KELOWNA, B.C. — It looks as though the Everett Silvertips still have some work to do if they want to be a contender in the Western Hockey League’s Western Conference.
Everett lost its second straight game against a conference heavyweight, falling 3-1 to the Kelowna Rockets on Friday night.
The Tips came into the week looking at back-to-back games against the two teams considered the favorites in the conference, Portland and Kelowna. Everett lost 6-3 at home to the Winterhawks on Tuesday, then couldn’t overcome the Rockets.
Special teams were the difference Friday. Kelowna converted two of its four power plays. Everett went 0-for-6, including a lengthy five-on-three.
Damon Severson’s power-play goal in the opening minute of the third period snapped a 1-1 tie and stood up as the game winner for Kelowna (21-3-0-2), which continues to own the league’s best winning percentage. Ryan Olsen scored the other two goals for the Rockets, and Jordon Cooke made 26 saves to earn the win in goal.
Carson Stadnyk scored the lone goal for Everett (20-6-4-0). Austin Lotz made 22 saves in net for the Tips.
Everett winger Joshua Winquist was held pointless, bringing his franchise-record points streak to an end. Winquist’s streak finished at 18 games. The points streak was the longest in the WHL this season.
Kelowna began the third period with a four-on-three power play, and the Rockets converted 57 seconds in to take a 2-1 lead, Severson’s shot from the point through traffic deflecting in off the post.
Everett had a great opportunity to tie the game later in the period, but Winquist put his shot off the post. Then the Rockets got the clincher with 2:38 remaining. The Tips turned the puck over in their own zone, allowing Olsen to score while all alone in front, making it 3-1.
Scoring chances were few and far between in a tight-checking first period that ended scoreless. The best opportunity fell to Kelowna’s Tyson Baillie, who had a one-timer from the slot well saved by Lotz.
The game opened up in the second period, with Everett’s Kohl Bauml splitting the defense and putting a shot off the post. The Tips then opened the scoring shortly after at 4:35. On the rush, Cooke made the first save, but Stadnyk fished out the rebound and put it in to give Everett a 1-0 lead.
The Tips had 1:05 of five-on-three shortly after, but couldn’t convert, and then it was Kelowna that scored on the power play. A shot from the point deflected off Lotz and just settled into the net, knotting the score 1-1.
Rockets 3, Silvertips 1
First Period—no goals. Penalties—Mueller, Everett (high sticking), 6:57; Martin, Kelowna (hooking), 9:55; Gatenby, Kelowna (delay of game), 14:46.
Second Period—1, Everett, Stadnyk 7 (Khaira, DeRoose), 4:35. 2, Kelowna, Olsen 10 (Stadel, Severson), 10:55 (pp). Penalties—Martin, Kelowna (hooking), 4:52; Lees, Kelowna (cross checking), 5:48; DeRoose, Everett (kneeing), 10:49; Olsen, Kelowna (charging), 15:53; Bauml, Everett (roughing), 19:19; Merkley, Kelowna (roughing), 19:19; Winquist, Everett (cross checking), 20:00.
Third Period—3, Kelowna, Severson 8 (Baillie, Bell), 0:57 (pp). 4, Kelowna, Olsen 11, 17:22. Penalties—Adam, Everett (roughing), 6:36; Heffley, Kelowna (roughing), 6:36; Baillie, Kelowna (tripping), 16:02; Pufahl, Everett (high sticking), 16:32.
Shots on goal—Everett 6-13-8—27. Kelowna 5-9-11—25. Power-play opportunities—Everett 0 of 6. Kelowna 2 of 4.
Goalies—Everett, Lotz 15-5-1-0 (25 shots, 22 saves). Kelowna, Cooke 16-1-0-2 (27 shots, 26 saves).