This was 90 percent of a very good game by Everett. The Tips controlled play for most of the contest, outshooting Seattle 38-21, including 28-8 over the final two periods. But Everett had two issues:
1) The Tips had three lapses that led to odd-man rushes, and the T-birds converted all three.
2) Without overage forwards Joshua Winquist and Manraj Hayer available, there wasn’t enough cutting edge in front of goal.
Given who all Everett was missing, I was surprised the Tips were able to control the puck they way they did. But defensemen Cole MacDonald and Micheal Zipp, who are having to absorb the ice time that usually would usually go to the international trio of Mirco Mueller, Kevin Davis and Noah Juulsen, both played well. With just 11 forwards available Everett didn’t really play set lines, as players cycled through, but the trio of Brayden Low, Logan Aasman and Darcy DeRoose did a good job with puck possession and keeping Seattle on the defensive.
But all that possession only led to two goals. And while the Tips were able to create some quality scoring chances from that possession, it wasn’t a lot. When Winquist was out last season, Everett’s offense dried up completely. It’s unknown how long Winquist (unspecified injury) will be out this time, and Everett is a considerably better team than a year ago. But one has to wonder how the Tips are going to compensate for Winquist’s absence this time around.
Everett dominated the second period, scoring midway through to tie the score 2-2, and the Tips had chances to take the lead. But in the final minute of the period the Tips gave up yet another odd-man rush, with Seth Swenson getting the puck to Sam McKechnie all alone in front, and McKechnie scored past Lotz to restore Seattle’s lead. Thus all of Everett’s work to gain control of the game went for naught.
First star: Shea Theodore, Seattle. One goal, but honestly I didn’t think it was one of his better games against Everett.
Second star: Jujhar Khaira, Everett. One goal, skated the puck well.
Third star: Justin Myles, Seattle. 36 saves, including two beauties in the third period to preserve the lead.
The Herald’s honorable mention: Kohl Bauml, Everett. No points, but played a very good game while having to carry a heavy load up front.