend before the annual holiday break, a quick glance at the stats finds winger Bryce Kindopp sixth on the team with nine goals.
It’s a total bolstered by three goals in two games last weekend, but it’s also quite possibly the quietest nine goals scored by a Silvertips player this season.
That’s just fine by Kindopp.
“I just like getting the job done — if I have to block a shot, or get pucks out, get pucks in and play a simple game,” he said. “If the goals start coming I’m OK with that. But I don’t worry about it too much.”
From a statistical standpoint Kindopp had his best game of the season Sunday in a 4-3 win over the Tri-City Americans in Kennewick. He had a power-play goal and a power-play assist in the second period before scoring the game-winning goal with 18 seconds to play as the red-hot Silvertips (19-12-1-1, 40 points) won their ninth straight game.
It’s the performance of players like Kindopp who have played critical roles in Everett’s current winning streak.
“He’s the type of player that a team needs for success, but fans may not know who he is,” said head coach Dennis Williams, noting that he meant the statement in a complimentary way. “You might come to a game and maybe he’s got a goal or an assist, but the fact that he plays 16, 17 minutes is so valuable to our team. I know the appreciation from his teammates and his coaching staff is right there of what he brings, and we’ve relied on him.”
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Kindopp was a third-round pick by Everett in the 2014 bantam draft. A native of Lloydminster, Alberta, Kindopp played in three games as a 15-year-old during the 2014-15 season and in only one game during his 16-year-old season in 2015-16.
Last year as a rookie he scored seven goals with seven assists in 60 contests.
He’s already matched his 14 points from last season with nine goals and five assists so far this season. That’s likely due in no small part to Kindopp’s becoming a fixture on Everett’s second line alongside Riley Sutter and Connor Dewar.
“They see me on the ice, they communicate all the time, I just get to an open area and they find me,” Kindopp said. “They both work hard and the smarts they have are unbelievable. They know where to put the puck. I just have to make room for them and they get the job done.”
Getting that second line together was a work in progress. Williams and assistant coach Mitch Love experimented with numerous combinations in the early season as the Silvertips sought to find their identity.
Kindopp began the season mostly playing on Everett’s third line, but jumped up to join Sutter and Dewar in a 5-4 loss at Medicine Hat. Two nights later, Kindopp scored twice in a 4-3 win at Lethbridge. He has been alongside Dewar and Sutter since.
“All people take awhile to get used to, but I felt like we jelled together pretty quickly,” said Sutter, who has 10 goals and 11 assists. “We had a chance to play together in preseason and a little bit last year. I think we’ve come a long way since the start of the year. We still have some things to improve on, but I think we’ve really played well the last couple weeks.”
Everett takes its nine-game winning streak to Spokane at 7:05 p.m. Friday when the Tips take on the Chiefs at Spokane Arena. Carter Hart shut out the Chiefs last week at what is now Angel of the Winds Arena. Everett is 2-1 against Spokane this season.
The Silvertips return home Saturday to take on the Prince George Cougars and conclude the first half of the season against Portland on Sunday afternoon.
Look for Kindopp to continue performing his role in his unassuming fashion alongside his higher profile teammates.
“He’s a quiet hockey player, but he goes about his work,” Williams said. “He’s kind of that secondary guy that plays a lot of valuable minutes, and he’s really contributed to our team’s success the last three or four weeks with what he brings night-in and night-out. He’s getting rewarded.”
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