EVERETT — The Everett Silvertips couldn’t have suffered a more deflating defeat than they did in Saturday’s season opener.
But Sunday night they gave it a run for its money.
One night after opening the season by being blown out, Everett found a new way to experience a crushing defeat, surrendering a three-goal third-period lead before falling 7-6 in a shootout to the Prince George Cougars at Comcast Arena.
Everett suffered the indignity of beginning its 10th season in the Western Hockey League by being drubbed 6-0 by Prince George on Saturday. The Tips were much improved on Sunday and were worthy of the point they earned. However, the third-period collapse left Everett’s frustration levels at the same peak volume as they were following Saturday’s loss.
“We need to play a full 60 minutes of hockey, not 40,” said Everett defenseman Landon Oslanski, whose two goals and two assists weren’t enough for the Tips. “I think we let the game get to our head in the third period. We stayed tight and we only played 40 minutes.”
Alex Forsberg, Marc McNulty and Caleb Belter scored third-period goals to get Prince George into overtime. Then the Cougars prevailed 4-3 in a seven-round shootout, Jordan Tkatch making the game winner.
“I just told the guys in the second period that we just need to get more pucks to the net,” Prince George coach Dean Clark said. “We were kind of guilty of trying to be too perfect and setting up perfect plays instead of just shooting pucks. I think once we got the fourth one, we kind of had the notion that if we kept doing it we could get it there. Sure enough, we did.”
Daulton Siwak added two goals and Daniel Gibb also scored for the Cougars (2-0-0-0), who swept the Tips in their weekend twinbill. Brett Zarowny made 33 saves to earn the win in goal for Prince George.
Josh Winquist found the net twice for Everett (0-1-0-1). Kohl Bauml and Ryan Murray also scored, and Manraj Hayer marked his return to the lineup with three assists.
Cole Holowenko had a difficult time in goal for the Tips, allowing six goals on 38 shots and allowing four of Prince George’s seven shooters to score in the shootout. Everett continued its shootout struggles from last season, when the Tips went 2-8 in the tiebreaker.
Former Silvertip Jari Erricson had a controversial night. Erricson, traded to Prince George in the offseason after spending two seasons with the Tips, was ejected in the second period for a checking-to-the-head major penalty.
A disastrous third period did Everett in. The Tips were in complete control heading into the third and retained their three-goal cushion through the first eight minutes. However, Forsberg led a three-on-one break and picked out the corner himself to get Prince George within two at 8:11.
Then late in the period Prince George scored twice in 25 seconds. McNulty and Belter both finished off scrambles in front, McNulty at 16:35 and Belter at 17:00, to get Prince George into overtime.
“In the third period we had a lot of penalties and a lot of power plays,” Everett coach Mark Ferner said. “I thought we had a pretty good 40 minutes and a pretty good grasp on the game. We talked about the details after the second period, making sure we were looking after the puck.
“They’re all hard, a loss is a loss,” Ferner added. “But I felt we played a lot better tonight for 40 minutes, anyways.”
The silver lining for Everett was the performance by the offense. The Tips generated little of note while being shut out Saturday. However, the Tips needed just 2:02 to get on the board Sunday when Bauml swept in a rebound on the power play after Oslanski’s one-timer came off the crossbar. Everett continued to create chances throughout the first two periods, and the Tips finished 4-for-7 on the power play.
“It was definitely rougher losing (Saturday) because we didn’t play at all,” Oslanski said. “Today we battled for 40, but we need to pull through for 60 minutes.”
Everett welcomed Hayer back to the lineup. Hayer sat out Saturday’s season opener as he served the final game of a three-game suspension incurred for a checking-from-behind double-minor penalty during last season’s playoff series against Tri-City. Hayer left the game briefly in the second period as he was the victim of Erricson’s hit, but returned later in the period. … The Tips were still without overage winger Ryan Harrison and rookie center Ty Mappin. Harrison served the second game of his four-game suspension for a charging major during that series against Tri-City. Mappin sat out the second straight night with a nagging minor injury.
Check out Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at NickHPatterson.
Cougars 7, Silvertips 6 (SO)
Cougars won shootout 4-3
First Period—1, Everett, Bauml 1 (Oslanski, Murray), 2:02 (pp). 2, Prince George, Siwak 1 (Ehrhardt, Jacobs), 4:07 (pp). 3, Everett, Oslanski 1 (Fowlie), 5:00 (sh). 4, Prince George, Siwak 2 (Ehrhardt, Bourke), 6:33 (pp). 5, Everett, Winquist 1 (Sandhu, Hayer), 13:07. Penalties—Jacobs, Prince George (tripping), 1:25; Fowlie, Everett (interference), 3:40; Murray, Everett (cross checking), 3:50; Bauml, Everett (checking from behind), 5:53; Hirsche, Prince George (embellishment), 20:00.
Second Period—6, Everett, Murray 1 (Oslanski, Hayer), 1:06 (pp). 7, Prince George, Gibb 1, 4:06. 8, Everett, Winquist 2 (Sandhu, Murray), 10:50 (pp). 9, Everett, Oslanski 2 (Hayer, Walters), 11:25 (pp). Penalties—Oslanski, Everett (tripping), 5:46; Erricson, Prince George (major-checking to the head-game misconduct), 6:49; Gibb, Prince George (checking from behind), 9:11; Grayson, Everett (holding), 12:28; Prince George bench (too many men, served by Bolduc), 13:37; Soumelidis, Everett (hooking), 15:50; Bourke, Prince George (slashing), 19:51.
Third Period—10, Prince George, Forsberg 2, 8:11. 11, Prince George, McNulty 1, 16:35. 12, Prince George, Belter 2 (Fontaine), 17:00. Penalties—Soumelidis, Everett (hooking), 2:00; Mykitiuk, Prince George (hooking), 3:57; Betker, Everett (roughing), 9:59; Betker, Everett (roughing), 13:14.
Overtime—no goal. Penalties—none.
Shootout—Everett 3 (Winquist NG, Hayer G, Murray G, Bauml NG, Sandhu G, Fowlie NG, Oslanski NG); Prince George 4 (Siwak NG, Jacobs G, Forsberg G, Bourke NG, Belter G, Mykitiuk NG, Tkatch G).
Shots on goal—Prince George 9-7-17-5—38. Everett 14-17-7-1—39. Power-play opportunities—Prince George 2 of 9. Everett 4 of 7.
Goalies—Prince George, Zarowny 2-0-0-0 (39 shots, 33 saves). Everett, Holowenko 0-0-0-1 (38 shots, 32 saves).