EVERETT — As the adage goes, the best defense is a good offense.
On Saturday the Everett Silvertips used their defensemen to create offense as their blueliners combined for three goals and five points in their 5-2 win over the Kamloops Blazers before 4,752 fans at Angel of the Winds Arena.
“(That was) a good response game by our group — to beat a team like that and head into the new year with a win and some confidence, building up for a tough weekend,” Everett coach Dennis Williams said.
Defenseman Jake Christiansen scored twice and fellow blueliner Montana Onyebuchi added a goal for the Tips.
Christiansen now has 13 points in his last dozen games.
Saturday’s victory came after the Tips were unable to solve Vancouver netminder David Tendeck in a 2-1 loss Friday.
“I think it shows a lot of character that we came back today and got this win,” Christiansen said. “I think we played with pace tonight after that loss.”
Forward Orrin Centazzo added a goal and two assists, and Sean Richards had two assists to round out the Silvertips’ offense.
Everett (23-14-1-1, 48 points) has won 13 of its last 15 contests. The Tips have taken all three games against the Blazers (16-19-0-2, 34 points) so far this season.
Rookie goaltender Dustin Wolf finished with 29 saves as Everett outshot the Blazers 38-31.
Leading 3-1 through one period, Christiansen scored twice on nearly identical shots two minutes apart in the second period to push Everett’s lead to 5-1 heading into the third period.
Christiansen made it 4-1 at 11:01 when he roofed a wrister past Max Palaga from the top of the left circle. That was it for Palaga, who was replaced by Dylan Ferguson.
Christiansen’s second goal came on the power play at 12:58 from virtually the same spot as he rifled a shot past a screened Ferguson.
Forward Bryce Kindopp set screens in front of Palaga and Ferguson on both of Christiansen’s goals.
“I don’t think the goalie even saw it,” Christiansen said. “I think that’s the reason it went in. That’s a huge part of our game now, and coach (Williams) has been emphasizing that. It’s good to see it happen this game.”
Jackson Shepard made it 5-2 at 13:18 in the third for the game’s final goal.
The Tips never trailed.
Onyebuchi’s slap shot from the top of the right circle broke a 1-1 tie and put Everett on top for good at 7:03 in the first period as he beat a screened Palaga blocker side.
“We’ve been harping on net-front presence, and those goals go in because of good screens and guys net-front fighting,” Williams said. “It’s something we’ve been stressing a lot. We started getting to the net and making it tough for goalies.”
Centazzo added another goal when he weaved through the Kamloops defense and beat Palaga over the shoulder at 15:57 as Everett took the 3-1 lead into the first intermission.
Riley Sutter needed just 1:06 to give Everett the lead when he buried a power-play rebound of Kevin Davis’s point shot.
But the Blazers answered on their first power play. Brodi Stuart tipped in Jermaine Loewen’s point shot to knot the game 1-1 at 4:06.
“We got some momentum and got the building going,” Williams said. “They came right back though on the power play of their own, but I liked our response to it.”
Everett finished 2-for-5 on the power play while Kamloops was 1-for-3.
The Tips play at Victoria at 7:05 p.m. Friday.
Silvertips 5, Blazers 2
Kamloops 1 0 1 — 2
Everett 3 2 0 — 5
1st Period-1, Everett, Sutter 18 (Davis, Fonteyne), 1:06 (PP). 2, Kamloops, Stuart 10 (Loewen, Kneen), 4:06 (PP). 3, Everett, Onyebuchi 3 (Ormsby, Centazzo), 7:03. 4, Everett, Centazzo 6 (Vitelli), 15:57. Penalties-Chyzowski Kam (slashing), 0:25; Bajkov Evt (tripping), 2:33; Chyzowski Kam (roughing), 17:31; Stuart Kam (instigator, major-fighting, game misconduct), 17:31; Bajkov Evt (roughing), 17:31; Walker Evt (major-fighting), 17:31.
2nd Period-5, Everett, Christiansen 4 (Centazzo, Richards), 11:01. 6, Everett, Christiansen 5 (Wylie, Richards), 12:58 (PP). Penalties-Davis Evt (hooking), 3:43; Walker Evt (interference), 6:24; Gatenby Kam (charging), 8:59; Pilon Kam (interference), 11:47.
3rd Period-7, Kamloops, Shepard 4 (Smith, Benjafield), 13:18. Penalties-Strange Kam (interference), 7:53; Kneen Kam (slashing), 8:48; Centazzo Evt (slashing), 8:48.
Shots on Goal-Kamloops 11-10-10-31. Everett 16-14-8-38.
Power Play Opportunities-Kamloops 1 / 3; Everett 2 / 5.
Goalies-Kamloops, Palaga 3-3-0-0 (23 shots-19 saves); Ferguson 12-14-0-2 (15 shots-14 saves). Everett, Wolf 7-3-0-0 (31 shots-29 saves).