What to do about Kyle Beach? The guy has all the talent in the world, and then he has moments of madness like this. It’s not often I’m willing to put the responsibility for a loss on one player, but there’s no other possible conclusion tonight. Beach took a major penalty for checking from behind — his third bad penalty of the game — midway through the third period of a 1-1 game in which Everett was playing well and had to win. Seattle scored twice during the ensuing five-minute power play to win the game. All three of Seattle’s goals came following Beach penalties.
Beach was at his absolute worst tonight. From the moment Thomas Hickey caught him in the first period (see below) he was seeing red the rest of the way, more concerned with exacting revenge than playing the game. Frankly, I’m surprised he lasted in the game as long as he did. During a scrum after the whistle next to the Seattle goal later in the first he caught Seattle goaltender Riku Helenius up high with his stick, and I thought he was going to go there. Expect Beach to end up with a suspension, one that perhaps lasts into the playoffs.
Anyway, any Everett hope at home-ice in the first round is gone now, and the Tips have their work cut out if they want fifth. Kelowna leads Everett by a point, and although the Tips have two games remaining to just one for the Rockets, Everett has road games against playoff teams Chilliwack and Seattle, while Kelowna is at home against non-playoff team Prince George. Therefore the Tips will probably have to win each of their remaining two games to finish fifth.
No doubt about it, Beach’s major penalty turned this one.
HIT OF THE DAY
Midway through the first period Hickey ducked under an onrushing Beach and flipped him high into the air, professional wrestling style. Beach went into a rage, immediately taking a roughing penalty on Hickey in response.
First star: Bud Holloway, Seattle. Scored the game-winning goal and was always a threat.
Second star: David Richard, Seattle. Two assists, but I thought several other T-bird forwards were more of a threat.
Third star: Shane Harper, Everett. Scored Everett’s goal.
The Herald’s honorable mention: Zack Dailey-Matt Ius-Lukas Vartovnik, Everett. Everett’s nominal checking line was the Tips’ best tonight.
Everett had Beach (cheek) and defenseman Chris de la Lande (leg) back from their injuries, meaning the Tips had just defenseman Taylor Ellington (foot) scratched because of injury. Beach played in a full face shield to protect his broken orbital. Forwards Tyler Skauge, Tyler Eskesen and Cameron Abney and defensemen Jeff Regier and Brenden Stephen were healthy scratches.
Seattle was without forward Charles Wells (knee) and defenseman Steve Chaffin (concussion) because of injuries, while forward Brenden Silvester and defenseman Erik Fleming were healthy scratches. The T-birds gave a WHL debut to 16-year-old forward Steve Oursov, and call-up defenseman Brad Haber was also included.