By Nick Patterson Herald writer
EVERETT — The Everett Silvertips underwent atypical day-before-game preparations Monday.
Everett travels to face I-5 rival Seattle tonight, and on the days before games the Tips usually have a low-key practice, keeping the players fresh for the following day’s contest. However, Monday’s preparations included a team meeting in the morning, a lengthy video session, then an intense on-ice practice.
All of which was a reaction to Sunday night’s 8-2 thrashing at the hands of the Kelowna Rockets.
“It was a little more up-tempo, that’s what coach (Mark Ferner) wanted,” Tips defenseman Nick Walters said of Monday’s practice. “We just have to come out and work, I think that’s what he was trying to tell us to do for (tonight’s) game. We have to work harder, we have to talk more out there. But at the end of the day it’s going to help us.”
Everett was completely outplayed by Kelowna in every facet of Sunday’s game. And while the team worked harder on the ice than it usually would Monday, Ferner said the team meeting was the most important part of the day’s activities.
“The meeting we had was a very positive thing,” Ferner said.
“(What was said at the meeting) is a team thing and I’ll keep that behind closed doors,” Ferner added. “But we cleared the air with some things and we talked about a lot of things. Quite honestly, some of it was pretty emotional, too.”
Said Walters: “It was stuff that we have to figure out as a team. Obviously (Sunday) night wasn’t a great effort by us. But we had a meeting and we had to clear some things up as a team.”
While Sunday was a bad night for Everett, the consolation for the Tips is that they don’t have much time to dwell upon it. Everett has an opportunity to quickly erase the memories of Sunday’s loss tonight in Kent.
Once again Everett and Seattle appear headed for a showdown for the final playoff berths in the WHL’s Western Conference. Each of the past two seasons Everett nabbed the conference’s eighth-and-final playoff berth at Seattle’s expense, nipping the T-birds by two points last season and three points in 2010-11.
Seattle currently sits in seventh place in the Western Conference, one point ahead of both Everett and Prince George. The T-birds have played four fewer games, so the Tips theoretically have additional ground to make up. But Everett overcame a 10-point gap at the Christmas break last season to overhaul Seattle.
And the Tips will be looking in the mirror when they face Seattle. The T-birds are also coming off a rough loss, losing by the identical 8-2 scoreline at home against Portland on Saturday.
“They’re kind of in the same boat as we are, as far as playing their last game,” Ferner said. “I’m sure they went through the same things we have over the last couple days.”
But while tonight’s game could end up having playoff implications, the Tips know it’s more important to rebound from Sunday’s fiasco with a much-improved effort.
“That’s huge,” Ferner said about the need for a bounceback game. “We talked about those things. It was a bump, a big bump in the road. But at the same time we can’t change what happened. We have to go forward, and we get the opportunity to play again. That’s a great thing. We have to have a short memory, but we also have to know how we need to be, and we can’t have things like that happen again. It’s a quick turnaround and it gives our kids an opportunity to get right back in the saddle.”
Check out Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at NickHPatterson.