By Nick Patterson Herald Writer
EVERETT — Who would have thought tracking down Mike Wallace, Morley Safer and the late Andy Rooney would be so difficult? Nevertheless, no matter how often the Everett Silvertips click their remote controls and flip through the television channels, they seem unable to locate 60 minutes.
Once again the Tips showed flashes of what they’re capable of accomplishing when they put together a full effort, but once again that effort was not sustained for an entire game as Everett fell 5-3 to the Spokane Chiefs on Sunday evening at Comcast Arena.
Everett played an inspired third period in which the Tips dominated play. But by then Everett was in a 5-2 hole that was too deep to overcome.
And afterward it was a familiar, frustrating refrain that emanated from the Everett locker room.
“The first two periods we didn’t play very good hockey,” Everett captain Ryan Murray said. “We had to come back with a push, and I thought we did that. At the same time it’s a shame we can’t do that for the entire 60 minutes, and that’s something we really have to work on.
“We’ve seen that when we compete and play hard we can play with anybody,” Murray added. “But at the same time when we lower that compete level, you don’t stand a chance of winning games when you don’t compete for 60 minutes.”
Mike Aviani and Mitch Holmberg scored 26 seconds apart in the first period as Spokane quickly turned a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead. Blake Gal scored a back-breaking short-handed goal midway through the second as Spokane completed a sweep of three games in three nights in three different cities.
“It’s our fourth in five and we’ve had some tough games,” Spokane coach Don Nachbaur said. “It was a tough weekend for us. But we’re happy with the results.
“I thought the first 40 minutes were strong,” Nachbaur added. “I thought Everett really came at us in the third and had us on our heels, I tip my hat to their effort. But at the same time I thought we really backed off and we looked like we were fatigued.”
Todd Fiddler and Marek Kalus also scored for Spokane (20-13-2-3), while Eric Williams stopped 27 shots in goal for the Chiefs.
Murray, Kohl Bauml and Trent Lofthouse scored for Everett (7-25-1-7), which heads into Tuesday’s trade deadline with the worst record in the league. Kent Simpson made 29 saves in goal for the Tips.
Everett came on strong in the third period, outshooting Spokane 17-5 and outscoring the Chiefs 1-0. But that third-period play was nowhere to be found during the first two, particularly in the second period when Spokane outshot the Tips 15-2.
The second period was encapsulated during a four-minute Everett power play. The Tips didn’t manage a single shot on goal during the four minutes, and toward the end of it Gal converted a short-handed breakaway to twist the knife even further.
A tongue lashing from coach Mark Ferner during the second intermission seemed to spark the Tips in the third. But Ferner is tired of having to resort to such tactics.
“I don’t know if you need to raise your voice every time to get them to play hard, but it shouldn’t be like that,” Ferner said. “It has to be in you. It’s the same song we’ve been singing: Our older guys need to be better. They need to lead by example, and right now our younger guys are the ones who are bringing the work ethic.
“We need to work,” Ferner added. “It’s not an option. We can’t take shifts off. It’s something I’ve been preaching from day one. It needs to be non-negotiable, and we have some guys who are finding it too hard to work up to my expectations. I don’t know if it’s not in their make-up, or if they think there’s an easier way. But there is no easy way. If you want to make it in this game, the one thing that has to stay consistent is work ethic, and right now we’ve got some guys who are finding the easiest way to play.”
Everett actually led 2-1 midway through the first period. Murray’s slap shot while crossing the blue line was flubbed by Williams, followed by Bauml’s redirect in front on the power play, nullified Fiddler’s opening tally. But within 1:08 Spokane was back in the lead. Aviani finished off a nice passing move following an Everett turnover in the neutral zone a mere 42 seconds later to tie it. Then after another 26 seconds the Chiefs took the lead, Holmberg putting a rebound under Simpson after Simpson kicked the initial shot straight out.
Then the Chiefs extended their lead in the second, rendering Everett’s strong third period meaningless.
Chiefs 5, Silvertips 3
First Period—1, Spokane, Fiddler 8 (Uher, Holmberg), 4:39. 2, Everett, Murray 4, 5:20. 3, Everett, Bauml 6 (Harrison, Winquist), 12:17. 4, Spokane, Aviani 5 (Chartier, Kichton), 12:59. 5, Spokane, Holmberg 16 (Fiddler, Uher), 13:25. Penalties—Valcourt, Spokane (fighting), 2:49; Grayson, Everett (fighting), 2:49; Gow, Spokane (tripping), 11:32; Hauptman, Spokane (checking from behind), 14:03; Chartier, Spokane (charging), 15:48.
Second Period—6, Spokane, Gal 7 (Stewart, Vandane), 10:31 (sh). 7, Spokane, Kalus 11 (Kichton), 16:06 (pp). Penalties—Valcourt, Spokane (boarding-boarding), 7:18; Bauml, Everett (charging), 12:23; McPhee, Everett (slashing), 15:43.
Third Period—8, Everett, Lofthouse 2 (Grayson, Erricson), 14:01 (pp). Penalties—Birkholz, Everett (high sticking), 0:16; Hauptman, Spokane (spearing-spearing), 10:27; Kalus, Spokane (unsportsmanlike conduct), 16:31; Fowlie, Everett (unsportsmanlike conduct), 16:31.
Shots on goal—Spokane 14-15-5—34. Everett 11-2-17—30. Power-play opportunities—Spokane 1 of 3. Everett 2 of 7.
Goalies—Spokane, Williams 9-17-1-2 (30 shots, 27 saves). Everett, Simpson 6-20-1-5 (34 shots, 29 saves).