EVERETT — Everett Silvertips coach Mark Ferner is no doubt tired of sounding like a parrot following games, repeating the same line over and over again.
The 2012-13 WHL season is less than three weeks old, and already Ferner is singing a familiar refrain following Everett’s losses, the latest being a 5-3 defeat at the hands of the Tri-City Americans on Sunday night at Comcast Arena.
Everett, which also finds itself in full-blown crisis mode with its goaltending, mounted a valiant comeback late in Sunday’s game and had chances to tie it at the end. Unfortunately for the Tips, they didn’t wake up until after they trailed 4-0 early in the second period.
And yet again Ferner found himself preaching about the need for the Tips to sustain their efforts through an entire game.
“We’re down 4-0 and all of a sudden our guys start to play,” a frustrated Ferner said. “We need to understand this is a 60-minute game and we need to play a certain way for 60 minutes.
“We need guys with the mentality that enough is enough, we just have to stop the bleeding,” Ferner added. “If kids want to move on to the next level, we need to play with a little bit more emotion, get a little more pissed off about how things are going.”
Justin Feser and Brian Williams each had a goal and an assist to lead Tri-City (4-3-0-1), which took seven of a possible eight points during its stretch of four games in five nights. Parker Bowles, Beau McCue and Zachary Yuen also scored while goaltender Eric Comrie, the star of Tri-City’s 2-0 shutout of Everett on Wednesday, was required to make just 19 saves.
“That was a better win for us than the last time we were here,” Tri-City coach Jim Hiller said. “I didn’t think we needed our goaltender as much. I just thought we played a better game overall.”
Kohl Bauml and Ryan Harrison each had a goal and an assist for Everett (1-5-0-1), while Trent Lofthouse also scored.
Everett’s goaltending, meanwhile, is in absolute disarray. No. 1 Austin Lotz suffered a strained groin muscle during Saturday’s 5-2 loss at Seattle and was unavailable Sunday. Therefore the Tips were forced to make an emergency trade with Seattle, acquiring Daniel Cotton in exchange for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft earlier Sunday, just to have someone to dress as the backup.
Then Ferner was forced to call upon Cotton, who hadn’t even dressed for a game with Seattle this season, just 26 minutes into the game. Cole Holowenko had a clunker in Everett’s net, allowing four goals on 16 shots. The fourth goal wasn’t even a shot on net as McCue’s centering feed from the corner rolled up Holowenko’s stick, over Holowenko’s shoulder and into the net.
Cotton did everything that could be asked of a player who joined his new team just 30 minutes before the warmup, stopping all 14 shots he faced in relief. But by then the damage was done. Now, with Lotz estimated to be out seven-to-10 days and the Tips scheduled to depart first thing Tuesday morning for their six-game swing through the East Division, there’s uncertainty about who boards the bus.
But despite Holowenko’s struggles Sunday, Ferner was not about to pin the loss on his netminder.
“This is a team game,” Ferner said. “I won’t point fingers at any one individual. We’re trying to become a team, not just 25 guys who play together. We need to care about each other, and first and foremost we need to be accountable for our actions. We need to be accountable to our teammates. If we can get to the point where we play harder for the guys sitting next to us than we do for our own personal success, that’s when you become a hockey team.”
There wasn’t much personal success going on for the Tips early Sunday. Feser and Bowles scored 1:11 apart late in the first period to stake the Americans to a 2-0 lead. Then Tri-City made it 4-0 early in the second, with Williams’ shot getting through Holowenko during a five-on-three, followed by the blunder for McCue’s goal. Holowenko was pulled following the fourth goal.
Everett finally got on the board on the power play late in the second when Lofthouse deflected Mirco Mueller’s shot from the point into the corner. The Tips then rallied in the third, with Harrison setting up Bauml at 7:40 before putting a backhander under Comrie at 16:32. Everett had a couple chances to tie it late, but couldn’t convert, and Yuen scored the length of the ice into an empty net with one-tenth of a second remaining to complete Tri-City’s victory.
Americans 5, Silvertips 3
First Period—1, Tri-City, Feser 5, 14:35. 2, Tri-City, Bowles 3 (Williams), 15:46. Penalties—Fowlie, Everett (interference), 10:49; Dallman, Tri-City (tripping), 18:14; Mappin, Everett (holding), 19:44.
Second Period—3, Tri-City, Williams 3 (Feser), 3:18 (pp). 4, Tri-City, McCue 1 (Dallman), 6:03. 5, Everett, Lofthouse 1 (Mueller, Stadnyk), 18:09 (pp). Penalties—Fowlie, Everett (cross checking), 1:48; Murray, Everett (slashing), 2:36; Gutierrez, Tri-City (fighting), 6:25; Mueller, Everett (fighting), 6:25; Walter, Tri-City (slashing), 8:12; Hamonic, Tri-City (hooking), 10:52; Mueller, Everett (tripping), 12:28; Plutnar, Tri-City (roughing), 16:48; Hamonic, Tri-City (interference), 18:30.
Third Period—6, Everett, Bauml 2 (Harrison, Oslanski), 7:40. 7, Everett, Harrison 1 (Bauml), 16:32. 8, Tri-City, Yuen 1, 16:32 (en). Penalties—Bowles, Tri-City (tripping), 1:52; Soumelidis, Everett (boarding), 16:47.
Shots on goal—Tri-City 10-11-10—31. Everett 7-7-8—22. Power-play opportunities—Tri-City 1 of 6. Everett 1 of 6.
Goalies—Tri-City, Comrie 3-3-0-1 (22 shots, 19 saves). Everett, Holowenko 0-2-0-1 (16 shots, 12 saves), Cotton (14 shots, 14 saves).
Check out Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at NickHPatterson.