The Silvertips were back at work Monday in anticipation of Game 3 on a 2-for-Tuesday matchup at ShoWare Center.
— Jesse Geleynse (@JesseGeleynse) April 10, 2017
The Tips were winless at Sh0Ware this season, though four of the five games were close.
Here’s the breakdown:
Jan. 6: Seattle wins 4-3 in a shootout (T-Birds took a 3-0 lead just 1:02 into the second before the Tips stormed back to tie it with three power-play goals).
Jan. 17: Seattle wins 3-1 (empty-netter following late Tips power play provided the final score).
Jan. 28: Seattle wins 3-2 (This one really hurt. Tips led 2-1 with eight minutes to play, but Ethan Bear connected on two power-play goals in that span to turn the game around).
Feb. 26: Seattle wins 6-1 (The outlier).
March 10: Seattle wins 3-2 (Both teams scored twice in the second period before Bear tallied the game-winner on a slap shot from the point in the third).
So it’s not outside the realm of possibility for the Tips to win in Kent. Three of the five games were decided by a single goal and another was a 2-1 game before an empty-netter sealed it.
In 2015-16 Everett had fairly good success at ShoWare and even won last spring’s Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinal series 3-0. Carter Hart had 13 saves in the first period and finished with a 26-save shutout, and it’s probably going to take that kind of effort from Hart if the Tips are going to battle back and make this a series.
Hart wasn’t especially sharp Saturday though the Tips didn’t help him with consecutive turnovers that led to the two goals 18 seconds apart in the second period and changed the course of the game. Bear possesses an NHL-caliber shot and that stood up as the game-winner after he found the net near the end of the period.
Head coach Kevin Constantine had a rather lengthy thought when I asked about those turnovers in Game 2. Constantine said that a good hockey team must create offense while also managing the puck, and he likened it to being a quarterback in football:
“When a guy has the puck he’s the quarterback of the team, so what does a good quarterback do? He’s got talent and vision enough to make the plays to the open players,” Constantine said.
“He’s got Plan B, a secondary receiver, and when he doesn’t like what he has he throws it out of bounds. In hockey, it’s make the plays that are there, have a second offensive choice that’s still offensive but safer, and get a puck out or get a puck deep if you don’t like your choices. You go through the choices a quarterback goes through every single shift, every single period. And we turned a couple pucks over (Saturday). It’s like a quarterback throwing a couple interceptions. So we did do that. We’ve gotta pick and choose our offense in an intelligent way. Those choices and execution offensively are an important part to the success of any hockey team. We’ve gotta be good at it. We’ve gotta be offensive without being a high turnover team. It bit us a couple times in that last game.”
The series is not over. But the Tips need to get going if they’re going to make it one.
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