EVERETT — A season that began with just one win in the first seven games has now produced a four-game winning streak and a much more promising outlook for the Everett Silvertips.
On Friday night, with division rival Spokane in the house, the Silvertips combined an offensive outburst through two periods with some hold-on-for-dear-life defense in the final period for a 6-5 Western Hockey League victory at Comcast Arena.
Everett got two goals from center Kohl Bauml, and new goalkeeper Daniel Cotton picked up his first home victory as the Tips improved to 6-7-0-1 in the young WHL season. But after leading 4-1 through one period and 6-2 through two, Everett watched the visitors score three times in the final 20 minutes to turn an apparent romp into a nail-biter.
The closing moments were “scary,” admitted Bauml, who got his fifth and sixth goals of the season. “We took it to them for the first two periods, but then we kind of let our foot off the pedal in the third period and they scored three quick ones.
“We were kind of hitting the panic button for a little while, but we managed to hold them off.”
“For two periods I thought it was pretty good,” Everett coach Mark Ferner said. “But I thought maybe a little bit of panic set in when it was 6-3 and then 6-4, and by that time I was just trying to settle the guys down. … It’s a learning curve for our guys, and that’s something we talked about after the game. We just need to stem the tide.”
Cotton, who was acquired in a trade with Seattle after an Oct. 6 groin injury to regular goalie Austin Lotz, improved to 5-2 in Everett’s goal. He was stout through the first two periods of his first home start and then, like his teammates, got a little shaky in the final period.
“He let a couple in, and he probably would like to have one or two of them back,” Ferner said. “But it was his first start at home and I’m sure he was pretty nervous.”
Everett used early goals from Tyler Sandhu and Reid Petryk for a 2-0 lead. Evidently stunned by the Everett onslaught, Spokane decided to change the game’s flavor with some rough stuff, and in the space of just over two minutes three fights broke out with the Chiefs drawing two instigator penalties.
In total, there were six major fighting penalties split between the two teams, and three 10-minute misconduct penalties, all to Spokane.
The punches didn’t help a bit. Less than four minutes after the third and final skirmish, Everett’s Mirco Mueller scored for a 3-0 margin. Spokane countered with a goal, but Bauml replied 16 seconds later for a 4-1 lead.
That was it for Spokane goalie Eric Williams, who retired to the bench and was replaced by Garret Hughson.
Spokane scored first in the second period, but the Tips came back with goals by Bauml and defenseman Ben Betker — his first career WHL goal — for a 6-2 edge heading to the final period.
By the late minutes it was 6-5, and for the final 70 seconds Hughson was on the bench as the Chiefs went with an extra attacker. They had chances, but in the end the Tips were able to hold on to raise their winning string to four.
It was Everett’s first home game since a six-game trip to the WHL’s East Division, “and sometimes after a long road trip the effort’s not there,” Ferner said. “But for the most part I thought it was tonight.
“All in all, for 40 minutes I thought we were pretty good,” he said. “Now for 60 minutes, that’s what we’re shooting for.”
Silvertips 6, Chiefs 5
First Period—1, Everett, Sandhu 2 (Murray, Mueller), 3:33. 2, Everett, Petryk 4 (Harrison, Cox), 7:50. 3, Everett, Mueller 2 (Stadnyk, Murray), 15:17. 4, Spokane, Chartier 1 (Gow, Stewart), 17:16. 5, Everett, Bauml 5 (Harrison, Betker), 17:32. Penalties—Valcourt Spo (major-fighting), 9:22; Soumelidis Evt (major-fighting), 9:22; Playfair Spo (10-minute misconduct), 11:15; Walchuk Spo (instigator, major-fighting, 10-minute misconduct), 11:15; Walters Evt (roughing, major-fighting), 11:15; Proft Spo (instigator, major-fighting, 10-minute misconduct), 11:37; MacDonald Evt (major-fighting), 11:37; served by Lofthouse Evt (too many men), 13:49.
Second Period—6, Spokane, Gow 2 (Aviani), 2:38. 7, Everett, Bauml 6 (Petryk, Oslanski), 5:41. 8, Everett, Betker 1 (Soumelidis, Lofthouse), 13:50. Penalties-Gow Spo (ob-tripping), 0:33; Aviani Spo (roughing), 11:17.
Third Period—9, Spokane, Walchuk 4 (Chartier, Fiddler), 5:14. 10, Spokane, Fiddler 6, 5:53. 11, Spokane, Fiddler 7 (Fram, Gow), 15:54. Penalties—Leedahl Evt (delay of game), 11:43.
Shots on Goal-Spokane 10-12-12-34. Everett 9-12-5-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Spokane 0 / 2; Everett 0 / 3.
Goalies-Spokane, Williams 7-3-0-0 (8 shots-4 saves); Hughson 1-1-0-0 (18 shots-16 saves). Everett, Cotton 5-2-0-0 (34 shots-29 saves).